approx. year of birth : 563 BC | place of birth : Lumbini, present day NEPAL
parents : King Suddhodana, Queen Maha Maya | children : Rahula
occupation : Founder of Buddhism | spouse : Yasodhara
“ What we think, we become.”
“ If we could see the miracle of a single flower
clearly our whole life would change.”
“ There is no path to happiness:
happiness is the path.”
Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. The primary sources for the life of SiddhārthaGautama include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the Nidānakathā.
Buddha was born in a royal Hindu family to King Śuddhodana and Queen Maha Maya (Māyādevī). During the birth celebrations, the hermit seer Asita announced that the child would either become a great king or a great holy man. King Śuddhodana, wishing for his son to be a great king, is said to have shielded him from religious teachings and from knowledge of human suffering. Despite his father's efforts to hide from him the sick, aged and suffering, Siddhartha was said to have seen an old man, a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. When his charioteer Channa explained to him,these depressed him, and he initially strove to overcome ageing, sickness, and death by living the life of an ascetic. He left on his religious quest, after being motivated by existential concern for the human condition.
Siddhartha and a group of five companions are said to have tried to find enlightenment through deprivation of worldly goods, including food, practising self-mortification. After nearly starving himself to death by restricting his food intake to around a leaf or nut per day, Siddhartha began to reconsider his path. Then, he remembered a moment in childhood in which he had been watching his father start the season's plowing. He attained a concentrated and focused state that was blissful and refreshing, the jhāna.
Following this incident, Gautama was famously seated under a pipal tree (Bodhi tree), when he vowed never to arise until he had found the truth. After Gautama attained Enlightenment, he was known to his followers as the Buddha or "Awakened One" Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one."
Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the Sramana (renunciation) movement common in his region. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośala. Dhâmek Stûpa in Sârnâth, India, site of the first teaching of the Buddha in which he taught the Four Noble Truths to his first five disciples. Some of the fundamentals of the teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha are: The Four Noble Truths, The Noble Eightfold Path, Dependent origination, Rejection of the infallibility of accepted scripture, Anicca (Sanskrit: anitya), Dukkha (Sanskrit: duḥkha), Anattā (Sanskrit: anātman), Nibbāna (Sanskrit: Nirvāna)
According to the Mahaparinibbana Sutta of the Pali canon, at the age of 80, the Buddha announced that he would soon reach Parinirvana, or the final deathless state, and abandon his earthly body. The Buddha's final words are reported to have been: "All composite things (Saṅkhāra) are perishable. Strive for your own liberation with diligence”. At his death, the Buddha is famously believed to have told his disciples to follow no leader.