Whenever we think of Buddha, our heart gradually loads with immense calmness and tranquility. It’s not just his name but his face, his eyes, and the body gestures that teach us a proper way of existence. Let’s dive into the journey of Gautam Buddha Story of Wisdom & Enlightenment.
A person who gave a new path to knowledge and rightness took birth in 563 B.C in Kapilavastu, Nepal. He was a son to the most respected and honored king of Sakya, Śuddhodana. The king himself was a noble person and was known as the King of the Laws. The king always ruled according to the rules and was admired by his nobles and courtiers, as well as by the householders and merchants.
Table of Contents
Dream Of Queen Maha Maya
What was Gautam Buddha Mother Name?
The mother with whom Lord Buddha was blessed was the most beautiful Koliyan Princess named Maha Maya.
What was Gautam Buddha Father Name?
He was a son to the most respected and honored king of Sakya, Śuddhodana.
The Buddha Story Begins – The mother with whom Lord Buddha was blessed was the most beautiful Koliyan Princess named Maha Maya. Queen Maha Maya was the daughter of King Anjana of the Koliyas. But it was Maya’s virtues and talents that were her most wonderful essences, for she was enriched with the most precious gifts of intelligence and piety. The couple commanded over the Sakyas, a warrior tribe living next to the Koliya tribe, in the north of India, in what is now known as Nepal. The capital of the Sakya country was laid out across the foothills of the Himalayas called Kapilavasthu.
One full moon night Queen Maha Maya saw a vivid dream. She dreamt of four heavenly figures, picked her up to Lake Anotatta in the Himalayas. After giving her a divine bath they ornamented her with blissful flowers and anointed her with perfumes. Soon after a white elephant, carrying a white lotus flower in its trunk, arrived and went around her three times, entering her womb through her right side.
When she wakes up from her dream, the elephant had already disappeared. She being tensed ran to the king and requested him to come up with the meaning behind this dream. They knew that this is a positive note because elephants are considered the most auspicious animal in Nepal. King ordered and assembled a group of wise men to discover the meaning of the dream.
After a long discussion among the wise men, they delivered great news to Raja Śuddhodana. The wise men said, “Your Majesty, you are very lucky. The devas have accepted our queen as the mother of the Purest-One and the child will become a very great essence to this universe.” The couple was happy to know about this great occurrence. They were so happy that they bestowed the whole kingdom with offerings and good vibes. Kings from all over the realm were invited to participate in their celebration.
The Birth of Buddha (Siddhartha Gautam)
The Story witnesses the Birth of Buddha – After many years, Queen Maha Maya became pregnant. She and her husband were very happy about it. On the full moon day in the month of May, she gave birth to the divine soul in Lumbini Park, while she was on her way to see her parents.
What is Gautam Buddha birth place?
Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha, was born in the famous gardens of Lumbini, which soon became a place of pilgrimage.
In which year Gautam Buddha was Born and Died?
The Lord Buddha was born in 623 BC. The exact times of Gautama Buddha’s birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE. Buddha is believed to have died about c. 483 BCE or 400 BCE (aged 80) Kushinagar, Malla Republic (according to the Buddhist tradition).
The beautiful flowers started blooming all around, negativity started taking down his origins. Everyone was very happy to see the baby and as per the wise men’s advice, everyone believed that the baby will soon become the wisest of them all.
Five days after the prince’s birth the king asked five wise men to select a name for his son as per the rituals. They named him ‘Siddhartha’. This name means “the one whose wishes will be fulfilled”. Everyone was very happy to see everything positive around the kingdom.
Death of Devi Maha Maya – The Mother of Buddha
The unfortunate part of The Story of Buddha – Everyone was very happy about the birth of the Purest one. But, two days after his name-giving ceremony, Devi Maha Maya died of illness. Everyone was sad including King Śuddhodana. Wise men previously advised King to keep Siddhartha out of any pain and discomfort. They had predicted that if the prince saw someone old, someone sick, a dead person, and a monk, he would want to leave the palace and become a monk himself, instead of being a prince.
Listening to them, his feelings started horrifying him. The Queen’s sister Prajapati Gotami took care of the baby prince with as much emotion and tenderness as if he were her own son. Prince Siddhartha was a healthful and delightful boy. He liked to learn and found it easy to study and was the most skillful in his class and the ablest at games. He was always thoughtful to others and was beloved among his friends.
Siddhartha, Kindness towards creatures!
This is the most innocent part of the life history of Gautam Buddha story. From childhood, Siddhartha was different from others. In the age of being playful, he started noticing the sufferings and hardship of life. When he was too small he felt pity for the small creatures around him. One day one of his friends was trying to hurt a snake. Siddhartha stopped the kid from hurting the snake and advised him to stop being cruel to creatures.
