The Identity of the Buddha - An interwoven combination of the historical, doctrinal and legendary identities: these can only be isolated artificially - the “personhood” of the Buddha (ie. a “real person”, an emanation of a “cosmic force”) changes over places and time - the Buddha’s biography is a “blueprint for” and a “reflection of” Buddhists of all types - he was shielded from the world behind palace walls by his father represents the extreme of luxury and the illusion of permanence - the four signs: old, sick, dead, wanderer - the first three represent the actual nature of cyclic existence and the fourth, the only of its escape - the turning point (in some texts) viewing the sleeping women of his harem and the Buddha was repulsed by their ugliness - represents the impermanence of beauty (or all phenomena) and that all phenomena are a result on causes and conditions - all this contributed to some sense of disillusionment with the pleasures of life - the Buddha left his father, palace, wife and son at the age of 29
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