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By David J. Kalupahana

The current paintings has, considering that its unique e-book in 1976, provided an unequaled advent to the philosophical ideas and historic improvement of Buddhism. Now, representing the end result of Dr. Kalupahana's thirty years of scholarly study the mirrored image, 'A background of Buddhist Philosophy' builds upon and surpasses that previous paintings, delivering a totally reconstructed, particular research of either early and later Buddhism.

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Instead, his enlightenment can be considered the combination of a mature response to the traditional learning that he received as a student and a penetrating understanding of human life and the nature of existence. Doubts have been raised about whether the Buddha was married and had a family because there are no specific references to these matters in the early discourses. Yet his own statements regarding the luxuries his father provided in order to keep him tied to a household life do not rule out the possibility of his having married (a woman named Yasodhará) and fathered a son (Ráhula).

The opposite bank was a hub of ritual activities where ascetics and brahmans performed fire sacrifices and the like. Seated under a ficus tree, which subsequently became famous as the bodhi tree or “tree of enlightenment,” Siddhârtha decided to revert to the meditational practices he had cultivated under the tutelage of ÀJâra Kâlâma and Uddaka Râmaputta. These yogic exercises, as mentioned earlier, were intended to appease the mind. Continuing with these exer­ cises rather vigorously, he was able to move onto a stage beyond what he had experienced earlier.

Being a 24 EARLY B U D D H IS M faithful wife in a traditional family, Yasodharâ no doubt realized the need to support her husband’s ideology, and thus remained a docile part­ ner in Siddhartha’s quest for answers to the riddle of existence. The leg­ end about Siddhàrtha’s leaving home while his wife and new born baby were asleep, while highlighting the emotional stress in his renunciation, also symbolizes Yasodharà’s acceptance of her husband’s decision. Any other interpretation of his renunciation would do violence to the charac­ ter of a person who propounded an extremely enlightened form of love and compassion for oneself as well as others.

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