On a facebook page, there is a section for friends, during this time, who could I write as friends of Buddha? I need four people that could possibly be friends with Buddha. Also with these four people, how will they talk to Buddha, what will they talk about? These kind of things. Thanks!
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He might have been friends with his meditation teachers Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta - although the legend goes that alara passed away before the Buddha's achievement of nirvana. Among his disciples we might mention Ananda, his personal attendant, and Shariputra, one of his chief disciples. His aunt / foster mother, Mahaprajapati, is also a good candidate, especially since she is credited with convincing the Buddha to ordain the first nuns. Finally, his son, Rahula, and his wife, Yashodhara, also make good choices; Buddhist tradition also holds that they became his followers.
The previous post alluded to some excellent ideas. I think you might want to include a picture of a very old and thin man. In the Buddhist thought, Siddhartha began his process of examining the nature of human consciousness when he saw an old man dying outside of his palace. This was the first moment when he began to contemplate the nature of existence, for he became aware of his own condition of mortality. At the same time, I would include a picture of the Bodhi tree. This was the place where he sat, meditated, and achieved Enlightenment, and was filled with gratitude for the shelter it gave to him. There are many in Hinduism that believe that Buddha was actually an avatar or manifestation of Lord Vishnu. In this light, the other avatars of Vishnu could be listed as "friends," such as Rama, Krishna, Varaha, Matsya, Kurma, Vamana, Parasurama, and Kalki.
This is a wonderful assignment because it will require some imagination on your part. There are two approaches you might take.
First, Buddha was born in 624 B.C., so you need to think about who else might have been alive at that period. Zoroaster, who founded a Persian religion, was a contemporary of Buddha, as were Lao-tse, a Chinese philosopher and Nebbuchadnezzar, a Babylonian king lived during this period. Would Buddha have met any of these people? We may never know, but that doesn't mean they did not meet. If you do some research on these people and on this historical period, there could be some interesting comments on Buddha's "wall" and some great messages among all of them.
The second approach you might consider is to give Buddha some friends who are important in other religions. For example, he could be friends with Mohammed or with Jesus Christ, or perhaps with Abraham, who is considered the beginning of Judaism. There is also Zoroaster, whom I mentioned above. They would all have plenty to talk about, wouldn't they? They might talk about what their religions have in common, and they could have some very interesting conversation about their differences.
The source of my information about Buddha's contemporariess comes from a great book called The Timetables of History, edited by Bernard Grun (1991). You may be able to find this book at your local or school library, and there is more information about that period of history that might be helpful to you.
If you like either of these ideas, you should talk to your teacher about them and make sure that either is an approved way to carry out the assignment.
This sounds like fun, and I hope you have a great time.
When you say "during this time" do you mean during the time that Buddha was alive? I'm going to assume that's what you mean. Let me know if I'm wrong.
One problem here is that we don't know when Buddha lived. The Encyclopedia Brittanica, for example, puts his life "sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries" BC. So that's a long time frame.
Some people who were alive during that time:
- Confucius -- 551 to 479 BC. He would be a good one to be a serious friend of Buddha.
- Zoroaster, the Persian philosopher may have been alive during this time.
- Thucydides, the Greek historian was alive in the 400s.
So those are some people who could talk to Buddha about really deep stuff. But I think you should also friend him to some nobody. Someone that he met on the street or something. Then you could show him talking to a regular person as well.
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