“Siddhartha saves the swan” Another instance when he saw his cousin’s brother hurting a swan. His brother Prince Devadatta shot a swan with an arrow but, Siddhartha took the swan, provided all his attention and care. When the swan started getting better he let it fly in the sky.
One afternoon his father took him to the annual Ploughing Festival. The king began the ceremony by starting the first pair of exquisitely decorated bullocks. Siddhartha sat down under a rose-apple tree and saw everyone. He marked that while people were blissfully enjoying themselves, the bullocks had to work terribly hard and plow the field. They did not look happy at all.
He also witnessed the life cycle of creatures, how a lizard ate an ant, then it is eaten by a snake, and the snake is thereafter eaten by an eagle. He assumed that all the pleasure we behold in our life is just for some period. It gradually finishes up with suffering.
When Siddhartha saw whats happening all around, he sat under a tree and started thinking deeply. When King and the maid saw him sitting under a tree, cross-legged in deep meditation they started worrying about his future. King decided to make a place full of joy and comfort for Siddhartha inside the palace.
The king did not want his son to think about the deep things in life too much, because he remembered that the wise men had predicted that his son might one day want to leave the palace and become a monk. But this did not stop Siddhartha from thinking about the sufferings and unhappiness that he noticed around him.
Buddha Marriage: Siddhartha Got Married to Princess Yasodhara
The Buddha Life Story sees a new Dawn – Siddhartha grew up to be a handsome young man full of strength. To stop Siddhartha from thinking about the outer world, the king arranged his marriage to his beautiful cousin, Princess Yasodhara. As per the traditional belief, Siddhartha had to prove his worth before her parents. They organized a ceremony in which Siddhartha was being told to tame a wild horse. Siddhartha tamed the horse not by beating it, as some suitors might but by talking to the horse to calm it and stroking it gently. Yasodhara wanted to marry the prince, and no one else. They were married in a great ceremony.
To stop the prince from thinking about unhappiness or leaving home, King
Śuddhodana created a pleasure palace for Siddhartha and Yasodhara. Dancers and singers were asked to entertain them, and only healthy and young people were allotted into the palace and the palace garden. The king did not want Siddhartha to know that everybody gets sick, grows old, and eventually will die. But in spite of the king’s efforts, the prince was not happy. He wanted to know what life was like for people who lived outside the palace walls.
Four Sights of Buddha – Old Age, Sickness, Death & Monk
Finally, after some time the king allowed Siddhartha to go out and attend his people as he was going to become the king soon, and he should understand everything about his kingdom and his people. He went with his attendant, Channa. On his first visit, Siddhartha witnessed a white-haired, wrinkled man dressed in shreds. Such a sight shocked him, as he had never seen anyone old before. Channa told him that this man was old and that everyone will become old one day. Siddhartha felt frightened by that and asked Channa to take him back home. At night, he could not sleep and he kept on imagining old age.
The Four Sights of Buddha proved a major turning point in The Buddha Story
On his next visit, he saw a man lying on the ground and moaning. Out of sympathy, he rushed over to the man. Channa alerted him that the man was sick and that everyone, even noble people like Siddhartha or the king
could get sick.
On the third visit, Siddhartha and Channa saw four men carrying another man on a stretcher. Channa told Siddhartha that the man was dead and was going to be cremated. He also said that no one can escape death, and told the prince that everyone will die one day. When they returned to the palace, Siddhartha kept on thinking about what he had seen. Finally, he made a strong decision to find a way out of the misery of old age, sickness, and death.
Sometime later, while the prince was riding in the garden, he noticed a man in a yellow robe. He noticed that the man looked very peaceful and happy. Channa described to him that the man was a monk. The monk had left his family and given up his desire for pleasures to search for freedom from worldly suffering. The prince felt inspired by the sight of the monk and began to want to leave home to search for freedom in the same way.
What are the meaning of the Four Sights of Buddha?
Four Signs also called Four Sights, four situations viewed by Prince Siddhartha Gautam later known as Buddha, convinced him to abandon his life of luxury and set him on the way toward enlightenment. These Four Sights of Buddha play a vital role in his life story.
Siddhartha Gautam Leaves Home
One night when everyone in the palace was sleeping, Siddhartha requested Channa to prepare his horse, Kanthaka. In the meantime, he went into the room where Yasodhara and their newborn boy Rahula slept. He was filled with loving-kindness towards them and pledged himself that he would come back to see them. But first, he had to understand why all creatures suffer and find out how they could escape from suffering.
