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Updated September 10, 2022

The Buddha as a Great Leader

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The Buddha as a Great Leader essay
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The Buddha is one of the more famous historical leaders on this planet. Originally named Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha lived from 563 -480 BCE and was the founder of the Buddhist religion in Ancient India and parts of what is now Nepal. The Buddha’s greatest achievement was his enlightenment which allowed him to proceed in the creation of Buddhism. The Buddha proved to be an excellent leader through his commitment to his beliefs, his courage to introduce his own ideas to the world, as well as his ability to communicate his teachings to civilizations in the Eastern Hemisphere.

A good leader leads their people through passion in their beliefs and has a firm grasp on the ways of the human mind. The Buddha was an extremely effective leader as he created one of the world’s first religions which continues to be practiced by millions of people. The life of Buddha can be hard to follow as it is a mixture of history and legend. Most of the world did not know the Buddha to be a real figure until finding evidence at his place of birth in Lumbini which is now Southern Nepal in the year 563 BCE. All the Buddha’s early life was spent encapsulated by luxury and indulgences that one may find trouble imagining. His father was his only parental figure because his mother allegedly died seven days after his birth. His father made sure that his son would live in a world of treasures and be blind to the pain and suffering that existed outside the palace.

The practice of meditation for the Buddha began at quite a young age, before he even got married, typically taking place under a tree, which is significant to his story later on. When he turned sixteen years old, he married a princess by the name of Yashodhara, who was known to be a very beautiful woman. After 29 years of being protected from the world outside the palace, the Buddha requested of his father a ride through the city, which is one of the most important events of his early life. His father, the king, did not deny this request, however, he made sure that the sick and old would not be seen by his son during the ride. Although his father attempted to hide any sort of negative aspect of the world, he lost tract of an old man who they rode upon. This was the first time the Buddha had ever seen any sort of suffering, which produced many questions about the real world.

As the Buddha’s life in the city of Kapilavastu continued he became exposed to more sickness and death leading him to the desire to escape the city and go to the forest. His wife gave birth to his child and seven days later the Buddha left for the woods, much to his father’s dismay, thus leading to the second major event of his life. During his first years in the forest the Buddha learned meditation, joined a group of ascetics, and ultimately vowed not to leave until achieving enlightenment. During one of the years in May, the Buddha chose to sit under a tree and remain there until he found the state “beyond birth and death.”

Throughout the first night, the Buddha was said to have been tested by the gods through three watches that showed him his past, illuminated karma and rebirth, as well as finally being liberated from suffering, which is greatest achievement. He made a promise to the god, Mara, to spread what he had learned under the tree and when his teachings were finished, he would pass on to nirvana. He stayed in that exact location for seven years before leaving to accomplish his goal. The next major event of the Buddha’s life occurred after he left the tree and found his first disciples, who he would spread his beliefs to first. He taught these men, the same five ascetics, the “Four Noble Truths” and the “Eightfold Path.” These first teachings gave way to the formation of the sangha, the “community of monks.”

After leaving the forest, the Buddha gained many more disciples and finally heard from his father, who disapproved of his change in ways. He returned to Kapilavastu, but soon left to complete the task that would ultimately lead him to nirvana. The next forty-five years of the Buddha’s life was spent trekking India alongside his disciples teaching dharma, practice of reguge, the five precepts, and meditation. At the age of 80 he had come to terms with the idea that he had fulfilled his promise to Mara and it was time to pass on to Nirvana and he died in Kusinara. The Buddha’s commitment to his promise to spread his teachings his one of his most powerful attributes as a historical leader. His commitment was not only displayed during the period of “Post-Enlightenment,” but also during his enlightenment. He vowed that he would not leave that tree in the forest until he reached enlightenment and was liberated from all suffering.

After being liberated, he remained for seven years. Upon leaving the tree, he returned to the five men who had abandoned and ridiculed him to tell them what he has learned. He did not give in to any of the pleasure or luxuries that had defined his childhood, and in fact chose to lead his followers throughout all of India for the rest of his life. The power behind the Buddha’s focus toward his teachings is extremely admirable because that is what he devoted the larger part of his life to. He wanted people to know about what he found under the tree in the forest because that is what he believed was the correct path toward freedom from suffering. His commitment showed how effective of a leader he was because is teachings are still taught to the youth today. He sacrificed a life of riches, health, and luxury so he could spread a message of truth and peace, exemplifying his selflessness as a leader and a person.

