The Life of Siddhartha



563 BCE - 534 BCE

-His father wished for him to be a ruler and was disturbed at the idea of him becoming a leader so he did everything possible to ensure that his sons' life was as pleseant as possible so he would not want to ever leave the palace

The Birth of Siddhartha

563 BCE

-Parents were King Shuddhodana and his mother was Queen Maya
-His birth was special because it is said that he immediatley took seven steps and said, "This is my last birth" which meant the child would be a great ruler or great religious teacher

Renunciation and Austerities

534 BCE - 530 BCE

-Siddhartha became a wandering seeker of spiritual knowledge
-His first teacher taught him to meditate and attain a state of deep trance, which was a good, but not permanent solution
-He then tried controlled breathing, resulting in headaches
-He then attempted lowering food intake, from which he fell ill
-He soon came to the conclusion that the best course was the middle way, a path between extremes, a life of moderation

The Four Sights

534 BCE

-Siddhartha left the palace because he craved spiritual satisfaction
-During his time away from the palace he saw an old man- body broken by life- leaning against a staff, a sick man lying by the roadside, a corpse being prepared for cremation, and an ascetic monk who practices severe self denial- living homeless and alone

The First Sermon

531 BCE - 486 BCE

-Siddhartha becomes known as the Buddha, meaning 'the enlightened one'
-He shared his insights with five Hindu escetics who accepted his insight and became bhikkus, Buddha's monks
-This was the beginning of the Buddhist community

Siddhartha Discovers the Middle Way

530 BCE

-The Middle Way is a path which Siddhartha discovers that is between both extremes, a life of moderation


530 BCE

-Siddhartha sat under a higher tree and meditated
-He remembered all of his previous lives in detail, entering a higher consciousness, something like a psycic state
-He saw death and rebirth as consequences of their good and bad deeds, their karma
-In doing this he achieved nirvana, a state of supreme realization and enlightenment
-He stayed in this state for seven days


486 BCE

-When he died, Buddha told his followers that they should choose which teachings to follow, based upon their personal evaluation, and that everyone is responsible for their own salvation.
-He achieved parinirvana, or complete nirvana, which released him from the cycle of involuntary rebirth