Sidhartha was born (563 BC; Kapilavastu, Nepal) into the Gautama family of the Shakaya clan. The Shakayas were members of the priestly-warrior caste. In fact, Sidhartha's father (Shuddhodhana) was the head of the tribe. Name of his mother’s was Mahamaya. He got married to Yashodhara and got a son named Rahul. He left his luxurious life at the age of 29 years.
At the age of thirty-five, under a papal tree, Sidhartha reached enlightenment and became an "enlightened one"--a Buddha (c. 528 BC).
Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama, Shakyamuni, or the Buddha, was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. The word Buddha means awakened one or the enlightened one.
The major facts related to life of Buddha are given below:
- Gautam Buddha was born in Lumbini, principality of Kapilvastu in Nepal.
- His childhood name was Siddartha.
- He was son of Shuddodhana, king of Shakya clan.
- His mother’s name was Mahamaya.
- The birth of Buddha is celebrated in India as Buddha Purnima while it is called Vesaka in some countries.
- He got married with Yashodhara at the age of 16 and had a son called Rahul.
- At one stage of his life, he encountered human sufferings such as disease, old age and death and discussed these sufferings with his charioteer Channa.
- He left his home at the age of 29 years to live a life of an ascetic which is known as Mahabhinishkramana (the great departure).
- He attained enlightenment at Gaya in Magadha (Bihar) under a pipal tree, was known as Gautama Buddha and Tathagata (he who has attained the truth).
- He delivered his first sermon known as Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (turning of the Wheel of Law) at Sarnath in which he dealt with the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the very base of Buddhist teaching.
- Kaundinya and four others became his first disciples.
- His ten chief disciples were Upali, Rahula, Punna, Mahakaccana, Subhoti, Mahamoggallana, Mahakasyapa, Ananda, Sariputta and Anuruddha.
- Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana( died) at Kushinagar in 483 BC