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     Birth Story of Gotama


Gotama Buddha is considered to all as the twenty-fourth Buddha.

The Buddha is a basic and a common name, which means “one who has achieve Enlightenment”. There were Pali explanation which mentioned the four categories of the Buddha, first category belongs to the category of the Sabbannu Buddhas or the Omniscient Buddhas, which led to the class of the Enlightened Ones (Buddhas) devoted to the Nibbana for others. The second category of the Buddhas is that of the Paccheka Buddhas, who are also Enlightened but do not support for the holy progress of the others. The third group of the Buddhas which was commonly designated by Chatusaccha Buddhas refers to the arahantas (i.e.., those who have destroyed their respect or asavas); and finally there is the fourth category of the Bahussuta Buddhas, which refers to the learned ones.

The Pali tradition provides a list of twenty-four Buddhas born before Sakyamuni Gotama Buddha.

According to the tradition of the Buddhas, the Bodhisatta Sumedha put forth a formal pledge (abhinihara-karana or mulanidhana) before Dipankara Buddha for the benefit and freedom of all the creatures. (A Bodhisatta is an candidate of the bodhi or Englightenment). Then the final fixed pledge (abhinihara) through the statement (vyakarana) that ‘this Bodhisatta shall become a Buddha’. The Bodhisatta then wanted to develop the unique qualities of the Buddhahood (Buddhakarakadhamma) through the way of ten rightness (dasa-parami), namely, dana (donations), sila (right-performance), nekkhama (calmness), panna (wisdom), viriya (dedication), khanti (tolerance), saccha (truthfulness), aditthana (pledge), metta (loving compassion), upekkha (togetherness). His effort made for those perfections are well represented in Ekaraja, Khantivadi, Chulla Sankhapala, Maha Janaka, Mahasutasoma, Mugapakkha, Lomahamsa, Sattubhattaka, Sasa and Sutasoma Jatakas. 

Before his concept, he was born in the Tusita heaven and also waited for the suitable time being for his birth. In Accordance to the Lalitavistara he had chosen the Bodhisattva Vishvapani as the king of the Tusita Loka before his concept. It may be memorable that Vishvapani shall be the next Buddha and is called the Future Buddha or Maitreya (Pali: Metteya) Buddha.

Siddhattha was regarded in the womb of Mahamaya who was the wife of the king Suddhodana of Kapilavatthu on the full-moon day of Asalha. Her pregnancy was considered to be the supernatural as the baby had entered her womb without any physical relationship. This incident is mostly recognized to the Maha Maya’s dream of a white elephant, which entered her womb from her right side.

Moreover, her concept is revealed by the appearance of thirty-two special events like the earth-quake; light flooding; etc. the ten thousand world-systems (Chakkavalas); and destruction of the fire in hells.

Later, after ten months, on the full-moon day of Vishaka (May), Maya Devi originated a journey to Devadaha to visit her parents. She saw a beautiful wood of Lumbini while travelling on her way; and wanted to stop the journey for a while. Walking around, she came under a great sal tree. As soon as she reached there she had a sudden great pain. Thus, holding one of the branches of the sal tree she delivered the baby Siddhattha.

It is said that, when this baby was born, there were four regent devas (Chatur-Mahabrahmas) who received him in a golden net; and the universal shower from the sky washed him. When he was born, the boy immediately stood on the earth and took seven steps towards north and roared like a lion to speak - “I am the Master of the world”.

Even on the same day, seven other beings were born, namely as the bodhi tree; Yashodhara or Rahulamata (his wife); the horse Kanthaka; Channa, the charioteer; his elephant; Kaludayi (his child-hood friend) and seven treasure troves.

He was taken back to Kapilavatthu on the same day. His mother, however, died after a week after his birth.

 

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