I will also become old. I will also become ill. I will also die. How do I deal with these things? And how do we navigate that? Moerman : "And then the fourth trip outside he sees a spiritual seeker: someone who has decided to live a life completely other than his life in order to escape from impermanence, suffering, and death.
Siddhartha the Warrior Prince
So he has this sort of traumatic encounter with the pain and suffering of life. Epstein : "We try to protect our children. But at a very early age, at a time before he could remember anything, at a time before there was conceptual thought he already suffered the worst kind of loss that one could suffer. Suddenly and mysteriously, his mother died when he was a week old. So something tragic happened you know right at the beginning.
That might be what it takes to become a Buddha is that you have to suffer on such a primitive level. Ho Family Foundation. I was surrounded by beautiful women. Indian portrayals often depict a dark-skinned Buddha, while those of other regions give him Asian features.
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In fact, Buddha was an Indo-Aryan, a Caucasian whose people had invaded and subjugated India for two millennia. Familiar Western portrayals of Buddha as doughy and overweight, an image intended to suggest his passive nature, are also misleading; the oldest texts describe him as at least six feet tall and of muscular build.
One might obtain a more ethnically accurate picture of Buddha by looking at a modern-day Afghan: tall, muscular and white-skinned with dark hair and eyes—physical characteristics typical of the Indo-Aryan warriors from whom Siddhartha Gautama was descended.
The earliest known home of the Indo-Aryans lay in what is now Ukraine. A great migration of these peoples, probably provoked by overpopulation, began around BC, first south to Europe, then southeast into Anatolia and northern Iraq, and then farther east into the mountains of Iran and the valleys of modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A fierce, warlike people, the Indo-Aryans introduced the horse and chariot to warfare. Wherever they conquered, their superior military technology and fighting ability allowed them to impose themselves as a warrior aristocracy upon local native peoples. From northwest India, the Indo-Aryans moved south along the Indus River, destroying the native civilization. Over the next millennia they conquered all of India, bringing the Ganges River plain and northeast Bengal under their control only a century or so before Buddha was born. The Indo-Aryans regarded war as the most noble of callings, and all able-bodied males were trained in war from childhood.
By the 7th century BC they had settled throughout India, imposing themselves upon a large population of indigenous agricultural peoples.
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To maintain their superior position, the Indo-Aryans forbade intermarriage with the dark-skinned native peoples and restricted their social mobility. Over time Indo-Aryan society aligned into four castes: brahmans priests , kshatriya warriors , vaishya merchants and farmers and sudra serfs , the latter comprising primarily the conquered indigenous population. By the 6th century BC the Indo-Aryan tribes had coalesced into organized states with large standing armies and governmental administrative systems.
The major states also fought wars with the smaller republics, which often formed alliances to prevent their absorption by the larger states. A rashtra comprised tribes, subtribes and villages.
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The nucleus of the tribe was the family kula , with the oldest male as its head kulapa. The Sakya social structure was closer to that of earlier Indo-Aryan tribes than to the more complex social organization of newly emerged Mahajanapanda states. Although the republics were small, they were not insignificant military powers.
The texts record that the Sakyas comprised , families the country was about the size of modern-day Belgium , and that seven defensive walls ringed their capital at Kapilavastu on the banks of the Rohini River modern-day Kohana. Within those walls was a famous school of military archery. The Sakyas had to contend with the predations of not just Kosala and Magadha, each of which sought to control the Ganges River plain, but other surrounding hostile republics.
Story & Teachings
War was an almost perpetual state. The curriculum included courses in logic, politics and economics. Kshatriya also studied the ancient Vedic religious texts but were only required to memorize the first line of the Vedas. For more than a decade the young warrior pursued a rigorous curriculum of studies and military training that required proficiency in all the Indo-Aryan weapons of war, including the chariot, warhorse and elephant.
Experienced warriors taught the kshatriya. Instruction was personalized, and students lived in the homes of their instructors for the duration of the course. In order to be consecrated a knight, a kshatriya was required to demonstrate his competence with weapons. Convinced that it was his mission to share the fruits of his own experience, he dedicated his life to delivering humanity from the suffering inherent in human existence: in particular the endless round of samsara , the cycle of births, deaths and rebirths envisaged in the Indian world view of the time.
However to do so it was necessary to forsake all attachments—not just those binding an individual to mundane realities, but also, paradoxically, longings of a more spiritual nature—e. No idea arises in a vacuum, and the teachings of the Buddha are no exception.
Born in the 6th century BCE into a royal family, Siddhartha was raised as a warrior prince, distinguishing himself in both martial arts and academic achievements.