• The Life of Buddha
  • The Buddha, His Life and Teaching
  • Who was Buddha? A short life story of Buddha …

His first converts were the five ascetics with whom he had lived when he himself followed the lifestyle of the ascetic.

A Sketch of the Buddha's Life: Readings from the Pali …

The Life of Siddhartha Gautama - Shippensburg University

During his life the Buddha had taught that no one was to succeed him as leader of the Sangha.
The Buddha was born in the year 563 B.C. in a mango grove at a place called Lumbini. It is presently located in the foot hills of Nepal in the region bordering the present day India. His father Suddhodana was a Sakya king and his mother Maya also came from a princely family. Seven days after his birth his mother died, leaving him to the care of her sister and his step mother Mahajapati, who was also a wife of Suddhodana.

Life of the Buddha - ReligionFacts

And then he was gone, to begin life as a wandering holy man in search of the ultimate...
The values that emerge from the Buddha’s life that I would like to highlight are essentially three, and they are renunciation, loving-kindness and compassion, and wisdom. These three values emerge very clearly through episodes in the Buddha’s own life. Incidentally it is no coincidence that these three qualities between them equal the attainment of Nirvana because as you know there are three defilements (Klesha) that cause us to be born again and again - the defilements of desire, ill-will and ignorance. In this context we might also remember that renunciation is the antidote for desire, loving-kindness and compassion is the antidote for ill-will, and wisdom is the antidote for ignorance. Through cultivating these three qualities one is able to eliminate the defilements and attain enlightenment. So it is no accident that these qualities should stand out so prominently in the life of the Buddha.

 

Buddha – Life of Buddha and Quotes


Let us look at them one by one and let us start with renunciation. As often happens, some of the very first evidence of the Buddha’s renunciation manifested itself while He was still very young. Renunciation is basically a recognition that all existence is suffering. When one recognizes the fact that all existence is suffering, this brings about what we might call a turning about, in other words, seeing that life is full of suffering one begins to look for something more. This is why suffering is the First Noble Truth. This recognition that existence is suffering is the essence of renunciation. You may know of Prince Siddhartha’s visit to the annual ploughing ceremony at the age of seven. It was there that while watching the ploughing the prince noticed a worm that had been unearthed by the plough devoured by a bird. This sight led the prince to contemplate the realities of life, to recognize the fact that all living beings kill each other for food and this is a great source of suffering. Already we see at this tender age in the biography of the Buddha the beginning of this recognition that existence is suffering. If we look a little bit later in the life of the Buddha, we will come to the famous episode of the four sights which moved the prince to renounce the household life and to follow a life of asceticism to seek the truth. The sights of old age, sickness, death and an ascetic led Him to consider why it was that He should feel uneasy when in fact He was Himself not free from, was subject to old age, sickness and death. This consideration led Him to develop a sense of detachment from pleasure, led Him to seek the truth by way of renunciation. It is interesting to note that Prince Siddhartha’s renunciation is not renunciation out of despair. He enjoyed the greatest happiness and yet saw these sufferings of life, recognizing that no matter how great one’s indulgence in pleasures of the senses might be, eventually one would have to face these sufferings. Recognizing this, He was moved to renounce the household life and seek enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.


Last week we talked about the two traditions and how the two traditions which were originally very distinct gradually began to interact and eventually fused in India and we said that the beginning of this process of interaction can be placed about the time of the Buddha. In fact during the time of the Buddha, we can see the beginning of the interaction and it was a process that continued until a thousand years later when the two traditions fused and became difficult to differentiate. It is not perhaps a coincidence that one of the primary areas where the two traditions came into the most active contact was in the area known as Madhyadesha, the area around what is now Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This area was regarded by the Brahmins as an area of challenge to the Aryan tradition. It happens that when two traditions of this nature meet, it creates an atmosphere where there is a great potential for the growth of new religious directions. To a large extent we can see the life and teachings of the Buddha in this context. In addition to the interaction of the two religious traditions, there were also significant social, economic and political changes that were taking place and which we have touched on last week. All these contributed to a heightened level of religious consciousness. It always happens in times of political and social upheaval that man looks inward, that man turns to religion. When they see the institutions that their forefathers took as stable and unchanging shaken, there is a natural tendency to turn to religion, and this contributes to heightened religious consciousness and activities. This is very much the case in the 6th century B.C.


Life of Gautama Buddha is inspiration for the whole world

Let us next look at the quality of loving-kindness and compassion. Here too we can see this quality manifested very early in the life of the Buddha. The most striking example of this is the episode of the wounded swan. We are told that He and His cousin Devadatta were roaming in the park surrounding the palace when Devadatta shot down a swan with his bow and arrow. Both boys ran towards the spot where the swan had fallen, but Siddhartha being the faster runner came to the place where the wounded bird lay. Gathering the bird in His arms, He nursed the bird and this brought about a reaction from Devadatta who insisted that the bird ought to be his since he was the one who shot it down. The boys brought this dispute to the wise man of the court who decided that life belonged rightly to the one who preserved it, not to one who destroyed it. Here we have a striking example of the Buddha’s attitude of loving-kindness and compassion which grows directly out of this recognition that the nature of life is suffering. Later too after His enlightenment, the Buddha continued to display this quality, as for instance in the famous episode in which the Buddha nursed the sick Tissa whose illness was such that the other members of the Order shunned him.

THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA | Boeddhisme : Jampa 's Mandala

What is that makes the message of the Buddha so attractive to people who are cultivated, who are intellectual? Because his message is something which is deeply rational and profoundly spiritual. Rational because he looks at the world and finds out what the problems of the world are and pursues a quest and reaches the fulfillment of that quest. S. Radhakrishnan, Our Heritage.