Though the term “Buddha” is often used to describe one who has reached Enlightenment, it is more often used to describe the historical founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama. While his teachings have been extensively studied and are known all over the world, little is still known about the teacher. “Accurately reconstructing the precise details of the Buddha’s life and teaching has proven difficult. The first biographies of his life did not appear until centuries after his death, and it is often impossible to ascertain exactly where the biographies reconstruct the Buddha’s life according to ideal patterns as opposed to historical realities” (Williams, Buddha). What we do know though allows us to concluded that Siddhartha lived an extraordinary life, and has helped shaped the way we all view life and religion. Siddhartha was an Indian prince, and was said to have lived circa 560–480 BCE, while more-recent scholarship suggests the later dates of circa 485–405 BCE (Keown, Date of Buddha). It was also stated by Kerena Marchant that he was born in Lumbini (known as present-day Nepal), at the Lumbini Grove, underneath a bodhi tree (6). It’s also stated that his mother died a few days after his birth (Marchant 6). But according to tradition, just prior to his birth, his mother had a dream of a white elephant coming into her womb, which led soothsayers, predictors of the future, to believe that he would become a great religious leader (William, Buddha). Siddhartha’s farther, the king, had decided that Siddhartha was to become a great king, so he shielded him from any religion or human suffering, as to not be tempted to become a holy man. As Siddhartha grew up, it became certain he would become king, while he still had only experienced the youth, health, happiness, and luxury of life. He was smart and skilled, married Princess Gopa Yasodhara at 16, and later had a son (Penny 6). It seemed he had everything in life. But he named his son Rahula, which...
Cited: Williams, Joseph."Buddha." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 2 Jan. 2012 .
Williams, Joseph. "Buddhism." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 2 Jan. 2012 .
Keown, Damien. "Date of the Buddha." A Dictionary of Buddhism. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 2 Jan. 2012 < http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O108-dateoftheBuddha.html >.
"Buddha | Siddhartha Gautama." Fundamental Buddhism | Buddhist Teachings. Web. 02 Jan. 2012. .
Marchant, Kerena. The Buddha and Buddhism. North Mankato, Minnesota: Smart Apple Media, 2003. Print.
Penny, Sue. Buddhism. Chicago, Illinois: Heinemann Library, 2001. Print.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document