As a child, the life of Buddha was the prince of a tribal king. He had many luxuries and was very protected. Buddha was gifted three lotus ponds with different colors of blooms. As a teenager, the life of Buddha was luxurious. He had the finest of everything and was shielded from pain or errors within the world. He was always surrounded by women and pleasure in order to not go down the religious path and to become a great leader. He fell in love with his cousin and they married. I think that Buddha chose the path toward enlightenment because he got tired of being protected and wanted more than just the pleasure.
The four signs that propelled him were: seeing an old man, seeing a sick man, seeing a dead body, and a monk escaping it all. His early path once he left the palace was meeting a god and rejecting his destiny to be a ruler. He cut his hair and changed his clothes. He was a homeless beggar who lived in the forest.
Buddha’s objections to Hinduism were that the gods were less important than the rituals. There was a missing piece and no spiritual feeling. He wanted a way to end suffering that seemed to be unending, enlightenment. He rejected asceticism because the torture did not remove his cravings and he only focused on his body at that point. He still did not have an answer.
Mara is the lord of desire who was shown earlier when Buddha first left. Mara is depicted as a scary monster with many arms. Mara changes from red to green colors. His army of devils attacked but the arrows turned into flowers and Mara sent women to seduce him. Mara is afraid Buddha will be rid the world of desire. Despite Mara’s attempt to deny him, Buddha achieved enlightenment because he denied desire and touched the earth, causing an earthquake for Mara.
The Middle Way is balancing everything in your life, everything in moderation. The Four Noble Truths are that there is suffering/ dissatisfaction, our mind causes this, if you understand the cause of suffering, you can stop it → desire, and the noble eightfold path. The Noble Eightfold Path is “moral discipline, mindfulness, and wisdom.” It is also a choice of lifestyles that you can choose specifically to fit you.
The types of desire that lead to unhappiness and suffering are materialistic goods, seduction, and wanting something more than anything. Ignorance lead to unhappiness because you create this false realm where you are unaware of the greatness of life and earth. You shield the truth with ignorance and desire.
If someone was to ask me to describe Buddhism, then I would describe it as a type of meditation. It involves balance in your life, where you still life your life to the fullest but you are conscious of your actions. You must celebrate the Earth and try to focus on the beauty and positivity of life.