At times, you may have wondered what secrets he learned about the nature of human existence and how his teachings and principles changed people’s lives. Even if the world knows him as Buddha, Sakyamuni Siddhartha was his real name.
He was born into the Sakya Dynasty royalty. “Buddha” is a title that is given to the person with the ultimate knowledge or enlightenment and this word can also be applied to another seer. Yet no other seer is as insightful as the Buddha Gautam.
His birthday was celebrated by the name “Buddha Poornima” because he was believed to be born in Poornima, meaning a day of a full moon. He was given the name Siddhartha which means “one who achieves his purpose,” and the name given by his followers. An archeologist is debating his existence, but evidence still exists. People know him as the Buddhist founder, but people don’t know much about his life.
1: A Birth Prince
Although Gautama Buddha is a very modest and straightforward life, many people do not know that he was born as a prince of the Shakya Clan in Nepal. His dad, Suddhodhana was the chief of the Shakya Clan in India, while the princess Koli was known by his mother, Queen Maha Maya.
He was born under a salt tree in a garden in Lumbini. Although he was born as a prince, he turned to Buddha. He found his path to rule and wealth to be more important. He was Yasodhara’s married and had a son named Rahula, even. After leaving for his religious search, he realized that marital prosperity is not anyone’s ultimate goal.
2: The Forecasts
Before the birth of Gautama Buddha, an astrologer forecasted that Shuddhodhana’s son is either a great holy man or he is going to become a great king. His father wanted him not to suffer, and even for fear of him becoming a saintly man, he could not have religion. His father even built him three palaces with all the luxuries of his life so that he had no wish to see the outside world. Siddhartha couldn’t leave the palace and spent his first days in the sumptuous palaces.
3: The Four Attractions
Destined to be a great, holy man, Gautama was quickly tired of his materialistic life and wanted to leave the palace to see the world outside. When he was 29, he saw four different things during his four different journeys outside the palace on his journey to the countryside, which he was unaware of.
These four things completely changed Siddhartha’s life. He saw an old man, a corpse, a sick person in his four trips outside the palace, and finally a walking ascetic. He was so disturbed at these sites and wondered how he could enjoy his life when the world has so much suffering. He finally realized that reality was not what he saw in his life until now, but that the reality was what he saw in his life.
Gautama could not enjoy his life in the palace after seeing the sufferings in the world and wandered around in the palace. He finally knew that nothing was permanent and that one day the good things and beauty around him would perish and die. After his trip outside the palace, nothing made him happy, not even the news of his son’s birth. Eventually, he gave up all comfort and left his friends behind in search of illumination to become a wandering monk.
5: Teacher search
After leaving the palace, it was difficult for Gautama to find himself a teacher who could teach him the truth of the world and various religions. He used to wander in robes in order to learn the suffering and tried to learn from the wisest teachers. But no teacher could tell him how to end the suffering, and so he decided to go all by himself in search of the answer.
He led a life of self-discipline and abstinence through surviving on simple roots, fruits, and crude food for about six years. He also studied yoga and meditation. Siddhartha mastered yogic meditation in a very short period of time, but nothing satisfied him. Later he knew that neither the rich life in the palace nor the modest life in the forest is a response to what he was seeking.
Soon Siddhartha realized that extreme asceticism is not the right way for illumination; he finally found the “center way.” The middle way was the path of containment that does not support extreme self-mortification and complacency. He sat under a “pipal” tree now popularly known as the Bodhi tree, to meditate and to pledge that he would not rise up until he discovered the ultimate truth he sought. After 49 days of medicine, he finally got “illumination.”
7: Reluctant Professor
It’s not easy to think that a great teacher like him who taught Buddhism throughout the world would be reluctant to teach first. He considered it very difficult to understand what he knows, not only for the people but also to express what he knows in words.
He believed that if one is not disciplined and has no pure mind, it is not possible to achieve reality. Later on, however, his compassion swept over him, and at last, he decided to teach people the teachings of illumination. Lord Buddha’s first sermon was in Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh.
8: His lessons
After the illumination, he began to share his idea and his teachings. Buddha and his disciples went to different places throughout the world for the next forty-five years to spread their words and teachings. Buddha taught people that a person must never be ignorant, angry and hateful, to become enlightened. It was not difficult for Buddha to win people’s hearts wherever he went as he knew the people’s real feelings and knew how to deal with them.
9: United Again
During his worldwide visit, Buddha visited his son, his father, his devoted wife, and his foster mother. His family eventually joined the Sangha, a Buddhist monastic community. His cousin Ananda also joined the community and became a monk. His son Rahula was the youngest monk in the community and when he was only seven years old he became a monk.
10: The Word of Weisheit
He preached by traveling all over the world until he died at the age of eighty. He died in Kushinagar and it is reported that he died in 483 BCE according to the sources. He encouraged his followers to work to deliver them, and he told them that happiness is when he learns that nothing is permanent in the world. Even after so many years of his death, people in several parts of the world still follow his words of compassion and kindness.