Know Biography of Buddha, Buddhism And Buddha Chronology

Biography of Buddha

Gautama Buddha, also known by the name Siddhartha, founded Buddhism. He is the spiritual teacher as well as the Supreme Buddha, as is regarded in most Buddhist traditions of our age. He is the primary figure in Buddhism. The word “Buddha” means the enlightened one or the awakened one. Buddha is said to have been born in a village Kapileswara near Bhubaneswar, Odisha based on many evidences and later to have taught primarily throughout regions of eastern India. Most probably he lived from 563 BC to 483 BC. The Buddhists believe that Buddha’s followers had summarized the accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules after his death and memorized them.

Over the centuries the Buddha image has represented him so many times that even in the West his effigy is as familiar as any other art object. We usually see him sitting on his lap in a meditative attitude, with a bulge more or less salient at the top of the skull and a hairy mole between the eyebrows, a flowing robe covered by priestly and his face haloed by an endearing calmness and gentleness. There is something, however, sometimes surprising: to be an ascetic who has renounced worldly pleasures and that he is fully human misery, in certain representations seems too well fed and too satisfied.

It is common belief that the Saints consider leading a hermit’s life of struggle and sacrifice in search of inner peace, and that was in fact in India that Buddha knew, some five hundred years before Christ. The idea of purification through suffering was common among mature and elderly men, horrified and confused by the perversity of his contemporaries. Often leaving their families and sought refuge in the mountains, covered with rags and a wooden bowl as a single office, which used to beg for food. Before he became Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama practiced these disciplines also selflessly body, but soon found they were useless.

A life of Prince

Also known by the name of Sakyamuni (“sage of the Sakya”), Siddhartha was the son of Suddhodana king of Sakya, and Queen Maya, who came from a powerful family of the kingdom. According to tradition, Siddhartha was born in Lumbini Gardens, when her mother went to visit her own family. Queen Maya died seven days after giving birth and the infant was raised by his maternal aunt Mahaprajapati.

Siddhartha grew up surrounded by luxury, had three palaces, one for winter, another summer and one for the rainy season. They enjoyed the presence of many maids, dancers and musicians dressed in silk underwear and a servant with him with a parasol. He is described as a slender constitution boy, very delicate and well educated. From his years of study, possibly led by two Brahmins we only know, he astonished his teachers by his rapid progress, both in letters and math. Much has been made of the sensitivity of the Buddha, but the son of a king and pretender to the throne, must also be educated in martial arts and in all disciplines necessary for a monarch. However, the Sakya kingdom was barely a principality of the kingdom of Kosala.

Siddhartha married his cousin Yasodhara when he was about sixteen years, according to some sources, or perhaps nineteen or more, according to others. Some legends say that he conquered in a weapons test fighting multiple opponents. Not much is known about his marriage, but he had a son named Rahula who would become many years later in one of his chief disciples. Having a son as the continuation of the dynasty would have given away all her rights and his commitment to religious life.

The life of Siddhartha was spent most of the time in the royal palace, under the paternal protection. According to tradition, during his stealthy exit the city, which was accompanied by a driver, were called ‘four games. On one occasion they went out the east gate of the palace, he met an old man on another occasion that went out the south gate, he saw a sick person when he did through the western gate, he saw a corpse, and one day, North through the door, he found a religious mendicant. Old age, sickness and death showed the suffering inherent in human life, the religious showed the need to find a meaning. This led him to leave behind the walls of the palace where he had spent most of his life.

A twenty-nine, Siddhartha left his family. It was dark, Kanthaka mounted his horse and his servant Chantaka company. His goal was Magadha, been flourishing in the south where changes were cultural, and philosophical. You may also choose the kingdom, about ten days away from Kapilavastu, to avoid the possibility that his father demanded that he be repatriated. Once distance along the road, cut their hair, took off her jewelry and ornaments and gave them to his servant, so that back home, returned to his family, the message would not return until after the lighting. The rest of the way he did as a mendicant, practice, moreover, highly regarded in India at that time. It was also customary for men and mature philosophical inclinations into the forest to find the truth. The unique thing was that he did such a young age.

In search of meaning:

Once Rajagaha, capital of Magadha, the young beggar drew the attention of powerful King Bimbisara. The king, accompanied by his entourage, went to visit Mount Pandava, where he practiced meditation and asceticism. According to tradition, the monarch offered him riches. But, few wanted to accept the change to take command of his battalion of elephants and its elite troops. Siddhartha informed the king of noble origin the purpose of his stay in Rajagaha. King Bimbisara not reiterating the proposal only begged to be the first to know the truth if she attained enlightenment.

