The Origin of Buddhism

"My religion is to live and die without regret."

Milarepa

Buddhism founder - Siddhartha Gautama

Siddhartha Gautama was born more than 2500 years ago in the small kingdom of Lumbini in a region that is today called Nepal. At birth, he received the name Siddhartha which means 'the one who achieves his purpose'. At the celebration marking his birth, a monk arrived and declared that the child will one day become either a great king or a great holy man. On the fifth day of the festivities, a naming ceremony took place to which the king invited eight pious men to foretell the future of the child. They all prophesied the same outcome that he would be either a great king or holy man. The youngest of the seers, however, said that he would be the Buddha. The king, anxious about the meaning of the prophecy, prevented the boy from receiving spiritual education and from being exposed to any human suffering for he wanted his son to grow up to be a great king.

The Buddha

Siddhartha lived a life of privilege, abundance, and delight until the age of 29. He got married, had a son but despite all the wealth and the fact that his father provided for all his imaginable desires and needs, he sensed that this was not his path. At the age of 29, Siddhartha departed from protective walls of the castle intending to meet his subjects. Despite the efforts of his father to rid the route, Siddhartha took of all the suffering elderly and sick, Siddhartha inevitably encountered an old man. The sight troubled him, especially when he heard that all humans are destined to get old and to die. On subsequent trips from the castle, Siddhartha encountered further infirmities, a corpse, and an ascetic. The things he saw shook him to the core and so he fled the safety of the castle with the intention of living a life of self-mortification. He wanted to find a solution to the suffering caused by old age, sickness, and death.


Dharma pendant Dharma pendant Inlaid Buddhi
                    ring silver Inlaid Buddhi
                    ring gold

Buddhist Jewelry by the artist David Weitzman

The Dharma pendant and Inlaid Buddhi ring  

Truth Seeker

The Prince Siddhartha became an ascetic and a seeker of alms. He became the disciple of several teachers from whom he learned spiritual practices. Although he took these teachings and practices to the pinnacle of his abilities, each time he left the teacher for he did not find that solution he was seeking. He joined a group of five spiritual seekers who were attempting to gain spiritual enlightenment by extreme denial of all material, worldly things including food. Close to death from starvation, he collapsed in the river while bathing and almost drowned. He began to realize that this too was not the right way. He remembered a time of happiness in his youth when he accompanied his father to observe the plowing of the fields. Although it was a pleasant day, Siddhartha could not help feeling pain for the creatures in the ground affected by the plowing. Siddhartha realized what would be called "the middle way" by which he understood that extreme asceticism and self-mortification is like tuning a string of a musical instrument too high - as a result, the string will break. The opposite way is an addiction to worldly pleasures being like loose strings that do not vibrate and thus cannot produce any sound. In order to be balanced, one must find the middle way between these two extremes.

Awakening

A girl wandering by saw his gaunt figure and thought he was the spirit of the river. She made an offering to him of rice pudding with milk. Siddhartha ate and recovered from his weakened state. His companions thought he had abandoned his quest and had lost his way and so departed his company. Siddhartha sat down under what is now known as the Buddhi tree in a region of India called Bodh-gaya and vowed not to rise until he uncovered the Truth. After 49 days of meditation, he became enlightened and fully aware. Henceforth he was known as 'Buddha', meaning, "The Awakened One". He discovered that the reason for human suffering is ignorance, and revealed the way to remove that suffering.

Buddhi Tree

The Four Noble Truths

The way to free oneself from the bonds of suffering is known as "The Four Noble Truths" and total liberation is known as Nirvana. Buddha worried that he would not be able to teach humanity the Dharma, the way to liberation. He observed humanity and saw them mired in illusion, desires, and hatred and he had grave doubts whether they could comprehend the truth of the Dharma, which was difficult to understand. He was told that there would be those few that would understand and so with compassion for all creatures, he began to teach.

The "Four Noble Truths" are:
The knowledge that suffering exists - life in this existence is full of suffering
The reason for suffering - suffering is caused by ignorance arising from lack of self-awareness and lack of basic knowledge of what is the reality.
It is possible to remove the causes of suffering.
The Dharma is the way of liberation from suffering.

The first truth is a way to diagnose the malady.
The second truth identifies the causes of the malady - our ignorance as to how to grasp the self and reality.
The third truth is the possibility of a remedy for the malady.
The fourth truth is the way to liberation.


Dharma Ring
Dharma Ring Silver and Gold

The Dharma Wheel - Eight Noble Path

These four truths lead us to the eight stages of liberation from Samsara, the wheel of birth and death and suffering. This is the way described by Buddha to attain peace and tranquility, to satiate desires and to arrive at a full awakening of the nature of reality. It is the way to rid oneself of the cravings for gain (objects), hatred and illusion. This way is known as the fourth way, the way represented by the wheel of Dharma - a wheel with eight spokes representing the eight elements of the way.

