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Siddhartha Gautama To Buddha - Life Changes

How Often And How Long Did Buddha Fast For? - Why do Buddhist Monks wear orange robes?

How Often And How Long Did Buddha Fast For? - Why do Buddhist Monks wear orange robes?

Continued FRom >> Brahmanism and Buddha

(Prince) Siddhartha was twenty-nine years of age when he left the palace of Kapilavastu.

Uruvela is celebrated in the annals of Buddhism for this long retreat, which lasted six years, and during which Siddhartha gave himself up, without a moment's wavering, to the most severe and rigorous mortifications, 'at which the gods themselves were filled with horror.' He withstood the most fearful attacks of his own passions, and we shall see later how the legend transforms these moral struggles into material conflicts with the demon Papiyan (the most vicious), who, notwithstanding his cunning, his violence, and his numerous army, was at last overthrown and vanquished, without being able to tempt or terrify the young ascetic, who, by his virtue destroyed the kingdom of Mara, the Spirit of Evil.

How often and how long did Buddha fast for?

However, at the end of six years of privations, sufferings, and excessive fastings, Siddhartha, persuaded that asceticism was not the path that led to perfect wisdom, determined to cease such excessive mortifications, and began again to take regular food, which a young village girl of the name of Sujata brought to him. In a short space of time he recovered the strength and beauty which had been destroyed by his terrible macerations. His five disciples, who had hitherto remained faithful, and had imitated his acts of penance, were scandalized at his weakness; and losing all esteem for him, they forsook him and went away to Benares, to the place called Rishi-patana, where he eventually rejoined them.



Why do Buddhist Monks wear orange robes?
Why do Buddhist Monks wear orange robes?

Alone, and abandoned by his followers, in his hermitage at Uruvela, Siddhartha continued his meditations, although he diminished his austerities. It was no doubt in this solitude that he worked out the principles of his system, and laid down the rules of discipline for his followers. Henceforth he wore the garb and adopted the customs he intended to impose on them, and by the example he set he forestalled any resistance that his rigorous precepts might stir up even in the most ardent of his sectarians. The clothes the hunter had formerly ceded to him had fallen in tatters, they had been his only covering for the last six years - years spent in wandering from city to city, and jungle to jungle, often without shelter, with the bare soil as his only resting-place. It became necessary to renew those garments, and this is the way in which we are told that he replaced them. Sujata, the daughter of the chieftain of Uruvela, who had been so devoted to him, and who, assisted by ten of her women, continued to bring him food, had a slave called Radha who had just died. The woman had been buried in a neighbouring cemetery, and her body had been wrapped in a coarse linen cloth (sana). A few days after her burial Siddhartha opened the grave and took the shroud. Then, 'in order to show what a monk must do,' he washed in a pool the earth-stained shroud, and fashioned and sewed it with his own hands. The place where he sat at that time was afterwards called Pansukula-Sivana, that is 'the sewing of the shroud' Hence the reason of the ordinance he made for his monks, that they were to be habited in clothes put together from cast-off rags picked up in the streets, by the roadside, or even in graveyards. Who indeed among them would have dared to complain or resist when the illustrious scion of a great royal family, the sole heir of the Sakyas, had abandoned all power and riches and robed his youth and beauty in such woeful raiment? - That is why Buddhist Monks wear orange robes and also answers the meaning of orange cloth on Buddha statues question.

However, the end of these long and painful trials was at hand. Siddhartha had but one more step to take. He knew his future adversaries and he knew himself; he felt sure of their weakness and of his own strength, but his humility still gave him some lingering scruples. He debated with himself whether, entrusted with the salvation of mankind, he had indeed attained a sufficiently definitive and immutable knowledge of the truths he was to reveal.

'In all I have done and acquired, he thought, I have far surpassed human law, but I have not yet reached the point where I shall clearly distinguish supreme wisdom. I am not yet in the true path of knowledge, nor in that which will lead to the irrevocable end of old age, disease, and death'

Then he would recall his childhood's memories, the brilliant early visions he had in his father's gardens under the djambu tree, and he anxiously inquired of himself whether his mind, matured by age and reflection, would indeed realize the marvelous promises that his youthful imagination had held out to him. Could he indeed be the Savior of mankind? At last, after a meditation that appears to have lasted, without interruption., a whole week, during one of his frequent ecstasies, Siddhartha found he could in all sincerity of heart answer the question affirmatively.

Next >> All The Qualities & Requisite To Become Buddha

Siddhartha Gautama To Buddha - Life changes - How often and how long did Buddha fast for? And; Why do Buddhist Monks wear orange robes?

Text adapted from 'The Buddha and His Religion'
by Jules Barthélemy Saint-Hilaire (19 Aug 1805 – 24 Nov 1895)


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The Buddhist Flag
First hoisted in 1885 in Sri Lanka, is a symbol of faith and peace used throughout the world to represent the Buddhist faith.

Buddhist Flag Picture - Buddhist Flag Colours - The Buddhist Flag Sri Lanka 1885

Buddhist Flag Meanings
Blue: Universal Compassion
Yellow: The Middle Path
Red: Blessings
White: Purity and Liberation
Orange: Wisdom


 
Why do Buddhist Monks wear orange robes?

The Dharma Wheel

Spokes of the Dharmachakra - "The Dharma Wheel" Meaning - The Dharma Wheel Symbol - The Dharma Wheel Image - 8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path (Ariya magga)

In Buddhism—according to the Pali Canon, Vinayapitaka, Khandhaka, Mahavagga, the number of spokes of the Dharmachakra represent various meanings:

8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path (Ariya magga).
12 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppada).
24 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve Laws of Dependent Termination (Paticcasamuppada).
31 spokes representing 31 realms of existence (11 realms of desire, 16 realms of form and 4 realms of formlessness).


Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is a Japanese Buddhist chant based upon the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren Daishonin (Feb 16, 1222 – Oct 13, 1282) a Buddhist monk who lived during the Kamakura period (1185–1333) in Japan. Nichiren taught devotion to the Lotus Sutra, entitled Myōhō-Renge-Kyō in Japanese, as the exclusive means to attain enlightenment and the chanting of Nam-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō as the essential practice of the teaching. Various schools with diverging interpretations of Nichiren's teachings comprise Nichiren Buddhism.
Nam - To devote one's life
Myoho - Myo is the mystic nature of life and Ho, its manifestation
Renge - "Lotus Flower"; which symolises the ballance of cause and effect
Kyo - Sutra, the voice or teachings of Buddha (The sound or vibration that connects everything in the ubiverse)


As the Buddha had never claimed to be a god, it is evident that he never prescribed the form of worship that was to be rendered to him. A legend, however, attributes to him the institution of this form of worship

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