The number 8 and its significance in Buddhism

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Interestingly Buddhism is associated with the number 8 for variety of reasons . the most important being that Gautam Buddha , founder of Buddhism was confined to only 8 places in two states of India , Uttar Pradesh and Bihar . Beside this there are other reason for 8 to be a special number in Buddhism as mention below .




Lumbini

located in ancient kingdom called kapilvastu and currently in Nepal , it is the birthplace of founder of Buddhism faith , gautam Buddha . he was born in shakya clan fathered by shuddhodhan and mothered by maya devi . however due to early death his mother , he was brought up by gautami and hence known as gautam Buddha. Original he was named as siddharth . the place is now declared as the world heritage site . it was visited by king ashoka , the greatest king in the ancient indian history , who is credited with the spread no Buddhism by sending emissaries across the world and the place is still home to an ancient pillar having inscription in brahmi language .

Vaishali

this was the capital city of vajji kingdom one of the shodas mahajanapad ( 16 grand province ) .this is important in Buddhism history as after the great renunciation of his kingdom , gautam Buddha chose this place to receive spiritualism under allara and udaka . this is also the place where 2nd Buddhist council was held in 383 BC , 100 years after the demise ( mahaparinirvaan ) of gautam Buddha . this council was Chaired By Sabakami Under the rulership of king .Kaalashoka

Bodhgaya

this is village in indian state of bihar . this is the place where buddha got enlightened doing meditation under the tree called Bodhi and hence the name Bodhgaya . the place has the ancient temple called as mahabodhi temple complex . the village is situated on the bank of river niranjana originally called as uruvela in ancient indian times .

Saarnath

it is mentioned in ancient indian text as belonging to kashi janapad (grand province) , one of the 16 janapad mentioned in ancient indian text called as shodas mahajanapad ( 16 grand province ) . its importance is due to the first sermon In deer park gautam Buddha delived after he attained divinity . this event is called as dharmaparivartan chakra . it was called as mrigadava ( mrig stands for deer ) . it is near Varanasi (banaras) , the most sacret site in Hinduism .

Rajgir

It was the capital city of the powerful kingdom called as the magadh empire . this was the most powerful kingdom in the times that followed for a couple of centuries . this was also mentioned as one of the shodas mahajanapad ( 16 grand province ) . the contemporary of gautam Buddha , bimbisaar was the king of this powerful province . after his great renunciation ( mahabhinishkraman) , gautam Buddha arrived here and met bimbisaar here . he is belived to have offered gautam buddha his kingdom which he refused to accept . also buddha started his begging alm from here . this was also the venue for the first Buddhist council which Chaired By Mahakassapa Under the ruler of Ajatshatru, son of bimbissar , in 483 BC , after the demise of gautam Buddha . the place is in now bihar , a province in east india .

Shravasti

It was the capital city of koshala kingdom and is now located in north indian state of uttar Pradesh . its significance is due to 24 year that gautam Buddha has spent here . this is important for jains also as it is the birth place one of the 24th peachers of Jainism .

Kushinagar

It was the capical city of malla janapad ( grand province ) . it is significance is due to mahaparinirvana of gautam Buddha due to consumption of poisonous mushroom accidentally from a blacksmith name as kunda . it is also in the uttar Pradesh , in north india . his soul departed to heaven at the age of 80 years .

Sankasya

A place in Uttar Pradesh , from where his soul began journey to heaven .

8 Fold Path

Buddha suggested 8 fold path so as to overcome the world of sorrows . They are

Right Vision

Right Speech

Right Action

Right Thought

Right Means

Right Mind

Right Effort

Right Concentration

8 Perils In Buddhism

The Buddhism identifies 8 dangers that one can get trap into and they are

Getting caught in fire

Wrongful imprisonment

Snake bite

Getting crushed under elephant feet

Ship wreckage

Falling from a cliff

Getting killed by enenmy’s sword

Attack of demons and ghosts

8 Bodhisatvas Buddha is not the name of Gautam Buddha . Buddha is derived from the word Buddhi meaning intellect and Buddha means enlightenment through intellectual process of spiritual upliftment . Bodhistava means the mature and the right behaviour through enlightenment . In religious context it means the act performed in the interest of people in general by the person who has attained enlightenment . They are the person who view the society from enlightened eyes . they are the noble souls who have attained enlightenment and have the potential of nirvana but they choose to be amongst masses so as to guide them . Buddhist texts mentions 8 boddhisatvas as under . Ākāśagarbha. Avalokitesvara. Kshitigarbha Manjushri Maitreya. Samantbhadra Sarvanivarana and Vajrapani

Ashta Matrikas

Ashta means 8 and matrika is mother / mystic sonic power creating the universe and understanding of these will make the person reaching salvation . In most of the places in India , people believe in Seven Mothers related to cluster of Sevan star pleaides . They are the female of hindu gods and this was suggested in 7 th centure AD varahmir , The authos of brihad sanhita , a teatise on astronomy and astrology . 8th mother is believed in Himalaya Buddhism and each of the 8th mother has 8 atteandants , making a total of 64 female power centers and veneration and appeasement of them can make person achieve the objectives of veneration through occult practices. There are 64 Yogini temple of 64 Female powers where by tantrik / occult practices are carried out .

1 view0 comments