Dharma wheel

In the words of the Buddha himself the eight ways are:
Right view
Right intention and thinking
Right speech
Right action
Right manner of living (livelihood, occupation)
Right effort
Right mindfulness
Right concentration (attention)

These eight parts are connected to three other basic divisions:
The field (discipline) of reason (wisdom) - the connection (correlation) between right view and right intention.
The field of morals - right speech, action, and occupation (the way in which you sustain yourself).
The field of recognition - as manifest in right efforts, awareness, and attention.

These parts of the Way support one another. For example, is it up to the practitioner to understand beforehand what the reasoning behind all the world of phenomenon As soon as the first way, right view, arrives, the practitioner can continue on his journey to right intention and this, in turn, will lead to right speech and so on.

Right view: Right view (can also be translated as "right perspective", "right vision" or "right understanding". It is the right way of looking at life, nature, and the world as they really are. It is that which relates to suffering, to the root of suffering and to end it. Correct knowledge is also dependent on the personal strengths and abilities of the practitioner. An example of correct understanding: The law (principle) of Karma: for all actions of the body, of speech and of knowledge, there is a karmic result.

Understanding existence: all that is created will cease to exist, all phenomena are temporary and this is the source of suffering

Understanding suffering: old age, birth, sickness, pain, sadness, distress and despair are suffering. Longing and desire are the reasons for suffering and the end of yearning is the way to end suffering. Erroneous (mistaken) understanding, which arises from ignorance, leads to erroneous intentions, erroneous speaking, actions, and an erroneous way of life, efforts, awareness, and attention. The practitioner must make correct efforts in order to rid himself permanently of erroneous understanding. The purpose of correct understanding is to clear the path of all confusion, lack of understanding, and pitfalls of illusion.

Right intention: This is where the practitioner succeeds in permanently removing incorrect or immoral intentions. For instance, one can decide not to harm or cause suffering to any living thing. This is the use of will (power) to change immoral incorrect intentions. Renunciation of materialism obligates one to the path of spirituality and prevents one from causing harm to living things.

Right speaking: the right way to implement speech - abstaining from falsehoods, from disagreement, from humiliating speech, and from useless, futile words.

Right action: ethical action that does not harm or destroy others or oneself (for instance the taking of a life or stealing).

Right livelihood: refraining from participation in enterprises that directly or indirectly harm living beings (for example trade in weaponry or selling meat).

Right effort: constant effort to abandon all thoughts, words, and actions that are erroneous and harming. The practitioner diligently thinks, uses words and actions that are helpful to himself and others.

Right mindfulness: It is up to the practitioner to maintain wakeful awareness, which influences the consciousness and the body.

Correct concentration (attention): This refers to practices that enhance the ability to concentrate or focus the consciousness. For example, attention on breathing (the breath) or concentration on a specific object. Correct concentration (Samadhi) allows one to disengage (detach) from the five senses and to enter a meditative state. In this way, the practitioner can unfold intelligence (wisdom) and investigate by direct experience the true nature of the phenomenon. This way thwarts the polluting of consciousness, promotes experiencing the true nature of reality and ultimately leads to full awakening. During the course of right concentration, the practitioner must examine within himself the truth of his understanding. This process will unfold (germinate) right knowledge and in due course, he will attain liberation. With right view, the intention is towards uncovering and observing the essential truth of things, things as they are, and not how they appear to the eye and not according to how the practitioner wants to see them. Correct liberation is the result of correct knowledge. This is the result of the application of the way of Dharma. In this way, one can fully actualize (realized) and understand the essence of reality 


Summary

This article cover the basic principles of Buddhism which are the base for David's Buddhist jewelry designs. Each design is crafted to bring you the wearer a sense of aliveness, happiness, and insight into our true nature.


Awakening pendant Awakening pendant Sri Yantra pendant Sri Yantra pendant
Awakening pendant
Awakening pendant Sri Yantra Pendant
Sri Yantra Pendant




Buddhi Ring Buddhi Ring Lotus flower ring Lotus flower ring
Buddhi Ring gold
Buddhi Ring Silver
Lotus Ring Gold
Lotus Ring Silver






About the Author

David Weitzman

The jewelry artist David Weitzman combines ancient and sacred knowledge into a unique line of jewelry designed to bring people both beauty and inspiration. David's artwork harnesses the power of spiritual symbols and sacred geometry from around the world to bring those wearing this sacred jewelry happiness, vitality, excitement, and love.


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The Designer - David Weitzman

David Weitzman is the force behind Ka Gold Jewelry. David has a vast knowledge in the fields of Kabbalah, Sacred Geometry, Ancient Egyptian wisdom, Jewish tradition, Tibetan Buddhism and other sacred concepts. David's work harnesses the power of spiritual symbols to bring those wearing them happiness, vitality, excitement, success, and love.

The Artist - David Weitzman


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