Gautama Buddha was born in a small kingdom of Kapilavastu in the year 563 BC. Also known as Siddhartha Gautam, he was a prince by birth. Later, he was exposed to worldly pain and suffering and understood that actual life is far more difficult than what was shown to him by his father.
Being a prince Siddhartha was kept away from the sufferings of life. At the age of 16 he was married to Yashodha, a cousin of same age. She gave birth to a child, Rahul.
At the age of 29 , an interesting story crosses by. One day Siddhartha went out of the palace to see the world. On his way he saw an OLD MAN. He asked his charioteer, “Does everyone grow old?”, charioteer replied, “Yes master, everyone does”
Later on the way he saw a diseased man, again he asked “What happened to him?”, reply was “He is diseased.”, further he saw a decaying dead body. It was hard for him to believe that the world outside the palace was so different. This moved Siddhartha a lot and he decided to live a life of an Ascetic.
Siddhartha Gautama became Gautama Buddha once he started living a life of an Ascetic. He deprived himself from the worldly pleasures and started working on the principle of self mortification. Although, self mortification was a little too tough and so Buddha had to find a middle path, the ‘jhanas’. According to him the body and soul are two separate entities and once we are dead our soul is released from the body. The ultimate destination of every soul is ‘Nirvana‘
Origin of Buddhism
For the rest of his later life, Gautam Buddha traveled to various parts of India, Nepal and Burma spreading his thinking and preaching about Buddhism. The first two disciples of Buddhism were Tapussa and Bhallika. The disciples grew in number over the years to come. Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism was simpler to follow, less number of rituals and as a result it’s follower kept on increasing.
Attainment of Mahaparinirvana
At the age of 80 Gautama Buddha declared that he will soon be attaining Nirvana. He announced that he will attain the state of deathlessness. Buddha ate his last meal at a Blacksmith named Kunda. Buddha died of food poisoning and old age.
His last messages were ‘not to believe in unknown power of God’ and ‘to question and reason what you see.’