Siddhartha followed the teachings of two yoga teachers, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputa. The first three hundred pupils reached the stage “where nothing exists’, it is believed that the chapel was in Vaishi. Siddhartha soon reached the same stage and was convinced of the inadequacy of these teachings to liberate mankind from their sufferings. Ramaputa Uddaka’s hundred disciples had lived near Rajagaha. His teachings also packed the worries of Siddhartha.

He left then to the Seine, a village near the river Nairanjana, a meeting of ascetics. These practices were perfectly regulated; they included the control of the mind, stopping breathing, fasting total and a very severe diet, all subject to be painful and painful. By the stories we know that Siddhartha is not daunted by their hardness and, on occasion, those around him believed he was dead. In those days the fasting practiced by advanced students for up to two months, and it is known that nine disciples Nigantha Nataputta, founder of Jainism, were left to starve to achieve the final liberation.

After years of austerity and mortification that he practiced for enlightenment, Siddhartha decided to abandon asceticism, receiving, by the move, criticism of his five companions. For a start, he bathed in the river Nairanjana to get rid of dirt that had accumulated during the long process that followed. Apparently, he was so weak that he could barely leave the water. Regained strength from the food offered to him by a girl named Sajata. According to various legends, this girl was the daughter of the head of the village of Seine; the food was a soup of rice boiled in milk. Shortly thereafter, and returned, Siddhartha attained enlightenment.


By all indications, this would have happened in the town of Gaya, near the Seine. Later called this city Buddhagaya, and shall raise a temple in honor of Buddha. Siddhartha spent long hours of meditation in the shade of a sacred fig tree which was later given the name of Bodhi or “Tree of Enlightenment.” According to legend, Gautama sat under the fig tree one day and said, “I will not move from here until you know.” The evil god Mara, understanding the gravity and danger which contained such a challenge, he sent a cascade of temptations, the most important in the form of a trio of belly dancers who waved, hysterically libidinous, their bellies before the bowed head of Siddhartha, as he raised his eyes toward them, the glow of his eyes made them look clumsy old repugnant.

As night fell into a trance, the light came to the rescue allowing him to see with clarity the whole intricate radiant chain of causes and effects that govern life and the path to salvation and glory. In the so-called first watch of the night was given the knowledge of the past lives. The second was fitted with the third eye or divine vision. At daybreak entered the omniscient and he came to know how the entire system of ten thousand worlds was lit. He woke up drunk to know.

Siddhartha had learned that human suffering is closely linked to the nature of existence, the fact of birth, and to escape the wheel of reincarnation was necessary to overcome ignorance and disregard of passions and desires. The charity was a way of saying the salvation of all men and oneself. At first he had his doubts about whether he should preach the truth which had reached. His first sermon was held after a month in Sarnath, near Varanasi, where he lived with his five former companions. Apparently, they received him very coldly, and Siddhartha rebuked them for the ways they had to address a visionary. Finally, the five formed the core of a sect that, given the simplicity of the new message, grew rapidly. The pupil number six was Yasa, the son of a wealthy merchant of Benares, dissatisfied with his life of luxury and sensual; his life had some parallels with that of Siddhartha himself. Later Yasa became his family.

When he considered that his disciples were adequately prepared, he sent them to preach the new truth all over India. They had to go alone, and returned to Uruvela Siddhartha. Among his most important and influential kings was Bimbisara, who donated the Buddha and his followers a parcel of land (the “Bamboo Forest”) to take refuge. However, the disciples spent most of the time begging and preaching, and only returned to the farm during the rainy season.

Buddha continued to preach for forty-five years. Repeatedly visited his hometown and traveled the Ganges valley, rising each day at dawn and traveling between twenty and thirty miles per day, teaching all men generously without expecting a reward or distinction. It was an agitator and was never molested nor by the Brahmins, who was opposed, not by any ruler. The people attracted by his fame and persuaded of his sanctity, came out to meet him, raced his way with flowers planted.

One of the most famous conversions was procured for him by his cousin Devadatta, an ambitious man who hated him enough to devise a plan to end his life. Conspired with a few followers, and knowing that the Buddha would span a gorge, it was decided at the top of the cliff next to a removable medium that at the precise moment when Buddha would be passing beneath, the great stone would be moved and fell with a crash, it were cries and feared for the life of the teacher, but Buddha emerged unscathed from the dust, with a beatific smile on his lips.

