Articles from General Knowledge Today
Gautam Buddha founded Buddhism and is known as Supreme Buddha or ammāsambuddha or samyaksaṃbuddha. He was born in Lumbini, a little principality of Kapilvastu in modern day Nepal. His childhood name was Siddhartha. He was son of Shuddodhana a leader of the Shakya clan. The capital of this Sakya clan was Kapilvastu and it was not a monarchy but a sort of Republic. Queen Mahamaya was the name of mother of Gautam Buddha. The birth of Buddha is celebrated as Vesaka in some countries. In India, it is Buddha Purnima. Queen Mahamaya died soon after his birth and Maha Prajapati or Prajapati Gautami raised him. He was a prince so he had lived his early childhood in luxury. His father wished him to be a great king and so he was shielded from the religious teachings or human sufferings. However, as a child Gautama used to be absorbed in philosophical musings. He got married at the age of 16 with Yashodhara. She gave birth to a Son, Rahula. At the age of 29, while going to meet his subjects he encountered human sufferings such as old age, death and diseases. He used to ask his charioteer Channa about these sufferings. He deeply depressed by the truth that human life is momentary and one has to suffer a lot. He left his home at the age of 29 years, so that he could overcome old age, illness and death by living a life of an ascetic. This is called "the great departure' or Mahabhinishkramana. He first went to Rajgriha Rajgaha or Rajgir. He started begging alms over there and living life of an ascetic. The King Bimbisara after a request from Shuddodhana, launched a search and Siddhartha was recognized by the men of Bimbisara. Bimbisara offered him a throne, but Gautama refused. He left Rajgir but promised Bimbisara to visit his capital Magadha, later. Siddartha studied under two hermits Alara and Udaka. He achieved high knowledge and was asked to succeed Udaka, but he was not satisfied with the path and his goal so he...
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