In between the mid-6th and mid-4th centuries before the Common Era, Buddha lived in the northern part of India. He was the founder of Buddhism, which is more of a lifestyle, less a religion. In India, the term ‘Buddha’ means enlightened being who has achieved freedom from ignorance, sufferings, and grievances. According to different Buddhist traditions, the life of the Buddha remained in the past and will stay in the future.
Buddha was born as a prince of a small kingdom on the Ganga river basin in ancient northern India. Now, this comes under the periphery of southern Nepal. In his early life, his name was Siddhartha, and his family name was Goutama. He is also called often as ‘Shakyamuni.’ He is addressed as ‘Bhagabat’ (means Lord) in the Buddhist texts. He referred to himself as’ Tathagata’ which means ‘One who has thus come’ or ‘One who has thus go.’ His physical death is popularly termed as ‘passage into Nirvana.’ There is a conflict about the time of his birth and death.
Birth Story: Life Of The Buddha
The Buddhist books are the primary source from where we get information about this legend. According to the famous story, he was born in the Shakya family. By caste, he was a Kshatriya or Warrior. There is a popular tale about his birth. One night, his mother, Mahamaya, had dreamt of an elephant entered in her womb. After ten months, at the time of wandering in the Lumbini garden, her son, Lord Buddha, appeared from her right arm.
How Did A Prince Transform Into A Monk?
As a prince, his early life was full of riches and luxury. At the age of only 16, he got married to princess Yashodhara and eventually became the father of a baby boy. But he was not interested in leading a comfortable life in the palace. Rather the sufferings, poverty, diseases of people hurt him very much while he went out for chariot rides. To find a solution for it, he refused all wealth and family and left home one night. Then he started meditation and lived a life of an ascetic. He took the path of absolute self-mortification. Because of this, he became so weak that he fainted one day. Then he realized that mortification is not the right way.
After a prolonged meditation under a tree, he received enlightenment about what is called ‘Mahabodhi’ means to realize the truths behind happiness and mindfulness. And that particular tree is identified as the ‘Tree of Enlightenment.’
The rest of his life, he spread the message of truth, happiness, inner peace throughout northeastern India. Many monks and nuns became his disciples, and he received the patronage of kings and merchants. At the age of 80, he became ill. Before his’ nirvana’, he instructed his followers to carry on his messages and spread them across the country.
Teachings Of Buddha
Buddha taught us that we need to take birth millions of times until we become free from all the sufferings and finally reach beyond the state of the unhappiness.