In the silence of the night, Prince Siddhartha mounted Kanthaka. Accompanied by Channa, he left the palace and the city of Kapilavasthu. They halted at a river some distance from the city and the prince took off his rich attire and put on the robes of a monk. Then he told Channa to take the horseback to the palace. At first, both Channa and Kanthaka denied going back, but Siddhartha ordered that he had to go on alone. With tears rolling down his face, Kanthaka watched as the prince walked out of sight. This part of the Buddha story is the turning period of the story of Gautam Buddha.
Gautam Buddha Living Like A Monk
So, at the age of 29, Siddhartha began the homeless life of a monk. He started living a simple life by giving up all the pleasures and desires what fancied him earlier. He used to start his days by begging for his dietic requirements. Days passed and he encountered people with different states of mind. He understood that people all around are way away from understanding what life is, and this made him more eager to search for the truth.
He advised everyone whom he feels like the needy one for the knowledge. There are many such encounters and teachings which made people realize about the truth of life and encouraged them to follow Siddhartha’s thought. Before getting the enlightenment, he once promised king Bimbisara that he will soon come back to his kingdom and will spread the real truth of life.
Who were Buddha’s teachers?
Alara Kalama was his first teacher of Buddha, who taught him meditation and how to keep the mind calm. Buddha soon learned as much as his teacher and moved on to take further learning.
Uddaka Ramaputta Buddha found another great teacher, Uddaka, who was famous for his cleverness. Again, Gotama received it very quickly and soon comprehended it as much as his teacher. He observed that Uddaka could not direct him how to stop suffering, old age, and death either, and he had never heard of anyone who could solve these problems. Once again the Gotama Buddha was disappointed and left Uddaka, building up his mind to struggle by himself until he discovered the cause of all the misery of life. The Gautam Buddha Story is incomplete without the introduction of his Gurus.
After Siddhartha left Rajagaha, he went to see a sage (wise person) named Alara Kalama. He stayed with the sage and studied diligently. Soon, he knew as much as his teacher. But although he had learned how to make his mind very calm, he still did not know the way to freedom from all suffering. So he thanked Alara Kalama and left to find another teacher. During the process of getting enlightenment, Siddhartha practiced different forms of mudras which itself consist of different meanings and teachings.
Siddhartha Gautam, The Ascetic (Fasting Buddha)
Siddhartha Gautama also tried to become an ascetic as per his Life Story. He thought that if he practiced hard enough, he would become enlightened. So he found a place at Uruvela near a river and a village, where he could wash and obtain his daily food. There were five other men living there, and they became his companions. Like Siddhartha, they also practiced asceticism. Their names were Kondanna, Bhaddiya, Vappa, Mahanama, and Assaji. Siddhartha practiced various forms of asceticism for six years.
He reduced his eating more and more until he ate nothing at all. This stage of Buddha was named Fasting Buddha Shakyamuni. He became extremely thin, but still, he did not want to give up such practice. One day, while meditating alone, he fainted.
At that time, a shepherd boy with a goat walked by. He saw Siddhartha and
realized that without any food Siddhartha would die very soon. So he quickly fed him some warm goat’s milk. Soon Siddhartha regained consciousness and began to feel better. He realized that without the boy’s help, he would have died before attaining enlightenment.
Buddha Enlightenment: Meditating Under Bodhi Tree and Enlightenment
What Does The Buddha Bodhi Tree Symbolize In Buddhism?
- The Bodhi Tree symbolizes the supreme potential we each have within us and the representation of that journey to accomplish it.
- The Bodhi Tree is a true lesson in steadiness. Its flexible roots plant deep under the soil to draw nutriment from the waters reflecting it below. But its arms reach high and proud, seizing for sunshine and a place amidst the sky.
- The Bodhi Tree is often represented as stretching out of its own reflection. It’s said that the tree’s reflective image represents that same infinite potential we try to accomplish in our lifetime. The Bodhi Tree gains the privilege of being the most sacred one in the Life of Buddha.
From then on, Siddhartha began eating normally. Soon his health was completely restored. He made a promise to himself: “I will not give up until I achieve my goal, until I find a way of freedom from suffering, for myself and all people.” As he meditated, Siddhartha let go of all outside disturbances and memories of pleasures from the past.
He let go of all worldly thoughts and turned his mind to finding the ultimate truth about life. He asked himself: “How does suffering start? How can one be free from suffering?” At first, many distracting images appeared in his mind. But finally, his mind became very calm, like a pond of still water. In the calm of deep meditation, Siddhartha concentrated on how his own life had started.
First, Siddhartha remembered his previous life. Next, he saw how beings are reborn according to the law of cause and effect, or karma. He saw that good deeds lead away from suffering to peace and happiness and that bad deeds lead to more suffering. Then he saw that the origin of suffering is being greedy, which arises from thinking that we are more important than everybody else. Finally, he became completely free from thinking in this way. This freedom is called Nirvana. So, at the age of 35, Siddhartha became the Buddha, the Supreme Enlightened One.
