How did Buddha achieve enlightenment?. The start.
Who was Buddha before he was… well, Buddha? Buddha started out as prince Siddhartha Gautama, son of a king. When he was a youth he had all he could want for and more. He was ignorant to the world outside his castle, as his father had denied him of any views of suffering.
But then Siddhartha asked to have a trip outside the castle…
On the trip out side the castle, Siddhartha saw 4 things that changed his views on life forever. They were:
When Buddha got home to the castle, he was distraught form the sights he had seen. So after the day had gone, he went outside again, cut off his hair, gave his clothes to his manservant and left the castle and vowed not to come back until he had reached enlightenment- a state where you are at peace with yourself.
The first place Buddha went on his journey was to see two monks who were masters in the art of meditation. He stayed there for a while until he realised this was not the way to achieve his goal. So he wandered again and found 5 men, all who were depriving themselves of what they wanted so that they would be susceptible to bigger thoughts.
So Buddha followed their beliefs and deprived him of the thing he wanted the most- food. He starved himself for many years, until he collapsed into a river whilst washing and almost drowned. He then realised that this wasn’t the path to enlightenment either, so started to eat as he had done before. His companions shunned him, so he went away.
When Buddha left his companions, he went to a very big tree and vowed not to leave it until he had reached enlightenment. However, a demon was determined to stop Buddha from reaching enlightenment, so he tried to tempt him with his three beautiful daughters. But that didn’t work, so the demon tried again with many dirty tricks. But Buddha wouldn't respond.
When the demon gave up his troubles, Buddha discovered something that he realised was vital to reach enlightenment: not fearing death. He also realised that there where three things that lead to suffering: Hate, Greed and stupidity. Thus he achieved enlightenment.
By Ben Butterworth.