In the last years of his life, Siddhartha suffered serious setbacks. Bimbisara king was dethroned by his own son and the throne was usurped by the Sakyas Vidudabha, Pasenadi king’s son, also protector of Buddhism. It seems that trying to return to his hometown when he suffered death. He was eighty-one years old and was very weak, but he continued to preach his doctrine to the last. For the descriptions of the infectious disease contracted, it is believed that the ultimate cause of death, in the city of Kusinagara, could be diarrhea. His body was cremated after seven days had passed away and his ashes spread among the followers.

Buddha’s asceticism came from the ancient religions, but it is not clear if its purpose was to reassure his fellow deity by presenting new or renewing previous rites, or to make everyone aware of its radical solitude and teach him to fight the evils of existence. By replacing the liturgies and sacrifices for the contemplation of the world, Buddha gave paramount importance to something very similar to the individual and private prayer, valuing above all meditation, praising the gathering and placing the human heart in the center of the Universe.

Another reason for its success was undoubtedly his amazing tolerance. There is no Buddhist dogma and, therefore, no Buddhist is persecuted for heresy. When looking back among pregnant centuries of violence and bigotry, what is most surprising is the serene Buddha appeal to reason and make the experience of every man- “Do not believe anything because you are taught the written testimony of a wise old man. Do not believe anything because it comes from the authority of teachers and priests, anything that agrees with your own experiences and after an arduous investigation agrees with your reason, and drive your own good that of all living things- accept it as truth and live accordingly”.

What is Buddhism

What is Buddhism

The nature of the doctrines of the Buddha says, first, an extraordinary and independent speculative capacity. From a traditional and orthodox position in your system can see how they are defoliating and destroying the bases of these traditional views by force of reason, and it creates a religious system which did not include a deity, something clearly abnormal and heretical in an environment like the Indians, so invaded by the feeling of the divine. Buddha lived in a Hindustani ideology phase during which, due to new conceptions of doctrine (the first one, the belief in transmigration) the ancient Vedic religion, with its cult of the gods and the exaltation of sacrifice as a meritorious act and powerful in its effects, had lost all value, because the only reality inexorable, and terrible dread able to scare the man was the eternal death and rebirth through an endless succession of stock, more or less fortunate on the merits or demerits acquired, but always ephemeral, fleeting and finished all the pain that accompanies death.

The interruption of the cycle of reincarnation and ultimately escape the infinite ocean of mortal lives were the ultimate goal desired by all living things, supreme and eternal happiness, variously conceived by different speculations developed during the period of intense and fruitful philosophical inquiry and religion that preceded and accompanied the emergence of Buddhism. But even in the history of India Buddha appears as an exceptional figure, not only for its historical reality (as opposed to merely legendary forms under which the indigenous cultural tradition had a religious founders, philosophers and eminent authors of all time ), but also because of its special features (as distinct from other contemporary spiritual movements) make their way to enlightenment.

Penance and corporal mortification and consequent suffering, were already a widely used method by the sages of India. Buddha also experienced, but without success, for this reason, she abandoned it soon and acknowledged with realistic insight indissoluble links between the force and powers of intellect and spirit and health and bodily strength of the body material. After achieving the perfect balance and fair correlation between the intellectual energy and physical nature, Buddha started walking towards the truth, revealed to him, finally, one night while in deep meditation at the foot of a fig tree.

On the basis of all Buddhist doctrinal structure contains a bleak and pessimistic view of life: the joys of youth, health and life are fleeting, as the old age, sickness and death hang over the first so inexorable. Any existence appears dominated by pain, which remains forever on a continuous journey to another life. Therefore, the annihilation of pain can only be obtained with the desire (“nirvana”), ignorance and the desire of pleasures, or attachment to the existence, causes reincarnation.

The criterion of Buddha on the mystery surrounding the man is summarized in the memorable words spoken seem to be lighting the night: “I’ve traveled the cycle lives relentlessly seeking the builder of the house (ie, cause of reincarnation), builder of the house, have been discovered, not because no other building will rise, because your rafters are broken and destroyed the roof of the house. The heart, now free, has extinguished any desire”.

The spiritual testament included in the brief and solemn recommendations made by the Buddha, dying, his disciples, is a moving and both realistic synthesis of all his teachings. The last words are an encouragement to pursue a quiet resignation of indifference and a fervent activity in the path of liberation: “I exhort you therefore, my disciples, that exists is subject to death; ensure your salvation” . The person of Buddha, so loved by his followers, was not at that time but a faint shadow, the living human traits to which such bonds of affection and devotion were extinguished and bound them forever. Explicitly reflected by the supreme master of the transition to the faithful who, distressed and tearful, was beside him, asking to posterity consciously ignorance and forgetfulness of his own person. As the only inheritance left his doctrine of salvation.

