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     Gotama Buddha

Being the born of King Suddhodana and his wife-Maha Maya, Siddhattha Gotama  lived in great relieve and luxury in three palaces, which was namely as Ramma, Suramma and Subha. He lived for twenty-nine years in the kingdom of Kapilavatthu till the time he decided to leave the worldly life and live the life of an ascetic.

Before his decision, he lived in the Tusita heaven and waited for the most favorable moment to be born on the earth. He was then born in the grove of Lumbini, when his mother was on her way to Devadaha to visit her parents. He was born under a sal tree on the full moon day of the Visakha month. Sage Asita (Kaladevala) when, heard of his birth from the devas of the Tavatimsa, visited him by breaking his meditation in the Himalayas.

Asita was much happy to see the child of Siddhattha as he was born to be a Buddha; but he also wept because he was not to live long to hear his sayings. On the fifth day of his birth, when the name-giving-ceremony was to be celebrated with the presence of one hundred and eight Brahmins: in which seven of them were namely as Rama, Dhaja, Lakkhana, Manti, Bhoja, Suyama and Sudatta They guess that the boy would either be an emperor of emperors or a Buddha. But Kondanna, the youngest of them had said that the boy would absolutely be a Buddha. The boy was given the name Siddhattha.

Seven days after the birth of Siddhattha, Mahamaya, his mother certainly died. Maha Pajapati, the sister of Mahamaya, who, too, along with Mahamaya was married to Suddhodana on the same day, looked after him.

When the prince was at the age of sixteen years old he gathered an assembly of the Sakiyans and established various acts of a great warrior. According to the Sarabhanga Jataka he performed twelve acts with a bow, which required the strength of one thousand men to lift the bow. Moreover, according to the traditions, the Sakiyans were so impressed by his acts that he was offered the hands of forty thousand Sakiyan maidens in marriage. The princess of Suppabuddha, named Bimbaa who was also known as Yashodhara or Rahula Mata-the mother of Rahula,  however, became his  wife.

At the age of twenty-nine, having realized the unimportance of the worldly life - Especially after coming across the four things, viz., the view of a diseased person; an old man; a dead body; and a loner – he finally refused the worldly life to live the life of an ascetic . Then crossing the three kingdoms of the Sakiyans, Koliyans and Mallas he crossed the river Anoma and cut off his hair and beard. Then he sent his charioteer Channa and his horse Kanthaka back to his father. The horse, however, could not bear the pain of being separated from his master and thus died. Since then Siddhattha wandered from place to place, such as, Anupiya mango grove, Rajgir and so on in search of the Truth.

In way of his search, he come up to Alara Kalama to learn the methods of spiritual practices to realize the truth. When disappointed with the Alara he turned to Uddaka Ramaputta. But he was not satisfied with his doctrine as well.

Later, he went to Senanigama in Uruvela and practiced self-punishment for six years along with five ascetics, who later became popular as ‘Pancha-vaggiya bhikkhus’. Having realized the stupidity of extreme asceticism he took choice to normal food. This made the five ascetics leave him and go away to Isipatana Park at Sarnath.

Sujata fulfilled the Siddhattha’s desire for the normal food by offering him milk rice in a golden bowl on the full moon day of the Visakha month. That day he bathed in the river Niranjara; ate the food; and left the bowl in the stream, which descended to the dwelling of the Naga king Kala. He then spent the day in the sal grove. In the evening he came to the Bodhi tree. There he met with Sotthiya, a grass cutter, who offered him eight handfuls of grass, which he placed eastward and sat cross-legged on it with a stiff determination to meditate until he had the ability of his Explanation. Then all the spirituality including Maha Brahma appeared there to admire him. But when Mara and his army attacked him; and their view frightened them they all escaped from there leaving him alone. Only the ten Perfections like that of offerings and righteousness, which he had mastered in various births, stood by him to conquer and defeat the forces of Mara. When Gotama come forward successfully by defeating Mara, those devas, who had ran away from there at the view of Mara, came back again there to celebrate the victory of the great sage.

Gotama, however, busy in meditation remembered his past life in the first watch of the night; achieved the divine eye in the second watch of night; and realized the Chain of Causation in the third watch of night. When he mastered Paticchasamuppada there came the earthquake. Finally, in the morning he achieved his explanation.

He enjoyed the peaceful meditation of paticchasamuppada for seven days while sitting under the Bodhi tree. He spent the second week at the foot of the Ajapala Nigrodha tree, where he was accosted by a haughty Brahmin; and defeated the three daughters of Mara, namely, Tanha, Arati and Raga, who took the last chance to discourage him. 




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