The word buddha can be translated as "the awake" or "the enlightened one", it is also the title that is used at the first awakening of an era or yuga.
About 2,500 years ago, around 550 BC. He was born in the republic of Sakia (near the current border between the state of Uttar Pradesh in India and Nepal) a prince named Siddharta Gautama, who was later known as the Buddha Gautama Sakiamuni.
The Buddhist tradition tells us that Siddhartha was born in the gardens of Lumbini. His father, King Sudodana, wanted to protect him from the knowledge of the existence of suffering, so he grew up surrounded by luxuries and privileges, wore silk clothes, had several servants and a multitude of maidens, dancers and musicians for their entertainment. Of slender and delicate constitution, I enjoy a privileged education. At 16 his father arranged his marriage with his cousin Yasodhara, of whom he had a son named Rahula.
The four encounters
During their furtive outings to the city, the so-called "four encounters" took place, in which the future Buddha concluded that material wealth could not be the goal of life. The first encounter with the harsh reality of life happened after leaving the eastern door of the palace and glimpse an old man. In his second encounter with suffering, Gautama went out through the southern door, and this time he encountered a sick person. On another occasion, after crossing the western door, he discovered a corpse. And finally, their fourth meeting happened when they crossed the northern door, before which they met a religious begging.
The great resignation
The awakening of the consciousness of suffering had a great impact on Siddhartha, and so at the age of 29, Siddhartha decided to leave his family to attain enlightenment. Initially he went to Rajagaha and began his ascetic life by begging in the streets. After this first stage, Siddhartha decides to practice meditation and yoga in his intense search for enlightenment, however, he soon feels dissatisfied with his first teachers. After that, a pilgrimage begins, which they take from one teacher to another, achieving ever higher states of consciousness.
The ascetic life
Without achieving his goal of enlightenment, he decides to harden his asceticism to a degree of mortification. One day when he was about to take a bath in the river, his strength was lacking after so much deprivation, and he almost drowned. At that point in his path of inner evolution, Siddhartha comes to two conclusions, on the one hand, he recognizes that extreme asceticism does not lead to total liberation. On the other hand, he realizes that no teacher was able to teach him anything else. In this way he makes the determination not to continue looking for enlightenment in external sources, focusing on his interior, on his own internal wisdom.
In this way Siddhartha becomes aware of what is now known in Buddhism as the middle way, a path away from the extremes of mortification and hedonism. Thus, on a full moon night, Siddhartha sits under a fig tree and meditates with the determination not to rise until he finds enlightenment.
Facing such a challenge, Mara, the god of illusion, or that negative part that lives in each individual and that through ignorance builds the illusion that inhabits the human mind itself and prevents it from seeing beyond its own Ego; he wants to avoid at any price that Siddhartha succeeds in destroying the Ego and thus attain Nirvana or wisdom.
For this he sends Siddharta a series of temptations that will tie him to his Ego. However, Gautama manages to transcend every temptation of the Ego, allowing himself to see with total clarity the intricate chain of causes and effects that govern life. In addition, in the so-called first watch of the night, he has access to the information of his past lives, to the also known Akashic records. In the second vigil manages to awaken the third eye, or divine vision. Thus, at dawn Siddharta managed to penetrate the omniscient knowledge, understanding the nature of human suffering and its close connection with ignorance and the Ego. Reaching total freedom or enlightenment, entering the state of consciousness called Nirvana, leaving behind the state of consciousness of the kingdom of Mara.