greentara wrote:Alot of Buddhism is based on magical stories, the supernatural and myth, indeed they are lovely but it's best to concentrate on the core teaching as that's where the real power and beauty resides. "Mahavira’s life parallels rather startlingly with the Buddha’s. He was born of a ksatriyan chief named Siddhattha, married a woman named Yasoda, had one child, a daughter named Anoja, renounced the world at the age of 20 and became enlightened (kevala) at 28 while sitting at the foot of a sal tree. He passed away at the age of 72. Why these and other similarities? Here is one possible explanation. Almost none of the events in the classical biography of the Buddha – the events surrounding his birth, being the son of a king, marriage, being father to a son, his life in the palace, seeing of the four sights, etc; are not from the scriptures, i.e. they are later legends. The Tipitaka records virtually nothing about the Buddha’s life until his Great Renunciation. Few people know that nowhere in the Tipitaka does it even mention that the Buddha’s personal name was Siddhattha. Even the very late and very legendary Mahapadana Sutta (D.II,1) doesn’t mentions it. When in later centuries a full biography of the Buddha was needed, much of the details may have been ‘lifted’ from the biography of Mahavira"
An important series of points imo.
The " miraculous" and " supernatural " elements of the stories that surround the Buddhas life come from a stock of poetic imagery which is common to all religions that have emerged from the Indian Subcontinent..in addition to Mahavira and the Jain Tirthankas the same birth stories and stories of distinguishing marks and so on are found in the Vaisnav and Shaivite traditions too.
In some cases these stories predate Buddhism. And they run right through to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the 14 th C.E.
They are beautiful and poetic. They are not history.