• Created by: Banisha.
  • Created on: 20-04-18 12:05


  • the buddhas original name was siddhartha goutama - his father was King Suddobhana
  • ASITA - was the wise man who made a prophecy/ was a great ruler
  • the king provided everything for siddhartha - he was surronded by luxury, everything was easy
  • although siddhartha felt the luxurious lifestyle seemed like a prison. empty/ pointless
  • siddhartha wanted to see the city - saw suffering ie old man, dead man, holy man, 1st noble truth - these are known as the four sights - sickness, old age, death, holy man - this made a huge impact on him, he could not ignore these unanswerable questions, everything is impermanent - he was shocked/ unsettled
  • siddhartha wanted to know if there was an escape of happiness and suffering - wanted to find truth and happiness
  • the king did not want siddhartha to leave the palace - he placed extra orders to the guards for protection
  • siddhartha set out a quest, left the palace, cut his hair. changed his clothes and left all his material possessions behind, detattached from everything - he spent 7 years away
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  • When he lived as an ascetic had ate 1 grain of rice everyday and lived with 5 disciplines - he discovered this was not the way to happiness, not any where near the truth
  • he left the ascetic lifestyle as he had a greater duty to follow - did not like luxury and did not like the ascetic lifestyle - he was nearer death, not closer to the truth
  • the alternative method to finding the truth was finding a quiet place and mediate until he found the truth - he sat under the bodhi tree - gave him a clear mind, sense of joy - reminded him of a memory as a child
  • he became enlightened by meditating, became peaceful and happy, saw the world as it really is and understood the dharma
  • the buddhas path is called the middle way between luxury and ascetiscm
  • the most significant events are when he went to the city and saw the four sights - shows that everyone goes through suffering in life
  • enlightenment is accessible/ achieveable for any being - he was just an ordinary man
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  • he belonged to a tribal background/ group known as SHAKYA CLAN, He was part of the KSHATRIYA CLASS - ruling nobility
  • TREVOR LING - believed that the shakya tribe was ruled by an assembly of tribal elders - his father was elected head of aristocratic hereditary ruling class
  • the buddha claimed his father was king ' a king Suddohadana by name was my father. A queen Maya by name was the mother that bore me'
  • the indian social order at the time was called the ARYAN SOCIAL STRUCTURE - THE RIG VEDA STATES - 'His mouth became the brahmin, his arms made the warrior, his thighs the people and from his feet the servants were born'
  • the buddha was born into a society with a strict heirachy of social classes, the buddha was part of a high class and gave up
  • this makes the middle way more significant, the buddha rejects this system, action not birth is what the buddha believed in and is seen as a social reformer, he ordained the bottom two women and rejects everything that exists
  • Gautama - in one of his previous lives he met a previous buddha called DIPANKARA - Buddha decided to strive for buddhahoods - bodhisattva - out of compassion, he would benefit countless beings and teach timeless truths dharma in a time when they were forgotten
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  • CONCEPTION - at the time of conception QUEEN MAHAMAYA dreamt that she was transported to the himalayas where a white elephant entered her right side - this was a 10 month pregnancy - this is recalled as a miraculous event where the bodhisattva was mindfully aware as he descended directly from tushita heaven into his mothers wom
  • BIRTH - At the end of her pregnancy Mahamaya travelled to the home of her relatives to give birth which was custom, she stopped on the way at Lumbini Grove to enjoy the flowers, she gave birth here holding onto a SAL TREE standing up. The baby ws set down by 4 devas, a warm and cool stream of water appeared from the sky. The buddha stood and walked 7 paces proclaiming that this would be the last rebirth 'i am born for enlightenment. this is my last rebirth into the world of phenomena'
  • HIS LIFE - Asita predicted that he would either be a great king/ universal emperor/ great religious leader. Suddhodana was keen for him to be a great king, so his life was surronded by luxuries to keep him attactched to wordly life. He married Yasodha, at 29 had a son - Rahula
  • CUSH - argues that this story is a myth,
  • legends are important, this storu is more about the message, to symbolise something, most buddhists are not troubled by the accuracy
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1. OLD MAN - Shows old age, realising he was not immune to these vanties of youth/ health shows dukkha - suffering and anicca - impermanence

2. SICK MAN -nothing is perfect, everything suffers - dukkha, everything comes to an end, 1 of the 3 marks of exitstence

3. CORPSE -funeral is taking place, shows everything comes to an end, impermance/ dukkha, questions the meanings of life

4. HOLY MAN -wandering philosophers known as SHRAMANAS Dressed in peaceful robes, and are homeless - this inspires him to leave - saw a peaceful man walking and thought this is the middle way

links to the four noble truths - dukkha, tanha - craving causes suffering, nirvana - end of suffering, noble eightfold path - magga, middle way. the four noble truths are the basis of his teachings, the four sights taught him that he has been craving

mayled argues its possible for 4 sights to be dramatised his realisation of suffering

