The word Buddha means The Awakened One, coming from the Sanskrit root budh – ‘to wake’. He is a man who has woken fully, as if from a deep sleep, to discover that suffering, like a dream, is over. The historical Buddha was however a man like any other, but an exceptional one; what he rediscovered was a way that anyone can walk, providing that they are so inclined.
The historical Buddha Gautama was not the first Buddha. There had been others who had walked the way before him. He was not a god, a prophet or any kind of supernatural being. He was, as we have seen, one who was born, lived and died a human being. A remarkable human being, who discovered a way of achieving true wisdom, compassion and freedom from suffering. He ‘rediscovered an ancient way to an ancient city’ that had been covered up and forgotten. Through his own efforts he was able to find the way out of suffering to liberation, and those that have followed him have kept that way open.
The Buddha did not teach that a God created the Universe. He instead pointed to the great Law of cause and effect running through everything that exists. It is by living in accordance with this Law that true Wisdom and Compassion and hence freedom from suffering may be achieved. Suffering may only be overcome, however, by being confronted and lived through. In the Buddha’s words: ‘Suffering is something we are born into and I teach the way out of suffering.’
It is the very existence that causes us suffering and yet teaches us to grow and overcome that very suffering.”
“With out thoughts we create the world” – The Buddha
Peace and Love, Jim