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Who Is Buddha?

The word Buddha is a Sanskrit word which refers to a person who has achieved a perfect state of life that is characterized by boundless wisdom and compassion. It also refers to a person who has awakened to the true nature of life and the universe. When people say, Buddha, they often think of the historical Buddha names Siddhartha Gautama who was born in India 2,500 years ago. He is a prince of the Shakya clan but he gave up his worldly possessions in search for a solution to the numerous problems that people in his time faced. He has taught people values in life through stories and parables. Such teachings, as they were transferred from one country to another country, have been interpreted or were influenced by the different cultures and practices of many countries. Such differences accounts for the many different sects of Buddhism at present time.

However, one of the Buddhist sects in Japan, called Nichiren Buddhism explains that the highest teachings of the historical Buddha can be found on the Lotus Sutra. The Lotus Sutra comprised the teachings of Shakyamuni in the last 8 years of his life. The Lotus Sutra teaches that all people have the capacity to become Buddha. Thus, the real message of the historical Buddha explains that everyone contain infinite possibilities in the depths of their lives that would enable them to solve their problems and turn challenges into something that can make them improve their lives, enabling them to attain absolute happiness.

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