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  • the buddha left the palce - swapped his clothes for rags, went to live in poverty. He studied with meditation masters where he learned advanced meditation states
  • he joined a group of 5 ascestics who believed that mortifying their body would bring spiritual illumination and destroy attatchments 
  • after 6 years the buddha was closer to death that spiritual illumination and decided this was like 'time spent endeavouring to tie the air in knots'
  • although austerities had no ulimate value they taught him that this life would bring him no closer to the truth neither would luxury - important as it is the discovery of the middle way 


  • path between self indulgence and self torture
  • the middle way leads to the four noble truths 
  • this is also known as the first turning of the dharma wheel 
  • dana means generosity
  • ahimsa means non harm 
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  • Mara is the demon known as the lord of death 
  • he is best known for 'destruction' - Mara brought his beautiful daughters to seduce siddhartha however siddhartha remained meditating - then sent armies of monsters to attack him - siddhartha still sat and remained still
  • mara claimed the seat of enlightenment was his yet siddhartha remained still - siddhartha then touched the earth with this hands and the earth spoke 'i am his witness' - mara fled 


  • the buddha sat under the bodhi tree and declared 'i shall not move from this seat until i have attained absolute wisdom and the supereme state of peace' 
  • to celebrate his enlightenment the gods suffered the earth with a rain of flowers and heavenly blessings, he was now an awakened one 
  • the 3 watches of night - these are the three time periods which the buddha achieves a new knowledge 
  • threefold knowledge - 1. his past life   2.cosmic vision, heavenly eye other people's karma   3. omniscience, perfect knowledge 
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  • known as the way of the elders 
  • goal of this is personal enlightenment 
  • an ARHAT is someone who has achieved enlightenment with guidance 
  • after the buddhas enlightenment he stayed there for 4 weeks so he could teach this to others 


  • known as the great vehicle 
  • goal is buddhood - to achieve enlightenment to help others 
  • bodhisattva - compassion people who help others attain enlightenment 

beginning of buddhism - setting in motion of the wheel of the dharma - this was not written until after his death

the pali canon was written after the buddha had died - the vinaya has 10 precepts and 227 rules for the monks called the Pattimokkha 

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  • the buddha set out to teach his former companions, the ascetics
  • they vowed to shun him as a failure - but they could see that he was different
  • the buddha insisted they called him tathagata 'truth attained one' who had found the deathless - parrinibbana - someone who is enlightened will not be reborn 
  • the first sermon is called the deer park sermon where the buddha taught the 4 nobles truths 


  • died of food poisoning at 80years old
  • buddhas last teachings - anicca - impermanence 
  • 3 lakshanas/ marks of existence 
  • dukkha means suffering 
  • anatta means no soul 
  • the buddha passed away in an obsecure place - died between two trees -critised those who got upset 
  • he said 'all things are subject to decay, attain perfection through diligence' 

4 noble truths 1. dukkha, 2. tanha 3. nirodha 4. magga 

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  • ANGULIMALA - story is about forgiveness, its not about the past, its about what we learn now 
  • SUNITA - story is about equality - everyone should be given the same amount of respect and the same chance
  • DEVATTA - story is about ahimsa - non violence - it is all about positive attitude 

symbolic meanings/ stories show importance - these signify/ cultivate qualities buddhists should show and have 

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  • DHARMAKARA - monk who vowed to create a pure paradise when he attained enlightenment, if you think of buddha it will lead them to paradise after death 
  • when he attained enlightenment he became buddha AMBTABHA and created a heaven called SUKHAVATTI heaven 
  • goal of pure land buddhism is to attain enlightenment, need faith and devotion to achieve liberation 
  • main practise is reciting the name 'nein fo'/ nembutsu
  • in pure land rebirth in SUHAVATI heaven is the main goal and speeds up enlightenment 
  • popular in china 
  • main practises are reciting amida buddhas name, mahayana stras, meditating on wonders of pure land heaven , paying respect to statues of amitabha buddha and singing amitabhas praises 
  • through practise one an embody dharmakaya - ultimate reality/boundless 
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  • form of mahayana buddhism developed in tibet 7th century 
  • incorporates yogacara and madhyamika philosophy / tantric symbol rituals 
  • DALAI LAMA - wellknown tibetan buddhist
  • includes path of bodhisattvas, dharma protectors 
  • arya- bodhisattvas are able to escape the cycle of death/ rebirth but compassionately choose to remain in this world to assist others in reaching nirvan/ buddhahood 
  • TULKU is a person who is recognised to be the reincarnation of someone who is deceased - dalai lama is the 14th one - tenzin gyatso 
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