Tibetan Buddhism claims there have only been four Buddhas who have lived upon the earth, although there have been thousands, and the last was Buddha Shakyamuni. They claim he lived around 500 BC, although it is very probable that he lived a thousand years earlier. Therefore, for over three thousand years, Buddhists have been waiting for the arrival of the next Buddha, Maitraiya, and if they do not change course they will be waiting forever.
I considered myself to be a Buddhist by the time I was fifteen. That was fifty years ago, and over the years, I met many very dedicated Buddhists, and they spoke of others, much more dedicated. Everyone was very dedicated to the practice, and the amazing thing is, that by following the practices of Mahayana or Hinayana Buddhism, no one has achieved the enlightened state in thousands of years. The sad fact is, no matter how long they practice, no matter how long they continue to follow the Buddhist teaching, the result will be the same.
I am not a Buddhist any more, but in the beginning was taught to question everything, and come to an understanding of the unquestioned truth. I have never stopped questioning, but found that now-a-days, one cannot question the doctrine without raising their ire.
Within the Buddhist Sadhana’s or practices are the recitations of a variety of Sanskrit mantras that have very stupid English translations, but please understand, they are no better in any other language. I have translated everyone that I used to recite and stupid me, I thought they would be interested, but no, they were not. The reason no Buddhist will attain the enlightened state is simple; they do not know what the mantras say. The mantras are the knowledge to become enlightened and the funny or sad thing is, Buddhists claim the superiority of them yet have no idea what they say.
Obviously, I have digressed a bit from the purpose of this follow-up post, where previously, I put forth the idea that the last Buddha to walk the earth, Buddha Shakyamuni, must have lived about a thousand years earlier than believed. There are other scholars with the same belief, so it is not so far fetched. There has been a huge loss of knowledge over the last few thousand years. The Rigveda is considered the root of Hinduism, but is closer to the root of Buddhism. It is widely believed to have been written by 1500 BC, although some writers put it many thousands of years earlier. Whatever the case, Buddha Shakyamuni is of the Gotama, or Gautama Family, and they are associated with the Rigveda.
Buddha’s father is said to be King Shuddodana. A King is a title for one who has mastered the Sacred Teaching and becomes a Buddha. The word “shudda” in Sanskrit means purified, complete, faultless, and “udana” refers to the five vital airs within the body or emitting a breath upwards, an important practice for purification. King Shuddodana was an Angira, a Rishi, and eventually a Buddha.
Shakyamuni had the two birth names of Angirasa and Siddhartha, and after attaining the title of a Buddha, the titles of the Awakened One, the Master, Prince, Guide, and so on were added to the list. The word “Siddha” in Sanskrit means one who is accomplished or perfected or in other words, a Buddha, and a strange name to be given at birth. Before becoming enlightened, Siddhartha married Yashodhara and they had a son who they named Rahu, in honor of Siddhartha’s earthly grandfather, Gotama Rahugana.
Gotama Rahugana is said to have had two children, Nodhas and Vamadeva Gautama, and all three composed Sacred Verses in the Rigveda. In the Sanskrit Dictionary you will find that “Gautama” refers to Shakyamuni, Nodhas, and Vamadeva. Since Shakyamuni is closely connected to the Rahugana family, he must have lived at the same time.
It is curious and confusing, but here are words of wisdom from Gotama Rahugana for enjoying the day with Brahma for the confused and suffering.