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[Quran 29:69] " Those who struggle for Us - We shall guide them on Our paths, and Allah is with those who do what is beautiful"

Gautama Buddha (
563 BCE to 483 BCE )

was a reformer who introduced a number of humanistic principles to the Paganic Religion of India. He did not claim to be God nor did he suggest to his followers that he be an object of worship. Yet, today most Buddhists  have taken him to be God and prostrate to idols made in their perception of his likeness. Buddha's advent was at a time when most of India was paganic. It was customery to idolise People who were thought to be enlightened super humans.

Allah ( God ) has warned such people in the Holy Quran.

Quran 12:40  " That which you worship besides Him are only names you and your forefathers have invented for which Allah has sent down no authority: The command belongs only to Allah. He has commanded that you only worship Him; that is the right religion, but most men do not understand "

It is important to state that besides Islam, all other religions are either named after humans or preach humans.  Christianity after Jesus Christ, Judaism after Judah, Hinduism - Beleif's of People living near Indus River, Buddhism after Gautama Buddha, Sikhism after Guru Nanak, Jainism after Mahavira etc.

Buddha's Early Days

A Buddha is a name given to a very holy person in Buddhism. The word Buddha means "He woke up" in Sanskrit. The first Buddha was named Siddhartha Gautama. He was the man upon whome Buddhism is named. Sometimes people call him "the Buddha". Other times, people call any person a Buddha if they have found enlightenment. If a person has not found enlightenment yet, but is very close to reaching it, then he is called Bodhisattva.

Buddha was born in the Shakya clan that belonged to the warrior (Kshatriya) caste. His father was Shudhodana and his mother Maya. Before Buddha was born his mother had a dream in which a white elephant descended from heaven and entered her womb. Buddha was said to have been born in a grove named Lumbini near the ancient town of Kapilavastu. At birth the name given to him was Gautama, probably after the more ancient Vedic seer to whom some of the hymns in the Rigveda are ascribed. Buddha was also known as Siddhartha which means 'he whose aim is accomplished' The latter name seems to be a title given to him by his disciples} although varying opinions are held on this issue.

One day Riding through the streets of the city he saw for the first time in his life, a lame person, a sick person, a dead body and an ascetic.

These sights made a deep impact on his tender teenaged mind and he set thinking upon the cause of sufferings and sorrow. Consequently, Gautama began neglecting the affairs of the State which his father had assigned to him. Alarmed at his son's strange behaviour, King Shudhodana, to get his son off this brroding decided to marry him to a princess Yashodhara. A son was born to them who was named Rahula.

But married life could not distract Gautama from his life's mission for long. When his patience was at the end of its tether, Gautama decided to forsake family life and one day he slipped out of his palace along with his servant Chandaka. After moving out of the city, Gautama cut off his hair removed his royal ornaments and jewels, his rich garments and sandals and gave them to Chandaka and bid him to return to the palace with the news of his (Gautama's) departure.

At that time, holy men were usually ascetics. They hurt their bodies in order to help their spiritual being. They do not do things they like so they can defeat their desires. The most ascetic kinds of holy men were called Jains. They practiced self-denial and made themselves suffer very much. They believed this would free the ātman (soul) from pain and sadness. Gautama did these things well. Eventually he was better than his teachers. He still found no answer, and he left his teachers. Some friends and he went even further. He ate only one grain of rice a day. He tried not breathing. He became just skin and bones, and he nearly died. Still, he had no answer.

Gautama started to think again about this path. He thought there might be a better way than hurting himself. He found a big fig tree (now called the Bodhi tree) and started to meditate. He told himself that he would not get up until he had found enlightenment. His mind became pure, and then, six years after he began his path, he found Enlightenment, and became the first Buddha.

Place : Sarnath
City : Varanasi
Country : India

Description : This place is also known as Isipatana or Deer Park. Situated 5Kms North of Varanasi, here The Buddha is said to have preached his first Sermon

 Buddhism is unique among religions in a fundamental sense. It does not advocate invocation of any God. Salvation can be attained by controlling one's desire; as desire is the cause of suffering. The original Buddhism had neither God nor Devil. The emphasis was not on prayer but on controlling one's mind. In this sense it was more a worldly philosophy rather than a religion. But with the passage of time it acquired the nature of a religion complete with dogmas and rituals.

Though he received an impressive following Buddha never claimed Divine status.

The most potent institution that Buddha established during his lifetime was the Sangha (monastic order) into which men were admitted irrsespective of their caste. The members of the Sangha who were known as Bhikkus (beggars) had to lead a rigorous life devoid of all desires. Their daily needs were limited to those necessary for physical survival. Their only possessions were a begging bowl, yellow coloured loin cloth, a walking stick if necessary and a pair of sandals for the more delicate. They were to sustain themselves by the alms they received but were forbidden from expressly begging for alms. Alms were to be accepted if given willingly and if not the Bhikkus (beggars) were to move on to the next house.

