(Last Updated on : 10/05/2012)
Gautama Buddha, the Enlightened One, was the founder of Buddhism
. Hailed as one of the greatest spiritual leaders of his time his philosophies completely shook the foundations of the older religion orders. Buddha was born in the 2nd or 3rd century as a Shakya prince. He is also known as Shakyamuni and his birth, teachings, death and the rules for the Sangha are to be found in the Buddhist canons.
Birth of Buddha:
Buddha was born in Lumbini
with King Suddhodana
as his father and Queen Maya Devi
as his mother. He was born on a full moon day in the month of May. However the exact date of his birth is unknown. He was named Tathagata or Siddhartha. Gautama was his family name. Within a few days after his birth Siddhartha`s mother died. He was then looked after by Maha Prajapati Gautami
, his maternal aunt and his stepmother.
Early Life and Marriage of Buddha:
It was predicted by a sage that Siddhartha would renounce everything and become an ascetic. Hence great care was taken by his father to keep him away from all kinds of pain. He was pampered with luxury. At the age of 16 he was married to Yasodhara
. He spent 29 years as the prince of Kapilavasthu
and lead a happy married life. he blessed with a son named Rahul
Physical Characteristics of Buddha:
Buddha was very different from other men in his physical appearance. He had rather impressive physical characteristics. Buddha was Kshatriya by birth and had military training in his upbringing. According to Sakya tradition he required to pass test to demonstrate his excellence to marry a princess. His body was so strong that one of the kings noticed his body stature and offered him the post of general in his army. Buddhists believe that Buddha had all of the thirty-two signs of a great man.
The Great Departure of Buddha
: No matter how hard King Suddhodana tried to shield his son from the knowledge of human pain and suffering at the age of 29 Siddhartha came face to face with real world. He came across the four men as predicted. One was suffering from old age, a sick man, a dead body and an ascetic. He was so disturbed by these sights he decided to renounce the material world and look for truth. He wanted to find a way that would put an end to such pain and suffering. With this aim he fled from his palace to become the Buddha.
The Great Enlightenment of Buddha
: He attained enlightenment after passing through the phases of asceticism and meditation. Under the Bodhi tree
he received enlightenment. This place is now a famous Buddhist Pilgrims Centre
Formation of the Sangha by Buddha
: Buddha formed the Sangha with his five companions. He was at the Deer Park , Sarnath to deliver the first sermon of his life. With the formation of the Sangha or the order of the monk the concept of Triple Gems
also came into existence.
Ministry of Buddha
: Though he has formed the Sangha but it was not a stationary institution. Hence the ministry of Buddha or his disciples moved with him. While Buddha was busy preaching the important postulates of Buddhism the Sangha too carried on with the spread of Dhamma.
The Great Passing of Buddha
: Mahaparinibbana Sutta proclaims that Buddha passed away at the age of 80. he ate his last meal at Cunda`s dwelling place and fell seriously ill. However Buddha announced that the meal had nothing to do with his sickness. He was bound to leave the world at that time. Soon he attained Parinirvana at Kusinara
Teachings of Buddha
Infused in sheer religiosity Buddhas teachings contours the base of the religion whilst making it to stand out as an individual doctrine, a philosophy that is far more than just a religious concept. Buddha did not deny that there is happiness in life, but he pointed out that happiness does not last forever. Buddhas teachings therefore are a step-by-step way towards lasting happiness. Amidst the concept of four noble truths and in the midst of the idea of the noble eightfold paths, Buddha preached the simplest way to attain Nirvana.
The Disciple Of Buddha
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened, Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddhas this concept of sharing his teachings and passing the pious concept of Buddhism from one to another further supported his disciples in spreading Buddhism. The simplicity of the religious principles of Buddha won a number of hearts. The disciples of Buddha therefore included both the monastics as well as the lay followers who later spread Buddhism as an individual religious concept.