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The Enlightenment of the Buddha

Length - 05:53
Published - Jan 2012
Keystage(s) - 3

The Enlightenment of the Buddha

Why do we get old, get ill and die? How can we escape from suffering? The story of how Prince Siddhartha Gautama left a life of luxury to embark on a search for the answers, and how he eventually became the Buddha – the Enlightened One.

Animation by Ceiren Bell

TrueTube films are designed for use in a number of ways. Some ideas of where this film could link to your curriculum are below:



Component 1: The study of religions - beliefs, teaching and practices: Buddhism - The Buddha’s life and its significance - The birth of the Buddha and his life of luxury.



Area of Study 1 – Section 1: Buddhist Beliefs -Buddhism -The life of the Buddha: the nature and history of the events in the life of the Buddha and why they are important to Buddhists today; including ancestry, birth, princely life, marriage, the Four Sights, including Buddhavamsa XXVI, the enlightenment of the Buddha and founding of the Sangha.



Buddhism-Beliefs and teachings & Practices (J625/04) - Buddha and Enlightenment • The life of Buddha •• The early life of Buddha •• The Four Sights •• Defeat of Mara •• Enlightenment •• Nibbana • Issues related to the life of Buddha, including the importance of Buddha for Buddhists in the modern world • Common and divergent emphases placed on the life of Buddha by different Buddhist groups •Different interpretations and emphases given to sources of wisdom and authority by different Buddhist groups



2.1 Unit 1 PART A - Part A - Core beliefs, teachings and practices Beliefs - The Buddha The Teachings of the Buddha  Types of suffering (dukkha); causes of suffering (tanha); enlightenment as the end of suffering (nirodha);  Following the Eightfold Path as a way to end suffering (magga) (Dhammapada 1, 5)  The three sections of the Eightfold Path – Wisdom (panna) right understanding, right intention  Morality (sila) right speech, right action, right livelihood  Meditation (samadhi) right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration  Challenges of living according to Buddhist teachings



Component 3 (Route A) - Option 1: Buddhism - The Buddha ➢ Stories of his early life: pre-birth, birth, prophecy, palace ➢ The Four Sights: old age, sickness, death, the holy man ➢ His Enlightenment following renunciation and meditation

The Enlightenment of the Buddha

And so the wheel turns. There's no escape from the wheel of life. There's no escape from suffering. Listen to me, Siddhartha. I am Mara, Lord of hell. I know what I'm talking about. But I've got to admire your determination. You've been sitting there for weeks hoping that a solution to life's problems will drop into your lap like a ripe fig. Give up now and save yourself the effort. Wiser men than you have tried and failed to find an answer. And you will fail too, Siddhartha. And so the wheel turns.

And yet it all looked so promising at the start. Born on the full moon of May, Prince Siddhartha Gautama. Asita, the seer, prophesied that you would grow up to be a great leader, either a king or a holy man. Of course, your father wanted you to be a king and reign after his death, not become some wandering fortune teller. So he decreed that you should live in luxury and never see the world of pain outside the palace, and so never see the need for religion.

And so the wheel turns. Silk and honeysuckle, sarangis and spice. Every sense was sated, but you still weren't satisfied. All you could do is ask questions. What is life? Why are we here? Is this all there is? And then one day you asked, what lies beyond the palace walls?

For the first time, you went out into the city, riding in a gilded carriage. But you wanted to see the city by yourself, so you escaped into the maze of alleyways, and you were horrified by what you saw. An old woman wrinkled, toothless and crooked. A man eaten up by disease, coughing and sweating, and covered in boils. Then by the banks of a river, a funeral procession. The dead body was carried to the water's edge and laid gently on a pile of wood. The family trailed behind, crying and wailing in their grief. You stayed until the pyre was lit, and watched as oily black smoke billowed to the sky. It was the end of your innocence. There is no point to life. All that happens is that you get old, get ill and die.

But on the way back to the palace, a holy man was sitting serenely at the side of the road, begging for alms. He had nothing, but he seemed at peace. Here, you thought, must be the answer. And so the wheel turns.

You left the palace in the dead of night and rode to the far reaches of the kingdom. You exchanged your robes for rags, and in a forest you found a group of five holy men. They were naked and dirty, unkempt and scrawny. They said that by making their bodies suffer, their spirits could be free. So you joined them and starved yourself until you were nothing but skull and sinew. Yet still there were no answers. And so the wheel turns.

A young woman came to give an offering to the forest gods, and thought she'd found a tree spirit. You took her food, and ate your fill, you gave up a life of comfort, and you gave up a life of suffering, but neither pleasure nor pain will give you the answer. And so the wheel turns through birth, youth, and to this moment, it will turn on through old age, illness and death. It will turn on through all your lives beyond, over and over again, in a never ending and meaningless cycle. And you will learn nothing. Experience will not give you the answer.

So, how long are you going to sit here? It's been 49 days. It's full moon again and the morning star is rising once more. What's this? A new idea forming. What's this fleeting thought I cannot grasp? It's there, on the edge of your consciousness. But getting closer. Show me. A middle way. What's that? You say life can never satisfy us because we always want more. You say the only way to achieve peace is to stop wanting. You say the answer is to sit at the centre of a wheel detached from the world that revolves around you. Only then can a person achieve peace. Brave words Siddhartha, but they are wasted. There is no one here to behold your enlightenment. No, the Earth itself is his witness. She conspires with Siddhartha to reject me. He has awoken. He is enlightened. He is the Buddha.

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