Teaching The Four Noble Truths by Buddha
The story witnessed the Four Noble Truths taught by Gautam Buddha to the people. The first one was about the fact that suffering exists. The second Noble Truth was about the cause of suffering; the third Noble Truth was that it is possible to end suffering, and the fourth one described the path to be succeeded if you want to end suffering.
During this first teaching, one of the monks learned everything and attained the first stage of enlightenment. Then he asked the Buddha to bless him as a monk. Soon the other four also joined the Buddha’s order. All five monks practiced diligently and with the help of the Buddha, they soon became fully enlightened ones or arahants.
Spreading The Baudh Dharm
The spreading of Baudh Dharm or Buddhism is an essential part of the Buddha Story.
When the Buddha had sixty monks as his disciples (students) he held a meeting. He told them: “Go and spread the Dharma to other places, to give more people the chance of gaining freedom from suffering. Spread the Dharma so that human lives may be purified and brightened. There are people ready for the Buddha Dharma. They will be able to understand it. I myself will go to teach at Uruvela.” After the Buddha sent out his sixty-arahant disciples for the first time, he traveled to Magadha in the southeast, to Uruvela village.
After hearing the Buddha’s teaching, many men left their homes and became monks. Later, more than 1,000 of them became fully enlightened arahants. Buddha met a lot of people who became his disciples and helped him in spreading Baudh Dharm, which to date is around the realm as his teachings.
Gautam Buddha Returning to Kapilavasthu
Before commencing the journey of enlightenment, as Siddhartha Gautama promised himself to visit his wife and son after getting the truth, he decided to visit his place with his disciples. When King came to know about Buddha and get notified about his living near the village and surviving by begging in his kingdom, he felt very angry. When he met Buddha, he helped him in calming down his anger.
What was Gautam Buddha son name?
Rahula was the only biological son of Siddhartha Gautama and Queen Yasodhara. Rahula converted to a Buddhist monk and attained Enlightenment. Rahula was called “ Rahula The Lucky ” by his friends since he was the son of Lord Buddha and attained Enlightenment. Rahula was respected as one of the Ten Great Disciples of Lord Buddha. He played a major role in Gautam Buddha Story.
He then met his wife and son Rahula. Later Rahula, who was seven years old, was ordained by the Buddha and became the first novice in the Buddhist tradition. (A novice is someone who is in training but has not yet taken the full vows of a monk or nun.) Besides Rahula, the Buddha also converted his step-brother Nanda and several princes of the Sakya clan. Among them were his cousins Ananda and Devadatta. Prajapati Gotami became the first Buddhist nun.
Gautam Buddha visits Vesali and takes his Last Meal
One morning, to have a last look at the city of Vesali, the Buddha and Ananda went there to beg for alms. After that, the Buddha and his disciples visited neighboring villages, and the Buddha taught the Baudh Dharm to people. The Buddha also told his disciples that when anyone teaches them the Baudh Dharm, they should carefully verify it against the Dharma taught by the Buddha. He said that if it was not consistent with his teaching, they should reject it. This is the saddest part of the Buddha story as he had set on his final journey.
Then they continued to the city of Pava and rested in the Mango garden, which belonged to Cunda, the son of a goldsmith. The Buddha taught Cunda and his family. They gained confidence in the Dharma and took refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma. But the meal that Cunda offered to the Buddha contained a fungus that made the Buddha feel very ill. However, in spite
of the pain, the Buddha and his disciples continued their journey to Kusinara.
The final walk of this Buddha Story – The Buddha and his disciple Ananda arrived at the boundaries of Kusinara. When they came to Salavana. the Buddha felt he could go no further. So he asked Ananda to prepare a place for him to lie down. Ananda took the Buddha’s outer robe and placed it on a bed between two big sala trees. The Buddha then lay down on his right side. He did not fall asleep but rested to relieve his pain and fatigue. His mind remained as tranquil as it had ever been.
The Last Words Of Buddha
Later the Buddha gave the monks and nuns the last chance to ask any questions. He asked them if any of them still had doubts about the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. But none of them had any doubts about the Triple Gem. Finally, the Buddha said to the monks: “Monks, this is the last time for me to talk to you. All things change. Work hard to gain your own salvation!”
The Buddha then entered into meditation, deeper and deeper, until his mind was purely balanced and steadily focused. And then he passed away. Thus, the Buddha, the Blessed One, had attained that final freedom known as Nirvana. Soon after the death of the Buddha a meeting of 500 arahants was held to collect together all his teachings. They were memorized and handed down from one generation of monks to the next. In this way, the teachings of the Buddha were not lost, and we can still hear them today.
This Story of Gautam Buddha consists of different stories which teach us how he helped many people in attaining calmness and serenity into their lives!
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