Today we celebrate the birthday of Siddhārtha Gautama, better known as the Buddha, or “Awakened One,” a wise sage who traveled India in search of truth and enlightenment. Born a prince with three palaces of his own, he had no need to travel outside the kingdom walls. But with a thirst for truth, he wandered, encountering people who were hungry, sick, and dying. This led him to question the purpose of our lives on Earth. Buddha made it his life’s mission to end suffering. He shared compassion with those around him and spread a message of virtue, peace, and respect for all living beings.
Buddha felt that his role was not exclusive. He once said, “All living beings have the Buddha nature.” That’s the part of us that is true, wise and pure, but it is up to each individual to question life and their role in it and to not simply follow teachings blindly. “No one saves us but ourselves. We ourselves must walk the path.”
It’s not about preaching what is true and right, but actually putting those lessons into practice and living a life filled with compassion that brings you in touch with your true nature—your Buddha nature. Here are a few wise words from Buddha, which remind us that life is transient and fleeting. Let’s make the most of each day, and bring peace into our own corners of the world. Start with yourself and the people closest to you.
“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”