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History of Buddha (Prince Siddhartha Gautama)

Siddhartha Gautama was a Prince in from ancient Nepal . He was born in the year 560 B.C.E, at the city of Kapilavastu, (Lumbini) outside the city. He lived for eighty years, and died in 480 B.C.E. This history is accompanied by many and great legends. The story of his birth and even the story of his conception are tales of wonder and mystery. The King and Queen of the tribe were childless for twenty years before the Queen Maya dreamed of an elephant entering her side. After that dream, she became pregnant. When her time came, it is said that she was in a grove and various tales tell of the birth. Most stories of The Buddha’s birth include miraculous occurrences including the trees blossoming and fruiting out of season for Queen Maya, (The Buddha’s mother), and the branches bending down to offer her fruit.

Buddha Paintings (Thangkas)

Shakyamuni Buddha Painting
Shakyamuni Buddha Thangka

It is said that all the portents and signs were in Siddhartha’s favor. It was even written that the gods were all happy and all of heaven and earth celebrated his birth .

Seven days after the birth of Siddhartha , Queen Maya died. This is noted as something of a prophetic portent although post-partum deaths were quite common that long ago.

Another portent was the prediction of a hermit who had been living on a mountain top overlooking the castle. The hermit came to the castle and when he saw the child, he predicted that the child would either become a Great King, or he would forsake his royal home and become a Buddha and Savior of the world. King Gautama wanted his son to become a great King to succeed him and tried to keep his son away from anything that might lure him to the religious life. As is clearly predictable, the boy, Prince Siddhartha , learned of the life outside the castle and was drawn to the religious life. While growing up, the thoughts of suffering in the world dogged the young Prince’s thoughts.

Buddha Statues

Shakyamuni Buddha
Buddha Statue

At age nineteen, the King arranged the marriage of Siddhartha to Princess Yasodhara. When the Prince was twenty-nine, the Princess bore him his only son, Rahula.

Siddhartha then left the castle and its comforts behind and sought out the wisdom of the hermit Bhagava, and later of others. As he learned and practices of asceticism, he found that they were not fulfilling his deepest inner thoughts. After living the life of an ascetic for six years, he gave it up and moved on to another more personal search. He sat beneath a tree and swore not to move until he had worked out the path to enlightenment.

On the morning of December 8th, at the age of 35 the Prince Siddhartha Gauthama discovered the path to enlightenment and from that day was called The Buddha . He spent the rest of his life teaching his ideas to willing disciples.

Buddha Statue and Painting in Ladhak

Buddha Statue Ladhak
Buddha Painting (Ladhak)

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