The doctrine of Buddha

The doctrine of Buddha was transmitted first orally and then collected in a vast literary production written in various Indian languages (Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit) and extraindias (Tibetan, Chinese, touch). In any case, these writings were not compiled until the first century BC, and include texts from different genres: sermons, dialogues, maxims and poems. Of the many canonical scriptures, we have completely called the Pali Canon or Tipitaka (three baskets or baskets). Pitaka is a Pali word meaning basket, they were kept in books or texts, as is done even today in Tibetan temples. The Tipitaka includes the Vinaya Pitaka or basket of discipline (letters that relate to the community of monks), the Sutra Pitaka or basket of sermons or lectures (lessons in the form of dialogue) and the Abhidhamma Pitaka or doctrine basket higher (the philosophical and scholastic).

The doctrine of Buddha is summarized in the so-called Four Noble Truths. The first refers to dukkha (literally, “suffering”) and asserts that life is suffering. This assertion does not mean that dominate life in pain versus pleasure, but that human existence is painful by nature from birth to death. Indeed, suffering is extinguished even in death, because, according to the teachings of Hinduism, death is just a prelude to a new incarnation. The concept is easier to understand if instead of “suffering ” use a term such as “dissatisfaction” even throws at satisfactions, human life is essentially unsatisfactory.

According to the second noble truth, the cause of suffering is tanha. Literally, tanha means “thirst” and is an obvious metaphorical description of desire. The desire causes suffering, and this is because man, by ignoring the true nature of reality, feels anxiety and greed and become attached to material things. Human beings want something permanent, unaware that the world does not stay there.

There is, however, a possibility of escape from suffering. The third noble truth says simply that the existence of a nirodha (“final”). It is possible to obtain the annulment of desire and thus put an end to suffering for it, man must overcome their ignorance and go beyond the worldly attachments.

The fourth noble truth, finally, states that there is room or way to end the suffering. This road is known as the Eightfold Path or Way of the eight stages, and requires having a clear view of things, good intentions, a proper mode of expression, doing good deeds, keep a proper lifestyle, striving in a positive way have good thoughts and engage in a convenient way to contemplation. Posed as a standard, could be listed as righteousness of view, right intention, word righteousness, rectitude of action, righteousness of life, honesty of effort, honesty and rectitude of thought in meditation. Generally, these eight points are grouped into three categories: ethical conduct (sila), mental discipline (samadhi) and wisdom (prajna).

These Four Noble Truths are in fact a corollary of a philosophy that begins with an analysis of human existence. The human being is the integration of a set of five or skandhas realities: the material body, feelings, perceptions, willingness to things (ie karmic tendencies) and consciousness. Each person is simply an ephemeral combination of these five aspects, which in turn are subject to constant change. None of these issues remains the same in two successive moments.

Hence, Buddhism denies that this set of five facts, taken alone or together, can be regarded as a soul (atman), ie, as a permanent entity, independent from their environment. It is therefore wrong to conceive that there is a permanent unit that is a constitutive element of man. Buddha said it is precisely the belief in a course leading to permanent self that man is selfish, look anxiety and, therefore, suffer. This I, from birth, has been assigned to a name, a home, family, religion, culture, has been charged with a huge baggage of social norms and surrounded by objects and properties that try to stop and freeze the reality always changeable and subject to constant transformations. And in our desire to possess things we cling to the pleasures and deny the pain, when both are also temporary. This kind of existential frustration is our dukkha. Thus the Buddha taught the doctrine of anatman or denial of the existence of a permanent soul. In fact, the defining features of human existence are the anatman (the absence of soul), anitya (impermanence, constant change, which is common to all that exists) and dukkha (suffering).

Anatman doctrine was necessary to reinterpret the Buddha, samsara, the Hindu belief in reincarnation cycle. To do this, the Buddha developed the idea of dependent arising of existence (pratityasamutpada). Under this doctrine, there is a chain of twelve causes that show how being ignorant of the past life causes the person tends to develop certain set of traits that determine the action of the mind and senses. The result of this act is the anxiety and attachment to existence, and this will lead to a new cycle of birth, life and death. Through this chain of causes, therefore, each life is linked to the next. This brings us to a flow of new lives rather than a permanent existence to be transferred from one life to another, in fact, is the belief in reincarnation without transmigration.

