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    Buddha's Prophecies

        To begin with I would like to narrate a brief biography of Buddha.

        Buddha (563?-483? BC) was a divine messenger, founder of Buddhism. He was born in Kapilavastu, India, just inside present-day Nepal. He was the son of the head of the Sakya warrior caste.

        Yielding to his father's wishes, he married at an early age with his cousin. One day he violated the king's orders by sneaking outside the royal palace. There he saw the four sights that were his inspiration to become an ascetic: an aged man, a sick man, a corpse, and finally an ascetic. He suddenly and deeply realized that suffering is the common lot of humankind. Buddha found his carefree, self-indulgent existence dull, so at age twenty nine, he left his home, his possessions, his wife Yasodhara, his son Rahula and his entire family, to take up the lonely life of a wandering monk in search of enlightenment. He tried to find such enlightenment through complete deprivation of worldly goods, including food, and became a complete ascetic. After nearly starving himself to death, he was given food by a countrywoman and then realized that ascetic practices were not a way to enlightenment, so he taught that all the extremes should be avoided, urging his followers to follow the Majjhima Patipada –middle path- which leads to enlightenment through just such avoidance of extremes. Buddha proposed a 'middle way' in thought, word and action.

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        He was against hedonism, –which is a philosophy that gives pleasure a central role-, asceticism, ritualism, extreme spiritualism, the caste system, the attainment and practice of occult powers –siddhis-, worship of deities through yaga and yagna –highly complicated sacrificial fire rituals-, tantra –form of worship where ritualistic forms are involved- and mantras –sacred syllables or words which connect you to a certain source of spiritual energy- offered to deities. He was against all this, because the Yugadharma –Spiritual Law for this era (Kali Yuga)- states that all those practices should be avoided. This is God's Will.

        At the age of thirty five, while sitting under a banyan tree near Buddh Gaya, he experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi; this is a spiritual enlightenment to some extent, not total illumination. He revealed the way towards the state of Nirvana –extinction of bonds and desires-.

        Let's move on to the prophecies of Buddha. He, among others, told his disciples in a text called the Diamond Sutra that every 2500 years, there is a period of intense chaos and strife as the Dharma Wheel –Wheel of the Divine Law- starts a new revolution. At that time, the Wheel is once more set in motion and with it, an entirely new phase in the evolution of consciousness on Earth.

        Two thousand five hundred years ago, exceptional highly evolved souls emerged simultaneously all over the planet; also Buddhism, Taoism, Jainism, Confucianism and Zoroastrianism came into existence at that time. In India,

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    Buddha, founder of Buddhism and Mahavira, founder of Jainism, took birth. In Greece, Heraclitus of Ephesus, who was one of the founders of Greek metaphysics; Socrates, great philosopher who profoundly affected Western philosophy. His criticism of injustice in Athenian society led to his prosecution and a death sentence for allegedly corrupting the youth of Athens; Plato, one of the most creative and influential thinkers in Western philosophy, who was the first to use the term philosophy, which means 'love of knowledge'; Aristotle, philosopher and scientist who surveyed and systematized nearly all the extant branches of knowledge and provided the first ordered accounts of physics, biology, psychology and literary theory. In addition, he invented the field known as formal logic; Pythagoras, philosopher and mathematician, whose doctrines strongly influenced Plato founded a movement with religious, political, and philosophical aims, known as Pythagoreanism; in Persia Zoroaster was born, he was a religious prophet, founder of a great Middle East religion called Zoroastrianism; in China the philosopher Lao Tzu founded Taoism, who was the author of a great philosophical treatise called the Tao-te Ching (Classic of the Way and Its Virtue), which has had an enormous influence on Chinese thought and culture; Chuang Tzu, thinker in classical Chinese philosophy of central importance to Taoism and Sosan, renowned Zen master.

        It is important to remark that four major religious orders of Buddhism –though many do not consider it as a religion-, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and the

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    spiritual rebirth of Jainism all appeared together. Buddha predicted that the next turn of the Dharma Wheel, would see an unprecedented change in man of a magnitude never before reached in the history of the species. We exist exactly at that marvelous time.

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