Buddhism became a popular religion in India and abroad during the ancient period. It was founded by Gautam Buddha. Read Life of Gautam Buddha in detail
Life of Gautam Buddha
- Buddha was born in 563 BC at Lumbini near Kapilavastu in Nepal. His father was the ruler of Kapilavastu. Buddha was inclined towards spiritual pursuits since his childhood.
- He was married at a young age to princess Yashodhara and had a son.
- Buddha in his early life was moved by the sight of an old man, a sick man, and a dead body. He was consoled when he saw an ascetic in search of salvation. These sights came to be known as the ‘Four Great Sights’.
- Later, he left the palace, his wife, and his child to find a solution to the problems of the people. This is known as ‘the Great Renunciation’.
- After leaving home, Buddha wandered from place to place. He later went to Gaya and followed the life of extreme austerity. Finally, at the age of thirty-five, he attained enlightenment at Bodhgaya in Bihar and came to be known as Buddha or the Enlightened One.
- Mahabodhi temple was constructed at the place where Buddha received enlightenment. He was also called ‘tathagat’ or the founder of the truth.
- Buddha delivered his first sermon at the Deer Park in Sarnath near Varanasi in the presence of five saints. This event in the history of Buddhism came to be known as dharmachakrapravartana or the turning of the wheels of sacred law.
- Buddha’s fame spread far and wide, and he traveled to various parts of the country spreading his messages and teachings.
- In his last years, Buddha went to the city of Kushinagar, near Gorakhpur district in present Uttar Pradesh. He attained salvation at the age of 80 in 483 BC at Kushinagar. Remains of his body were taken to eight different places by his disciples where huge mounds called stupas were erected.
Also, Read India in the Sixth Century BC