“A jug fills drop by drop.”
“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”
“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”
“I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.”
“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
“There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
“The tongue like a sharp knife...kills without drawing blood.”
Siddhārtha Buddha's mother was Queen Maha Maya and his father was King Suddhodana, the leader of the Shakya clan. It is said that the night Queen Maha Maya conceived she had dreamt that a white elephant with six white tusks entered her right side. Ten months later Siddhārtha was born. When Queen Maya became pregnant, in keeping with Shakya tradition, she travelled to her father's kingdom to give birth. It is believed that she actually gave birth on the way in a garden underneath a sal tree. The sal tree is said to be favored by Vishnu, the supreme God. He is the founder of the Buddhist religion. He was a spiritual teacher. He is considered the supreme Buddha. "Buddha" translates into "awakened one" or "enlightened one." Siddhārtha was born a royal of the Kshatriya family. He had three palaces built for his seasonal occupation. His father, King Suddhodana, was said to have wished for his son to become a great king. His father is also said to have protected him from human suffering and religious teachings. When he turned sixteen, his father arranged his marriage to a cousin, Yasodhara. She gave birth to a son, Rahula.
When he turned twenty-nine, Siddhārtha left his palaces to meet his subjects. When he saw the old, aged, sick and suffering it depressed him so much that he tried to help. But he couldn't do much so he decided to live the life of an ascetic. He gave up all worldly pleasures to pursue religious and spiritual goals. He began by begging for alms in the street. Siddhārtha tried to achieve enlightenment through deprivation of any pleasures. But soon Siddhārtha realized that the extreme asceticism didn't work and he discovered what is now known as the Middle Way. It is a moderation of the extremes of asceticism. There was a famous incident in which he had become starved to the point that he accepted milk and rice pudding from a village girl who mistook him for a spirit granting her a wish. After this, Siddhārtha was seated under a pipal tree, more commonly known as the Bodhi tree. He stated that he would never rise until he had found the truth.
After forty-nine days of meditation, he is believed to have attained enlightenment. It was at this time that he is said to have discovered the "four noble truths" which are at the heart of Buddhism. These are the noble truths of dukkha, the origin of dukkha, the cessation of dukkha, and the way leading to the cessation of dukkha. Dukkha loosely translates into suffering, stress, anxiety, or dissatisfaction. These truths state that suffering is an integral part of existence. Once he achieved enlightenment he taught everyone, from nobles to outcasts. Buddhists believe that karma is the propagator of the cycle of suffering and rebirth for everyone. This is the reason Siddhārtha taught everyone, no matter what their station in life. He believed that the good karma would ultimately better the world. They also believe in rebirth. This means that the being goes through a series of lifetimes in various forms of life only some of them sentient. Each life is individual yet not completely separate from the one before it. These are the basic principles that Siddhārtha attained through enlightenment.