Inebriat1 - Lucy Chen XC567 Essay#2 Buddhism The life of...

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Lucy Chen XC567 10/15/09 Essay #2: Buddhism The life of Buddha, as it is presented in The Buddhacarita , is a recollection of Buddha’s life, from his miraculous birth, to his search and attainment of Enlightenment, to his years as a teacher. The text is used, not as a source of historical facts and events, but as a vessel to communicate his teachings, convictions, and views to those who wish to learn from him. Unlike many deities in other religions (i.e. Shiva and Vishnu in Hinduism), the Buddha is distinct in that great emphasis is placed on portraying him as a “human, as a teacher, and as a being with attributes of divinity” (class documents). Buddha’s narrative way of teaching begins with his birth as the son to King Shuddhodhana and Queen Maya. One can say that evidences of the Buddha’s divine qualities are best shown in the miraculous circumstances involving his birth. There are many signs that suggest Sarvârthasiddha as the Bodhisattva who will be destined to “attain full Awakening” and “release the world of bondage” (Bc 2.75). The Bodhisattva came, not from his mother’s womb, but from the side of her body, and “gleamed as if he had fallen from heaven,” and because he had perfected himself “over untold eons,” his mind was “fully aware and not oblivious.” (Bc 1.11). Despite being just born, the child was able to take seven “firm” steps, and was able to utter the words, “I am born for Awakening, for the welfare of the world; this is the last coming into existence for me!” (Bc 1.15). There are many more signs, such as the blooming of flowers that are out of season, the raining of lotuses from the sky, and the rejoicing of the gods in the heavens. These unworldly events are a harbinger of the Bodhisattva’s eventual attainment of the
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