The Buddha - Siddhartha's Life

  • Created by: mariam26
  • Created on: 22-11-20 14:16

Birth and Hedonistic Upbringing

  • Siddhartha Guatama was born around sometime around the 5th Century BC
  • Born in Lumbini, Nepal and lived in Kapilavastu in the Shakya state up until the age of 29 
  • He was the son of Suddohana (a Shakya chief) and Maya (who died after his birth) - he was raised by his mother's sister Gotami Maha
  • He was prophesied to either be a great leader or a holy man by Asita - his Father wanted him to become the former so he kept Siddhartha away from religion and suffering 
  • When he was 16 he married his cousin Yasodhara and they had a son named Rahula
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The Four Passing Sights

When Siddhartha was 29, he left his palace with his servant Channa to see his people and he saw 4 things that changed his outlook on life;

  • An Old Manthe ravages of time
  • A Sick Maneveryone is subject to illness
  • A Dead Manall things must end
  • A Holy Man (ascetic) - wandering to find the cause of suffering

After he saw the first 3 negative sights he realised that life was filled with suffering and pain

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Renunciation and Asceticism

  • Gautama returned to his palace troubled after witnessing the sights
  • Yasodhara became pregnant and had a son whom Gautama named Rahula (meaning fetter - tying him to Gautama's life)
  • Gautama decided to become a travelling homeless man (anagarika)
  • Gautama studied Yoga under Kalama and mastered it
  • He then studied under Ramaputta - this led to a false awakening/temporary enlightenment
  • After 6 years Gautama became very weak - he ate very little, mediated vigorously and suffered greatly; he collapsed one day
  • He was revived by Sujata and decided to pursue an alternative lifestyle called the Middle Way 
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  • Gautama sat under a Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India
  • He began to meditate and refused to move until he reached 'Enlightenment'
  • He stayed there 49 days and eventually reached 'Enlightenment'
  • He realised that people are born, suffer and die - he wanted to break free from this cycle (Samsara)
  • During his meditation, he was visited by Mara (a demon) who challenged him to break his quest 
  • Gautama defeated Mara and achieved Nirvana - liberation from desires, suffering, ignorance and Samsara
  • He became known as the Buddha (enlightened one) and after contemplation decided to teach others - the Dharma
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Teaching Career

  • At first, the Buddha was reluctant to teach because what he had realised could be communicated in words - he believed listeners without direct experience of the 'Great Reality' would be stuck in conceptualisation and would misunderstand.
  • Compassion persuaded him to make to attempt
  • After his enlightenment, he went to the Deer Park in Isipatana - he found the 5 companions who had previously abandoned him and he preached his first sermon to them (Deer Park Sermon)
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Teaching Career (ii)

The Deer Park Sermon

  • The sermon has been preserved as the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta and centres on the 'Four Noble Truths'
  • Instead of teaching doctrines about enlightenment, the Buddha chose to prescribe a path of practice through which people can realise enlightenment 
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Teaching Career (iii)

  • The Buddha devoted himself to teaching and attracted hundreds of followers
  • Eventually, he reconciled with his father, King Suddhodana
  • His wife, Yasodhara, became a nun and a disciple
  • His son, Rahula, became a novice monk at the age of seven and spent the rest of his life with his father
  • The Buddha travelled tirelessly through all areas of northern India and Nepal
  • He taught a diverse group of followers

At the age of 80, the Buddha entered Parinirvana, leaving his physical body behind. He abandoned the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

His final words to his followers;

"Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All compounded things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting. Work hard to gain your own salvation."

The Buddha's body was cremated. His remains were placed in 'stupas'-domed structures common in Buddhism-in many places (China, Sri Lanka etc).

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