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The Buddha’s Life: Siddhartha Gautama

August 5, 2023

The life of Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, is obscured by myth and mythology. We know relatively little about the real historical figure, despite the fact that the majority of historians think there was one. This article’s account of the “standard” biography suggests that it has changed through time. The epic poem “Buddhacarita,” written by Avaghoa in the second century A.D., finished it to a significant extent.

Siddhartha Gautama, the future Buddha, was born in Lumbini (present-day Nepal) in the fifth or sixth century B.C. The Sanskrit name Siddhartha means “one who has achieved a goal,” and Gautama is a given name.

His father, King Suddhodana, was the head of the Shakya (or Sakya), a sizable clan. From the oldest sources, it is unclear whether he was a tribal chief or an heir to a hereditary throne. It’s also conceivable that he was chosen for this position.

Maya and Pajapati Gotami, two sisters, were wed by Suddhodana. They were allegedly princesses of the Koliya line from what is now northern India. Siddhartha was the sole child of Maya, who was also his mother. Soon after his birth, she passed away. Siddhartha was reared by Pajapati, who eventually went on to become the first Buddhist nun.

According to all sources, Prince Siddhartha and his ancestors belonged to the warrior and noble Kshatriya caste. His father’s brother’s son, Ananda, was one of Siddhartha’s more well-known relatives. Later, Ananda would become the Buddha’s personal assistant and disciple. However, he would have been much younger than Siddhartha, and they weren’t close friends when they were little.

The Prediction and a Young Marriage

There is a legend that a holy man made a prophecy over Prince Siddhartha when he was just a few days old. Some sources claim that the prophecy was made by nine holy Brahman men. The boy would either become a great king or a great spiritual teacher, according to the prophecy. King Suddhodana favoured the first result and gave his son the appropriate upbringing.

He nurtured the youngster in lavish surroundings and kept him ignorant of religion and sorrow in the world. He married Yasodhara, his cousin, at the age of 16, who was also 16. As was typical at the period, there is no doubt that the families arranged this marriage.

Yasodhara was a Koliya chief’s daughter, and her mother was King Suddhodana’s sister. She was also related to Devadatta, a former student of the Buddha who later rose to become a potentially dangerous adversary.

Read More: Buddhism And Buddhist Art

Read More: Buddhism: Is It a Religion or a Philosophy?

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