"The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help you are freed."
should know. Born into the lap of luxury as a member of the royal family in India, Buddha left his posh existence and everything he had come to know at the age of 29 to search for the true meaning of life. Seeking and finally attaining Enlightenment in Gaya under the Bodhi tree, Buddha spent the balance of his life traveling the countryside, preaching so that others could follow the same path, one that uncovers the true nature and essence of life.
For more than 45 years Buddha
traveled the far reaches of the Gangetic Plain in what is now southern Nepal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, teaching anyone who he came across, from the nobles to the outcasts and street dwellers. In contrast to the caste system in place with Hinduism, Buddha's teachings had no hierarchy - all were equal and all could achieve Enlightenment through meditation, reflection and other techniques.
Buddhism is the fourth largest religion today, with more than 376 million followers worldwide, including such luminaries as Richard Gere
, Steven Seagal
, Kate Bosworth
, Tina Turner
, Steve Jobs
, Orlando Bloom
and the Dali Lama
The followers of Buddhism do not worship any God and follow the noble eightfold path to a meaningful existence: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Right View and Right Intention are the path of wisdom. Right Speech, Rich Action and Right Livelihood form the path of ethical conduct. Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration are the mental path that helps followers cut through delusion and attain Enlightenment.