8 Apr 2022


Early Life of Siddhartha Gautama

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Academic level: High School

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Born in 563 B.C in a mango grove, little Buddha spent his childhood in the Kapilavastha. Although he was born to a mother who came from a princely family and a father who was a king, he did not get to enjoy the care of both biological parents as his mother died seven days after Buddha was born. After her death, Buddha’s mum left him under the care of her sister.

The birth of Siddhartha Gautama marked the occurrence of various miracles which signaled the arrival of a child who was not of ordinary nature as the others, but one who was of divine nature. His father and the royal court, hence expected him to grow to be a respectable king. Due to the knowledge that his father had about his son, he shielded him against as many spiritual influences as he could. Giving him all the comfort that he would require, he built three palaces for him. Despite the effort that his father put in place, Buddha was still occasional influenced by philosophical thinking, a factor that made him experience great despair.

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At a young age of 16, Buddha got married to Yashodhara, a woman with whom they had a son, Rahula. Just around the time his son was born, Buddha received four great signs. The signs he received challenged him to think about the suffering of mankind. Pushed by the need to understand beyond what he was experiencing, he set out, living his family and wife to be a monk. On his stopover at Magadha kingdom, King Bimbisara tried to persuade him to give up his cause without success. After that, he set out in search of enlightenment. Although he found a hermitage in which he stayed there, he did not believe in the teachings there, and after some times he set out to find the truth for himself. Upon his departure, he came across other monks trying to understand life and death, and he joined them in fasting and self-denial. One day, he felt unconscious, after which when he recovered, he left the path he was pursuing as it did not seem to bring him any enlightenment. After several days of meditating alone in the forest, he was able to enter the Nirvana stage and became the Budha he desired.


Brewster, E. H. (1956).  The life of Gotama the Buddha . Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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