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Word Count: 470
One of the things that I found to be very interesting while studying ancient India was religion There are two main religions practiced in India Hinduism and Buddhism It was Buddhism that I found to be most interesting A man named Siddhartha Gautama founded Buddhism He was born around 480 BCE He did not claim to be a God and has never been regarded as one by Buddhists He was a human who became Enlightened understanding life in the deepest possible way He was later called the Buddha It is not a name but a title that means one who is awake in the sense of having woken up to reality Siddharta was born into the royal family of a small kingdom on the Indian- Nepalese border The traditional story is that he had a sheltered upbringing never leaving the palace and not knowing about the real world He was jolted out of this when he left the palace and learnd that the world included the harsh reality of old age sickness and death He left home to follow the traditional path of the wandering holy man a seeker after truth He practiced meditation under various teachers and took to asceticism Eventually he practiced austerities so severe that he was on the point of death but he was still far away from true understanding He decided to abandon this path and to look into his own heart and mind He sat down beneath the pipal tree and vowed that flesh may wither blood may dry up but I shall not rise from this spot until Enlightenment has been won After forty days the Buddha finally attained Enlightenment Buddhists believe he attained a state of being that goes beyond anything else in the world If normal experience is based on conditions - upbringing psychology opinions perceptions and so on - Enlightenment is Unconditioned It was a state in which the Buddha gained Insight into the deepest
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