Buddhism: An Ordered Way Of Life

1623 words - 7 pages

Little is known about the life of the early Buddha’s. There was nothing written, biographically, during his life. Some of the history prior to his enlightenment could possible be mythological.
Buddha was born in India to Suddhodana, king of the clan, and Maya his wife. He was born Siddhartha Gautama somewhere between the years of 420 and 502 BCE. It seems to be that he was born to the second of the four Indian Casts, the aristocratic warrior caste called Ksatriyas. He was Raised Hindu. When he was sixteen Buddha, he married Yasodhara, whom was thirteen years his elder.
One night after his thirty-fifth birthday Buddha, seated under a large tree (now known as the Bodhi tree), experienced some ...view middle of the document...

The most important one is on the night of the full moon in May, known as Vesak. This is day the Buddhist Celebrate the life, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha. There is also the Buddhist New Year, usually celebrated late January or early February depending on the Lunar Calendar. The four monthly holy days are Uposatha or Observance day. These days are held on the full moon, the new moon, and the quarter moons.
There are neither rites of passage nor a special ceremony in becoming Buddhist. There is a long process of disciplinary training and education given to those seeking to become a monk (Bhikkhu). Anyone seeking to become a Bhikkhu is know as a novice. There is a ceremony that happens between the novice, the abbot (head of the monastery) and the Sangha (the community of monks). Before the ceremony, those seeking to become a monk must shave their heads bald and answer questions given to them of elder monks and if answered correctly and no other monks object, this person is accepted into the Sangha, monk community, and thus, their training begins.
One of the difficulties in becoming a monk is that all monks must observe 227 rules in total. These rules guide them along in their day to day life. The first five are applicable to every Buddhist and are as follows:must not take the life of any living creature;must not steal anyone's possessions;must not be involved in sexual misconduct;must not tell any lies;must not use any alcohol or misuse drugs;These rules are known as the Five Precepts. The next five rules in their list apply only to monks and are as follows:must not eat after midday;must not attend shows where there is music or dancing;must not use any perfume or personal jewellery;must not sleep on raised or upholstered beds;must not accept gifts of gold or silver (money).
(Rites) In looking upon these rules, the first five that apply to all Buddhists would be simple to follow for the most part. However, I would have a bit of a problem with not using any alcohol at all. Just like many other people in America, I enjoy a beer or mixed drink now and then. The next five rules I find that I would have a problem adapting to these. Eating after midday is one as I eat a meal in the evening with the family. Music and dancing in shows or movies is something that I enjoy as well. I wear cologne as well as personal jewelry (watch, wedding band, and a symbol of my beliefs). I would not find it comfortable to sleep on the floor. I also enjoy a gift of money just like the next person. Adapting to even just these few rules to become a monk would be extremely hard for me.
As a Buddhist Monk, in day to day life, they work to protect every living creature and could not bear to see one go hungry or be injured. In fact, in speaking with the representative from the Bhavan Society, he stated that if we gifted the monestary with the stray cat that appeared at our house, which they would accept and take care of it, though it would not be their...

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