Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha, popularly known as the Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama[note 3] or Shakyamuni), was an ascetic, a religious leader and teacher who lived in ancient India (c. 6th to 5th century BCE or c. 5th to 4th century BCE).[6][7][8][note 4] He is regarded as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism, and revered by Buddhists as an enlightened being,[9] who rediscovered an ancient path to freedom from ignorance, craving and the cycle of rebirth and suffering. He taught for around 45 years and built a large following, both monastic and lay.[10] His teaching is based on his insight into the arising of suffering or dissatisfaction and its ending—the state called Nirvana (lit. vanishing or extinguishing).

Gautama Buddha
The Dharmachakra Pravartana Buddha, a statue of the Buddha from Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India. Gupta art, c. 475 CE. The Buddha is depicted teaching in the lotus position, while making the Dharmacakra mudrā.
Other namesShakyamuni ("Sage of the Shakyas")
Siddhartha Gautama

c.563 BCE or 480 BCE
Lumbini, Shakya Republic (according to Buddhist tradition)[note 1]
Diedc.483 BCE or 400 BCE (aged 80)[1][2][3]
Kushinagar, Malla Republic (according to Buddhist tradition)[note 2]
Cause of deathPig-bel disease[5]
Resting placeCremated
Known forFounder of Buddhism
Other namesShakyamuni ("Sage of the Shakyas")
Senior posting
PredecessorKassapa Buddha
Sanskrit name
SanskritSiddhārtha Gautama
Pali name
PaliSiddhattha Gotama

The Buddha was born into an aristocratic family in the Shakya clan, but eventually renounced lay life. According to Buddhist tradition, after several years of mendicancy, meditation, and asceticism, he awakened to understand the workings of the cycle of rebirth and how it can be escaped. The Buddha then traveled throughout the Gangetic plain teaching and building a religious community. The Buddha taught a middle way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the Indian śramaṇa movement.[11] He taught a training of the mind that included ethical training, self-restraint, and meditative practices such as jhana and mindfulness. The Buddha also critiqued the practices of Brahmin priests, such as animal sacrifice and the caste system.[12]

A couple of centuries after his death he came to be known by the title Buddha, which means "Awakened One" or "Enlightened One".[13] Gautama's teachings were compiled by the Buddhist community in the Vinaya, his codes for monastic practice, and the Suttas, texts based on his discourses. These were passed down in Middle Indo-Aryan dialects through an oral tradition.[14][15] Later generations composed additional texts, such as systematic treatises known as Abhidharma, biographies of the Buddha, collections of stories about the Buddha's past lives known as Jataka tales, and additional discourses, i.e. the Mahayana sutras.[16][17][18] Due to his influence on Indian religions, in Vaishnavism he came to be regarded as the 9th avatar of Vishnu.

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