The word Buddha means "enlightened one." It is used today as a title
to the one who has given us more religious beliefs than almost any other
human who lived in this world. However, he was not given this name at
birth; he had to earn it for himself by undergoing long, hard hours of
meditation and contemplation. Buddha has changed the lifestyles of many
cultures with new, never-before asked questions that were explained by
his search for salvation. He began an entirely new religion that dared
to test the boundaries of reality and go beyond common knowledge to find
the answers of the mysteries of life. India ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ During the sixth
century BC, India was a land of political and religious turmoil. It was
an era of great brutality with the domination of Northwest India by
Indo-Aryan invaders. Many people, influenced by the Aryan civilization,
began to question the value of life and it's true meaning.
opened because of this curiosity where teachers would discuss the
significance of existence and the nature of man and held programs to
reconstruct one's spiritual self. (Pardue, page 228) Background ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ Near
the town of Kapilavastivu, today known as Nepal, lived King Suddhodhana
and Queen Maya of the indigenous tribe known as the Shakyas.
(Encyclopedia Americana, page 687) Queen Maya soon became pregnant and
had a dream shortly before she gave birth. In this dream a beautiful,
white elephant with six tusks entered her room and touched her side.
This dream was soon interpreted by the wisest Brahmin, or Priest of
Brahmanism, that she was to give birth to a son that would, if he were to
remain in the castle, become the wisest king in the world, but if he were
ever to leave the castle he would then become the wisest...