There is said to be an exchange of beliefs and attitudes between Hinduism and Buddhism. The Hindu insistence of vegetarianism and non-violence (Ahimsa) were borrowed from Buddhism (and Jainism). Hinduism in turn tried to absorb Buddhism within itself by making Buddha one of the incarnations of Vishnu (GOD).

Teachings of Buddha :-

If one studies the Buddhist scriptures one will see the Buddha's compassion. He taught the Dhamma (The liberating law discovered and proclaimed by the Buddha, summed up in the Four Noble Truths)  to those who wanted to listen, he taught for the sake of their benefit and wellbeing. He wanted to help the listeners and did not want any misfortune to occur to them, no matter who they were. Even shortly before his final passing away he still taught the Dhamma to Subhadda who became the last disciple in the presence of the Buddha himself. This clearly shows his great compassion.

The Four Noble Truths are a Buddhist teaching.

The First Noble Truth: Dukkha - Life is full of suffering. Dukkha usually is translated as suffering.
The Second Noble Truth: Samudaya - The cause of suffering is cravings. Wanting something leads to suffering. Wanting life, wanting death, wanting things, wanting pleasure - all lead to suffering.

The Third Noble Truth: Nirodha - By stopping the cravings, the suffering is stopped.
The Fourth Noble Truth: Magga - The way to ending craving is the Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path

Truth is found through the Middle Way by way of the Eightfold Path.

Right Viewpoint - Realizing the Four Noble Truths (samyag-dṛṣṭi, sammā-diṭṭhi)
Right Values - Commitment to mental and ethical growth in moderation (samyak-saṃkalpa, sammā-saṅkappa)
Right Speech - One speaks in a non hurtful, not exaggerated, truthful way (samyag-vāc, sammā-vācā)
Right Actions - Wholesome action, avoiding action that would do harm (samyak-karmānta, sammā-kammanta)
Right Livelihood - One's job does not harm in any way oneself or others; directly or indirectly (weapon maker, drug dealer, etc.) (samyag-ājīva, sammā-ājīva}
Right Effort - One makes an effort to improve (samyag-vyāyāma, sammā-vāyāma)
Right Mindfulness - Mental ability to see things for what they are with clear consciousness (samyak-smṛti, sammā-sati)
Right Meditation - State where one reaches enlightenment and the ego has disappeared (samyak-samādhi, sammā-samādhi)

When he taught, he did not pretend to be a god. He said he was just a man who had found enlightenment, and that any person can also find enlightenment. 

During the Buddha's time, there was no general rule requiring monks to refrain from eating meat. In fact, at one point the Buddha specifically refused to institute vegetarianism and the Pali Canon records the Buddha himself eating meat on several occasions.

At the age of 80, Gautama Buddha died. The Buddha's last words were, "All things must end. Work hard for your own enlightenment".

The Buddha would not say if gods exist or not. He taught that people should not look to gods to save them or bring them enlightenment. The gods may have power over world events and they might help people, or they might not. But it's up to each person to get to enlightenment.

Buddhists believe there have been many Buddhas who were alone, called pacceka-buddhas. They reached enlightenment on their own, but they did not teach others. The first Buddha was afraid to teach people too. Their poor understanding made them hard to teach. But he did teach people the way, and people followed him.

Prophecy of a Future Buddha

Maitreya Bodhisattva (Sanskrit) or Metteyya Bodhisatta (Pāli) is the future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology. Maitreya is a Bodhisattva who Buddhists in general believe will eventually appear on earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure Dharma. He is predicted to be a “world-ruler”, uniting those over whom he rules.

The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya is found in the canonical literature of all Buddhist sects (Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna) and is accepted by most Buddhists as a statement about an actual event that will take place in the distant future.

Some of the events foretold at the coming of the Future Buddha include an end to death, warfare, famine, and disease, as well as the ushering in of a new society of tolerance and love.

A) In Chakkavatti Sinhnad Suttanta D. III, 76: "There will arise in the world a Buddha named Maitreya (the benevolent one) a holy one, a supreme one, an enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe:

"What he has realized by his own supernatural knowledge he will publish to this universe. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at its climax, glorious at the goal, in the spirit and the letter. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and thoroughly pure; even as I now preach my religion and a like life do proclaim. He will keep up the society of monks numbering many thousands, even as now I keep up a society of monks numbering many hundreds".

B) According to Sacred Books of the East volume 35 pg. 225: "It is said that I am not an only Buddha upon whom the leadership and order is dependent. After me another Buddha ( Maitreya ) of such and such virtues will come. I am now the leader of hundreds, he will be the leader of thousands."

C) According to the Gospel of Buddha by Carus pg. 217 and 218 (From Ceylon sources): "Ananda said to the Blessed One, ‘Who shall teach us when thou art gone?' And the Blessed one replied, 'I am not the first Buddha who came upon the earth nor shall I be the last. In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a holy one, a supremely enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths, which I have taught you. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax and glorious at the goal. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands while mine number many hundreds.'

Ananda said, 'How shall we know him?'

