found what he was looking for.
One day he went off by himself, had a meal, and sat down under a pipal tree and vowed not to arise until he understood the meaning of life. He sat there for an entire week, day and night.
On the eighth morning he came to the realization which became the founding principles of what we know as Buddhism.
Bodhi Day is usually observed on either the 8th of December or the previous Sunday. This is the date of Prince Siddhartha Gautama's realization of what is known as the Four Noble Truths.
- The first truth is that all beings are subject to suffering and no-one escapes.
- The second truth is that the cause of suffering is ignorance, and ignorance of oneself is the greatest ignorance.
- The third truth is that ignorance can be overcome.
- The fourth truth is that the way to overcome ignorance is the Eightfold Path.
From that moment onward he was referred to as the Buddha, or the Enlightened One.
The Eightfold Path is also known as the Buddha-Dharma, or the realization within one's deepest consciousness of the Oneness of all life.
The components of this path are:
- Right Views, namely to keep ourselves free from prejudice, superstition and delusion, and to see the true nature of life.
- Right Thoughts, which means to turn away from the hypocrisies of this world and to direct our minds toward Truth and Positive Attitudes and Action.
- Right Speech, which means to speak kindly and courteously to all, and to refrain from pointless and harmful talk.
- Right Conduct, which means to ensure that our deeds are peaceful, benevolent, compassionate and pure, and to do this and live the rest of the Teachings daily.
- Right Livelihood, which means to earn our living in such a way that there are no evil consequences. We need to seek the employment to which can give our complete enthusiasm and devotion.
- Right Effort. This means that we need to direct our efforts continually to overcoming craving desires as well as ignorance.
- Right Mindfulness. This requires us to cherish good and pure thoughts, because all that we say and do arise from our thoughts.
- Right Meditation. We need to concentrate on the Oneness of all life and the Buddhahood that exists within all beings.