Lord Gautam Buddha was a spiritual preacher from ancient India who founded Buddhism. The time of birth and death of Lord Buddha is uncertain. However, most of the historians believe his life to be 563 BC to 453 BC. He was born at Lumbini in Kapilavastu (now Nepal). His father was King Suddhodana and mother Queen MahaMaya (Mayadevi). His infant name was Siddhartha and family name Gautama. His mother died at his birth and he was brought up by his mother’s sister Mahapajapati.
When he attained the age of 16, his father arranged his marriage to a cousin named Yasodhara. She gave birth to a son named Rahula. Siddhartha spent 29 as a prince in Kapilabastu.
One day Siddhartha went out on his chariot to visit the surroundings outside the palace. Eventually, he met a very old and helpless man, another suffering from the disease in critical condition, and subsequently a man on his death-bed. He realised that none can avoid old age, disease and death.
Although his father ensured to satisfy Siddhartha to provide with everything he could want or need, he felt that material wealth was not life’s ultimate goal. At the age of 29, he left his palace for the life of a mendicant. He went on roaming in search of spiritual light. Some days after at the age of 35, seated under a peepal tree (Known as Bodhi tree) in Bodhgaya, India, he attained Enlightenment and thereafter he was known as ‘Buddha’ or ‘Awakened One’ to his followers.
Buddha realised complete insight into the cause of suffering and the steps necessary to eliminate it. These discoveries became known as the ‘Four Noble Truths’: that suffering is an ingrained part of existence; that the origin of suffering is craving for sensuality and acquisition of identity; that suffering can be ended; and that following the Noble Eightfold Path is the means to accomplish this. The Noble Eightfold Paths are right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. And through these truths, a state of supreme liberation or ‘Nirvana’ is possible for any mortal being. He himself reached ‘Parinirvana’ or the final deathless state at the age of 80, according to the Buddhist scriptures.
His preachings are preserved in the sacred scriptures of the Buddhists.