Gautama Buddha[note 3] (c. 563/480 – c. 483/400 BCE), also known as
Siddhārtha Gautama,[note 4] Shakyamuni Buddha,[note 5] or simply
the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was an ascetic (śramaṇa) and
sage, on whose teachings
Buddhism was founded. He is believed to
have lived and taught mostly in the eastern part of ancient India
sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.[note 6]
Gautama taught a
Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe
asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region.
He later taught throughout other regions of eastern
India such as
Magadha and Kosala.
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is believed by Buddhists
to be an enlightened teacher who attained full
Buddhahood and shared
his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering.
Accounts of his life, discourses and monastic rules are believed by
Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his
followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were
passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400
Buddha as an avatar at
Dwaraka Tirumala temple, Andhra Pradesh.
In Vaishnava Hinduism, the historic Buddha is considered to be an
avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. Of the ten major avatars of Vishnu,
Gautama Buddha to be the ninth and most recent
1 Historical Siddhārtha Gautama
2 Traditional biographies
2.1 Biographical sources
2.2 Nature of traditional depictions
3.1 Conception and birth
3.2 Early life and marriage
3.3 Renunciation and ascetic life
3.5 Formation of the sangha
3.6 Travels and teaching
4 Physical characteristics
5 Nine virtues
6.1 Use of Brahmanical motifs
6.2 Tracing the oldest teachings
6.3 Dhyana and insight
6.4 Earliest Buddhism
6.5 Later developments
7 Other religions
8 Depiction in arts and media
9 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Historical Siddhārtha Gautama
Maya Devi Temple
Ancient kingdoms and cities of
India during the time of the Buddha.
Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical
facts of the Buddha's life. Most accept that he lived, taught, and
founded a monastic order during the
Mahajanapada era during the reign
Bimbisara (c. 558 – c. 491 BCE, or c. 400
BCE), the ruler of the
Magadha empire, and died during the
early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, who was the successor of
Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the
Jain tirthankara. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's
lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential Śramaṇa
schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Jainism, and
Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of
thought. It was also the age of influential thinkers like Mahavira
(referred to as 'Nigantha Nataputta' in
Pali Canon), Pūraṇa
Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, and
Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, as recorded in Samaññaphala Sutta, whose
viewpoints the Buddha most certainly must have been acquainted
with.[note 7] Indeed,
Sariputta and Moggallāna, two of the
foremost disciples of the Buddha, were formerly the foremost disciples
of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the skeptic; and the
frequently depicts Buddha engaging in debate with the adherents of
rival schools of thought. There is also philological evidence to
suggest that the two masters,
Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, were
indeed historical figures and they most probably taught Buddha two
different forms of meditative techniques. Thus, Buddha was just
one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. In an era
where holiness of person was judged by their level of asceticism,
Buddha was a reformist within the śramaṇa movement, rather than a
reactionary against Vedic Brahminism. While the general sequence
of "birth, maturity, renunciation, search, awakening and liberation,
teaching, death" is widely accepted,[page needed] there is
less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in
The times of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain. Most historians
in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483
BCE. More recently his death is dated later, between 411 and
400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in
1988, the majority of those who presented definite
opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the
Buddha's death.[note 6] These alternative chronologies,
however, have not been accepted by all historians.[note 8]
The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhārtha Gautama was
born into the
Shakya clan, a community that was on the periphery, both
geographically and culturally, of the eastern Indian subcontinent in
the 5th century BCE. It was either a small republic, or an
oligarchy, and his father was an elected chieftain, or oligarch.
According to the Buddhist tradition, Gautama was born in Lumbini, now
in modern-day Nepal, and raised in the
Shakya capital of Kapilvastu,
which may have been either in what is present day Tilaurakot, Nepal or
Piprahwa, India.[note 1] He obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya,
gave his first sermon in Sarnath, and died in Kushinagar.
No written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or some
centuries thereafter. One Edict of Asoka, who reigned from circa 269
BCE to 232 BCE, commemorates the Emperor's pilgrimage to the Buddha's
birthplace in Lumbini. Another one of his edicts mentions the titles
of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written
Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era. These texts
may be the precursor of the
Pāli Canon. [note 10] The oldest
surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts,
reported to have been found in or around Haḍḍa near
eastern Afghanistan and now preserved in the British Library. They are
written in the
Gāndhārī language using the
Kharosthi script on
twenty-seven birch bark manuscripts and date from the first century
BCE to the third century CE.