The Buddha’s commitment to his teachings has greatly affected his character as the religion of Buddhism seems to focus on one’s character. The Buddha’s passion towards his teachings led him to push boundaries in Ancient Asia. His deeds proved courageous as they opposed the beliefs that were pushed on him by his father. The Buddha proceeded in his teachings even though his father was openly against them. He was extremely charismatic as disciples were continuously attracted to his teachings through his entire life. One example from his biography is his teaching of the “Four Noble Truths” which included the truth of suffering and that everybody grows old, that suffering is a consequence of misdeeds performed in past lives, also known as kharma.

The final two truths was the truth of nirvana, “a state beyond suffering, birth, and death” and finally that the route towards nirvana includes practice in “ethics, meditation, and wisdom.” Another example are the five precepts that the Buddha taught also exhibit is integrous character as the taught not to kill, steal, lie, use intoxicants, and perform sexual misconduct. The Buddha’s character is an excellent example of why he was a good leader because he taught his lesson ethically and positively throughout India.

Finally, the Buddha’s ability to communicate his teachings through organized collections of rules and precepts shows his effectiveness as a leader. One example of this capacity was his ability to make the ascetics give up their practice of self-mortification and focus on the lessons he learned during the Enlightenment. He was so adept at skills in communication that these men followed him and became the first of his many disciples. The Buddha’s ability to have his first followers be the last people to abandon displays his strength to communicate his lessons and ultimately prove his effectiveness as a leader. He did not try to gain the trust of these men through fear or threats, but rather through lessons and truth which I believe says a lot about his capability as a leader.

An instance of Buddha’s ability to explain his lessons through organized rules is his Eightfold Path. This teaching involves how the path toward enlightenment includes correctness in “view, attitude, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and meditation.” The elements of this path show how the Buddha’s capacity skills led to his success as a leader because they have remained prominent many years after his death as well as simplify his thoughts into a form that is easy to understand. Buddha’s commitment, character, and capacity skills all interacted with each other to make himself a very successful leader. His commit toward his goal of promoting ethics, positivity, and good character in an organized and courageous fashion allowed him to attract followers.

I believe the most useful part of the Buddha’s leadership traits was his commitment to the goal of spreading his teachings until passing on to nirvana. His commitment can be seen in his character and capacity skills because he never gave up and sacrificed all of his riches for a life of humility and wisdom. His leadership ability puts the human mind into perspective as the only thing he wanted was to learn more about living a complete life and spreading what he learned so people all over the world could live the same way. Buddhism is still one of the major religions in Asia, and a leader such as the Dalai Lama is an excellent example of how the Buddha’s teachings have been preserved. Even people from other religions have resorted to Buddhism to live a life that they believed to be more honest and peaceful. He was an excellent leader and I believe his lessons will live on.

The Buddha as a Great Leader essay

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FAQ

Is the Buddha a religious leader?
Followers of Buddhism don't acknowledge a supreme god or deity. They instead focus on achieving enlightenment—a state of inner peace and wisdom. When followers reach this spiritual echelon, they're said to have experienced nirvana. The religion's founder, Buddha, is considered an extraordinary being, but not a god .
What are the good qualities of Buddha?
The merits are acts of sharing, ethical morality, patience, renunciation, wisdom, diligence, truthfulness, determination, loving-kindness and equanimity . He perfected these to the most difficult and advanced level. He shared not only material things in His past lives but also His limbs and life.
What are the main points and principle of leadership in Buddhism philosophy?
There are five main areas: 1) Achieve the goals set 2) Motivate and inspire 3) Strive towards a common goal 4 Influence the work of the follower 5) Persuade followers to work with confidence .
What kind of leadership is Buddhism?
For Buddhists, leadership is closely associated with education and training . In order to cultivate one's mind and travel the path to liberation, it is necessary to rely upon a teacher. The teacher, who may be female or male, serves as a guide on the path and thereby leads the way to enlightenment.
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