The Buddha's Path (The Middle Way) – Professor Trainor
Wandering in his search for enlightenment, Buddha came to a pleasant hermitage by a lovely stream, where, for six years, he joined five mendicants in a way of discipline based on progressively severe fasting. He ate a single grain of rice for each of the first two years, drank a single drop of water for each of the second two years, and took nothing at all during the last two. Consequently, his bones stuck out like a row of spindles, and when he touched his stomach, he could almost feel his spine. His hair fell out and his skin became withered.
But all this was in vain. However severe his austerities, perhaps even because of them, the body still clamored for attention, and he was still plagued by material craving. In fact, he seemed more conscious of himself than ever. Buddha had to face the fact that asceticism had failed to redeem him. All he had achieved after this heroic assault upon his body was a prominent rib cage, and a dangerously weakened physique.
Finally, it dawned upon him that physical austerity is one of the two extremes, and that the ‘Middle Way between these two extremes is the path to enlightenment.
Having gained enlightenment, Gautama came to be called Shakyamuni, or the silent lion, indicating the explosive potential he carried within himself.
After he became enlightened, he taught that the way to eliminate suffering begins with understanding the true nature of the world. However, the Buddha considered knowledge important only insofar as it remains practical. He rejected speculation about such matters as God, the nature of the universe, and the afterlife, urging his followers to focus instead on the Four Noble Truths by which they can free themselves from suffering.
“One thing I teach: suffering and the end of suffering.
It is just ill and the ceasing of ill that I proclaim.”
– The Buddha
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Burton is a seasoned finance banker, with expertise in regional corporate financing and offshore investments. The author resides in Kuwait, and has been writing articles for various industry magazines and blog post for a number of years. Equity research Dubai | Mezzanine Dubai