On the basis of philological evidence, Indologist and
Oskar von Hinüber says that some of the
Pali suttas have retained
very archaic place-names, syntax, and historical data from close to
the Buddha's lifetime, including the Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta which
contains a detailed account of the Buddha's final days. Hinüber
proposes a composition date of no later than 350–320 BCE for this
text, which would allow for a "true historical memory" of the events
approximately 60 years prior if the Short Chronology for the Buddha's
lifetime is accepted (but also reminds that such a text was originally
intended more as hagiography than as an exact historical record of
Buddha by Otgonbayar Ershuu
The sources for the life of Siddhārtha Gautama are a variety of
different, and sometimes conflicting, traditional biographies. These
include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the
Nidānakathā. Of these, the Buddhacarita is the
earliest full biography, an epic poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa
in the first century CE. The
Lalitavistara Sūtra is the next
oldest biography, a Mahāyāna/Sarvāstivāda biography dating to the
3rd century CE. The
Mahāvastu from the Mahāsāṃghika
Lokottaravāda tradition is another major biography, composed
incrementally until perhaps the 4th century CE. The Dharmaguptaka
biography of the Buddha is the most exhaustive, and is entitled the
Abhiniṣkramaṇa Sūtra, and various Chinese translations of
this date between the 3rd and 6th century CE. The Nidānakathā is
Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka and was composed in the 5th
century by Buddhaghoṣa.
From canonical sources come the Jataka tales, the Mahapadana Sutta (DN
14), and the Achariyabhuta Sutta (MN 123), which include selective
accounts that may be older, but are not full biographies. The Jātakas
retell previous lives of Gautama as a bodhisattva, and the first
collection of these can be dated among the earliest Buddhist
texts. The Mahāpadāna Sutta and Achariyabhuta Sutta both recount
miraculous events surrounding Gautama's birth, such as the
bodhisattva's descent from the Tuṣita Heaven into his mother's womb.
Nature of traditional depictions
Māyā miraculously giving birth to Siddhārtha. Sanskrit, palm-leaf
manuscript. Nālandā, Bihar, India. Pāla period
In the earliest Buddhist texts, the nikāyas and āgamas, the Buddha
is not depicted as possessing omniscience (sabbaññu) nor is he
depicted as being an eternal transcendent (lokottara) being. According
Bhikkhu Analayo, ideas of the Buddha's omniscience (along with an
increasing tendency to deify him and his biography) are found only
later, in the
Mahayana sutras and later
Pali commentaries or texts
such as the Mahāvastu. In the Sandaka Sutta, the Buddha's
Ananda outlines an argument against the claims of teachers
who say they are all knowing  while in the Tevijjavacchagotta
Sutta the Buddha himself states that he has never made a claim to
being omniscient, instead he claimed to have the "higher knowledges"
(abhijñā). The earliest biographical material from the Pali
Nikayas focuses on the Buddha's life as a śramaṇa, his search for
enlightenment under various teachers such as
Alara Kalama and his
forty-five-year career as a teacher.
Traditional biographies of Gautama generally include numerous
miracles, omens, and supernatural events. The character of the Buddha
in these traditional biographies is often that of a fully transcendent
(Skt. lokottara) and perfected being who is unencumbered by the
mundane world. In the Mahāvastu, over the course of many lives,
Gautama is said to have developed supramundane abilities including: a
painless birth conceived without intercourse; no need for sleep, food,
medicine, or bathing, although engaging in such "in conformity with
the world"; omniscience, and the ability to "suppress karma".
Nevertheless, some of the more ordinary details of his life have been
gathered from these traditional sources. In modern times there has
been an attempt to form a secular understanding of Siddhārtha
Gautama's life by omitting the traditional supernatural elements of
his early biographies.
Andrew Skilton writes that the Buddha was never historically regarded
by Buddhist traditions as being merely human:
It is important to stress that, despite modern
Theravada teachings to
the contrary (often a sop to skeptical Western pupils), he was never
seen as being merely human. For instance, he is often described as
having the thirty-two major and eighty minor marks or signs of a
mahāpuruṣa, "superman"; the Buddha himself denied that he was
either a man or a god; and in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta he states
that he could live for an aeon were he asked to do so.
The ancient Indians were generally unconcerned with chronologies,
being more focused on philosophy.