The Blessed one replied, 'He will be known as Maitreya'."

(i) The Sanskrit word ‘Maitreya’ or its equivalent in Pali ‘Metteyya’ means loving, compassionate, merciful and benevolent. It also means kindness and friendliness, sympathy, etc. One Arabic word which is equivalent to all these words is ‘Rahmat’. In  Holy Quran 21:107 : "We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures."

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was called the merciful, which is ‘Maitri’.

(ii) The words Mercy and Merciful are mentioned in the Holy Qur'ân no less than 409 times.

(iii) Every chapter of the Glorious Qur'ân, except Chapter 9, begins with the beautiful formula, 'Bismillah Hir-Rahman Nir-Rahim', which means 'In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful'.

(iv) The Word Muhammad is also spelt as ‘Mahamet’ or ‘Mahomet’ and in various other ways in different languages. The word ‘Maho’ or ‘Maha’ in Pali and Sanskrit mean Great and Illustrious and ‘Metta’ means mercy. ‘Mahomet’ means ‘Great Mercy’.

2. Buddha’s doctrine was Esoteric and Exoteric:

According to Sacred Books of the East, volume 11, pg. 36 Maha-Parinibbana Sutta chapter 2 verse 32:

"I have preached the truth without making any distinction between exoteric and esoteric doctrine, for in respect of truths, Ananda, the Buddha has no such thing as the closed fist of a teacher, who keeps something back".

Muhammad (pbuh) on the commandment of Almighty God delivered the message and doctrine without making any distinction between esoteric and exoteric. The Qur'ân was recited in public in the days of the Prophet and is being done so till date. The Prophet had strictly forbidden the Muslims from hiding the doctrine

3. Six Criteria for Identifying Buddha:

According to the Gospel of Buddha by Carus pg. 214:

"The Blessed one said, ‘There are two occasions on which a Tathagata’s (Future Buddha) appearance becomes clear and exceedingly bright. In the night, in which a Tathagata ( Future Buddha ) attains to the supreme and perfect insight, and in the night in which he passes finally away in that ultra passing which leaves nothing whatever of his earthly existence to remain.’ "

According to Gautama Buddha, following are the six criteria for identifying a Buddha.

i) A Buddha attains supreme and perfect insight at night-time.

ii) On the occasion of his complete enlightenment he looks exceedingly bright

iii) A Buddha dies a natural death.

iv) He dies at night-time.

v) He looks exceedingly bright before his death.

vi) After his death a Buddha ceases to exist on earth.

i) Muhammad (pbuh) attained supreme insight and Prophethood at night-time.

According to Surah Dukhan: "By the books that makes thing clear – We sent it down during a blessed night." [Al-Qur'ân 44:2-3]

According to Surah Al-Qadar: "We have indeed revealed this (message) in the night of power." [Al-Qur'ân 97:1]

ii) Muhammad (pbuh) instantly felt his understanding illumined with celestial light.

iii) Muhammad (pbuh) died a natural death.

iv) According to his wife Ayesha (r.a.), Muhammad (pbuh) died at night-time. When he was dying there was no oil in the lamp and his wife Ayesha (r.a.) had to borrow oil for the lamp.

v) According to Anas (r.a.), Muhammad (pbuh) looked exceedingly bright in the night of his death.

vi) After the burial of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) he was never seen again in his bodily form on this earth.

5. Buddhas are only Preachers:

According to Dhammapada, Sacred Books of East volume 10 pg., 67:

"The Jathagatas (Buddhas) are only Preachers."

The Qur'ân says in Surah Ghashiya: "Therefore do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage (men's) affairs." [Al-Qur'ân 88:21-22]

6. Identification of Maitreya by Buddha:

According to Dhammapada, Mattaya Sutta, 151:

"The promised one will be:

i) Compassionate for the whole creation

ii) A messenger of peace, a peace-maker

iii) The most successful in the world.

The Maitreya as a Preacher of morals will be:

i) Truthful

ii) Self-respecting

iii) Gentle and noble

iv) Not proud

v) As a king to creatures

vi) An example to others in deeds and in words".

Death Of Gautama Buddha

Responding, "As you say, lord," Ven. Ananda prepared a bed between the twin sal-trees, with its head to the north. Then the Blessed One lay down on his right side in the lion's sleeping posture, with one foot on top of the other, mindful & alert. DN 16 (Maha-parinibbana Sutta)

The Buddha's parting words

[Date: 1 BE]

Then the Blessed One addressed the monks, "Now, then, monks, I exhort you: All fabrications are subject to decay. Bring about completion by being heedful." Those were the Tathagata's (Gautama Buddha ) last words.

Holy Quran Chapter 69 - Al Haqqah ( The Sure Reality )

[48] But verily this is a Message for the God-fearing.

[49] And We certainly know that there are amongst you those that reject (it).

[50] But truly (Revelation) is a cause of sorrow for the Unbelievers.

[51] But verily it is Truth of assured certainty.

[52] So glorify the name of thy Lord Most High.