The doctrine of karma is closely connected with this particular view of reincarnation. Karma originates in the actions of the person and the moral consequences that flow from their actions. The actions determine the subsequent reincarnation: good deeds are rewarded and the bad are punished. Buddhism holds that there is undeserved pleasure nor unwarranted punishment, but everything is rather the result of universal justice. However, the karmic process operates through a natural moral law, it is almost like an abstract principle of causality, not involved in the justice system of divine origin. The karma of each individual determines aspects such as physical appearance, their level of intelligence, longevity, health and social class. In accordance with the teachings of Buddha, and depending on the nature of karma, the individual will be reincarnated in a human, an animal, a ghost, a being in hell, or even a god of the Hindu religion.

Buddhism does not deny the existence of gods, but not granted any special significance. Although his life in heaven is long and peaceful, the gods are subject to the same laws and principles than any other creature can die and be reincarnated in a state of being inferior. The gods did not create the world or influence the fate of humankind, so devote prayer or offerings or sacrifices useless. In fact, among the various forms of reincarnation, human thought is the best, because the gods live so absorbed in their pleasures that they forget the need to strive to achieve redemption.

The ultimate goal of the Eightfold Path is to get rid of suffering inherent in the phenomenal existence. This is achieved by reaching nirvana, the state of enlightenment in which extinguishes the fire of all desires and overcome greed, hatred and ignorance. This state should not be confused with annihilation once it has reached nirvana, the enlightened are able to live and to remove any residue that may be karma, entering at the moment of her death, to a final state of absolute nirvana called parinirvana. Actually, nirvana is a state of consciousness that can not be described in words and that is beyond any definition. When trying to describe, is incurred denials and paradoxes. Buddha spoke of him with these words (Udana 8.1): “There is, monks, something no land, no water, no heat, no air, no space boundless, boundless consciousness, with nothing, no state of awareness, something without this world or another world, without moon or sun, that, monks, I do not call or come or go or be, or birth, or death, has no foundation, length or condition. This is the end of suffering”.

Without minimizing the other precepts of the Eightfold Path, which function as essential foundations, it should be noted the last of them, meditation, and the admittedly difficult technique which allows continuous correct practice and purify the mind and rise in successive states of consciousness to lighting. Meditation is not simply the cultivation of the four foundations of mindfulness: the monk sits cross-legged, keeps the body erect and his mindfulness alert observation and practice of body, mind, feelings of and mental content.

This would be a first step of meditation, but something as seemingly simple means and disrupt the functioning of the mind. The meditator must keep the mind focused on the external world or in their own fantasies or mental images to look at the breath, sensations, or other objects depending on the type of meditation that follows. So is immersed in a world without reaction and without words, isolated and unconnected to everyday perceptual range than engaging its many facets illusory, and the first and fundamental illusion is precisely the one I immutable. The meditator is becoming aware of the change and flow that characterizes the existence of the constant and continual succession of perceptions and thoughts, the impossibility of something permanent.

Anyone can achieve nirvana, but in practice it is considered a target only accessible to members of a monastic community, who devote their lives to it. In Theravada Buddhism, who attains enlightenment after following the Eightfold Path is called arhat (one who is worth a lot). Those who are unable to reach the ultimate goal should strive for a better reincarnation through the improvement of their karma. Normally this is the aspiration of the Buddhist laity, whose main purpose and hope is to, through better reincarnation, a life in which they reach the final enlightenment.

Buddha Chronology

Buddha Chronology

558 A.C:
Probable year of birth in Kapilavastu (Nepal). Suddhodana son, king of Sakya, his mother died a few days after birth and raised by his maternal aunt Mahaprajapati.

542 A.C:
He married his cousin Yasodhara, with whom he had a son, Rahula. Take a luxurious life in the palace.

529 A.C:
The so-called “four games” will reveal the pain of existence and propel him to the ascetic life. Abandons his family, waives his responsibilities as prince and moved Rajagaha, capital of Magadha, where he met the king Bimbisara.

529-523 A.C:
Follows the teachings of yoga teachers Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputa. Dissatisfied, he moved to the Seine, where it is delivered unnecessarily rigorous ascetic practices.

523 A.C:
Abandoned asceticism and is recovering from its excesses. After long meditation at the foot of a fig tree near the town of Gaya, enlightened. In Sarnath, near Varanasi, with five former colleagues pronounce his first sermon on the Four Noble Truths. With the protection of King Bimbisara, devoted to itinerant preaching the rest of his life.

485 A.C:
Attempted murder of his cousin Devadatta, who becomes.

477 A.C:
Probable year of his death in Kusinagara.

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