Buddhist texts reflect this
tendency, providing a clearer picture of what Gautama may have taught
than of the dates of the events in his life. These texts contain
descriptions of the culture and daily life of ancient
India which can
be corroborated from the Jain scriptures, and make the Buddha's time
the earliest period in Indian history for which significant accounts
exist. British author
Karen Armstrong writes that although there
is very little information that can be considered historically sound,
we can be reasonably confident that Siddhārtha Gautama did exist as a
historical figure. Michael Carrithers goes a bit further by
stating that the most general outline of "birth, maturity,
renunciation, search, awakening and liberation, teaching, death" must
Conception and birth
Maya's dream of the Birth of Gautama Siddharta
Gautama Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal,[note 1] a holy
shrine also for many non-Buddhists.[note 11]
The Buddhist tradition regards Lumbini, in present-day Nepal to be the
birthplace of the Buddha.[note 1] He grew up in Kapilavastu.[note
1] The exact site of ancient Kapilavastu is unknown. It may have
been either Piprahwa, Uttar Pradesh, in present-day India, or
Tilaurakot, in present-day Nepal. Both places belonged to the
Sakya territory, and are located only 15 miles apart.
Gautama was born as a Kshatriya,[note 12] the son of Śuddhodana,
"an elected chief of the
Shakya clan", whose capital was
Kapilavastu, and who were later annexed by the growing Kingdom of
Kosala during the Buddha's lifetime. Gautama was the family name. His
mother, Maya (Māyādevī), Suddhodana's wife, was a Koliyan princess.
Legend has it that, on the night Siddhartha was conceived, Queen Maya
dreamt that a white elephant with six white tusks entered her right
side, and ten months later Siddhartha was born. As was the
Shakya tradition, when his mother Queen Maya became pregnant, she left
Kapilavastu for her father's kingdom to give birth. However, her son
is said to have been born on the way, at Lumbini, in a garden beneath
a sal tree.
The day of the Buddha's birth is widely celebrated in Theravada
countries as Vesak.
Buddha's Birthday is called Buddha
Nepal, Bangladesh, and
India as he is believed to have been born on a
full moon day. Various sources hold that the Buddha's mother died at
his birth, a few days or seven days later. The infant was given the
name Siddhartha (Pāli: Siddhattha), meaning "he who achieves his
aim". During the birth celebrations, the hermit seer
from his mountain abode and announced that the child would either
become a great king (chakravartin) or a great sadhu. By
traditional account,[which?] this occurred after Siddhartha placed his
feet in Asita's hair and
Asita examined the birthmarks. Suddhodana
held a naming ceremony on the fifth day, and invited eight Brahmin
scholars to read the future. All gave a dual prediction that the baby
would either become a great king or a great holy man. Kondañña,
the youngest, and later to be the first arhat other than the Buddha,
was reputed to be the only one who unequivocally predicted that
Siddhartha would become a Buddha.
While later tradition and legend characterized
Śuddhodana as a
hereditary monarch, the descendant of the
Suryavansha (Solar dynasty)
of Ikṣvāku (Pāli: Okkāka), many scholars think that Śuddhodana
was the elected chief of a tribal confederacy.
Early texts suggest that Gautama was not familiar with the dominant
religious teachings of his time until he left on his religious quest,
which is said to have been motivated by existential concern for the
human condition. The state of the
Shakya clan was not a monarchy
and seems to have been structured either as an oligarchy, or as a form
of republic. The more egalitarian gana-sangha form of government,
as a political alternative to the strongly hierarchical kingdoms, may
have influenced the development of the śramanic Jain and Buddhist
sanghas, where monarchies tended toward Vedic Brahmanism.
Birth and childhood of the Buddha
Maya's dream, Bharhut, circa 150 BCE.
Maya's dream, Gandhara, 2nd century CE.
Birth of the Buddha.
The Infant Buddha Taking A Bath,
Gandhara 2nd Century CE.
The infant Buddha taking the Seven Steps.
Greco-Buddhist art of
Early life and marriage
Departure of Prince Siddhartha
Siddhartha was brought up by his mother's younger sister, Maha
Pajapati. By tradition, he is said to have been destined by birth
to the life of a prince and had three palaces (for seasonal
occupation) built for him. His father, said to be King Śuddhodana,
wishing for his son to be a great king, is said to have shielded him
from religious teachings and from knowledge of human suffering. While
Śuddhodana has traditionally been depicted as a king, and Siddhartha
as his prince, more recent scholarship suggests the
in-fact organized as a semi-republican oligarchy rather than a
When he reached the age of 16, his father reputedly arranged his
marriage to a cousin of the same age named Yaśodharā (Pāli:
Yasodharā). According to the traditional account,[which?] she gave
birth to a son, named Rāhula. Siddhartha is said to have spent 29
years as a prince in Kapilavastu. Although his father ensured that
Siddhartha was provided with everything he could want or need,
Buddhist scriptures say that the future Buddha felt that material
wealth was not life's ultimate goal.
Renunciation and ascetic life
The Victory of Buddha
The "Great Departure" of Siddhartha Gautama, surrounded by a halo, he
is accompanied by numerous guards, maithuna loving couples, and devata
who have come to pay homage; Gandhara, Kushan period
Prince Siddhartha shaves his hair and becomes an ascetic. Borobudur,
At the age of 29, Siddhartha left his palace to meet his subjects.
Despite his father's efforts to hide from him the sick, aged and
suffering, Siddhartha was said to have seen an old man. When his
charioteer Channa explained to him that all people grew old, the
prince went on further trips beyond the palace. On these he
encountered a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. These
depressed him, and he initially strove to overcome aging, sickness,
and death by living the life of an ascetic.
Accompanied by Channa and riding his horse Kanthaka, Gautama quit his
palace for the life of a mendicant. It's said that "the horse's hooves
were muffled by the gods" to prevent guards from knowing of his
Gautama initially went to Rajagaha and began his ascetic life by
begging for alms in the street. After King Bimbisara's men recognised
Siddhartha and the king learned of his quest,
Siddhartha the throne. Siddhartha rejected the offer but promised to
visit his kingdom of
Magadha first, upon attaining enlightenment.
He left Rajagaha and practised under two hermit teachers of yogic
meditation. After mastering the teachings of Alara
Kalama (Skr. Ārāḍa Kālāma), he was asked by Kalama to succeed
him. However, Gautama felt unsatisfied by the practice, and moved on
to become a student of yoga with
Udaka Ramaputta (Skr. Udraka
Rāmaputra). With him he achieved high levels of meditative
consciousness and was again asked to succeed his teacher. But, once
more, he was not satisfied, and again moved on.
The Buddha surrounded by the demons of Māra.
Sanskrit palm leaf
manuscript. Nālandā, Bihar, India. Pāla period
See also: Enlightenment in Buddhism
Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India, where
Gautama Buddha attained
nirvana under the
Bodhi Tree (left)
According to the early Buddhist texts, after realizing that
meditative dhyana was the right path to awakening, but that extreme
asceticism didn't work, Gautama discovered what Buddhists know as
being, the Middle Way—a path of moderation away from the
extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, or the Noble
Eightfold Path, as described in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which
is regarded as the first discourse of the Buddha. In a famous
incident, after becoming starved and weakened, he is said to have
accepted milk and rice pudding from a village girl named Sujata.
Such was his emaciated appearance that she wrongly believed him to be
a spirit that had granted her a wish.
Following this incident, Gautama was famously seated under a pipal
tree—now known as the
Bodhi tree—in Bodh Gaya, India, when he
vowed never to arise until he had found the truth.
four other companions, believing that he had abandoned his search and
become undisciplined, ceased to stay with him, and went to somewhere
else. After a reputed 49 days of meditation, at the age of 35, he is
said to have attained Enlightenment, and became known as the
Buddha or "Awakened One" ("Buddha" is also sometimes translated as
"The Enlightened One").
According to some sutras of the
Pali canon, at the time of his
awakening he realized complete insight into the Four Noble Truths,
thereby attaining liberation from samsara, the endless cycle of
rebirth, suffering and dying again. According to
scholars, this story of the awakening and the stress on "liberating
insight" is a later development in the Buddhist tradition, where the
Buddha may have regarded the practice of dhyana as leading to Nirvana
and moksha.[note 13]
Nirvana is the extinguishing of the "fires" of desire, hatred, and
ignorance, that keep the cycle of suffering and rebirth going.
Nirvana is also regarded as the "end of the world", in that no
personal identity or boundaries of the mind remain.
In such a state, a being is said to possess the Ten Characteristics,
belonging to every Buddha.
According to a story in the Āyācana Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya
VI.1) — a scripture found in the
Pāli and other
canons — immediately after his awakening, the Buddha debated
whether or not he should teach the
Dharma to others. He was concerned
that humans were so overpowered by ignorance, greed and hatred that
they could never recognise the path, which is subtle, deep and hard to
grasp. However, in the story, Brahmā Sahampati convinced him, arguing
that at least some will understand it. The Buddha relented, and agreed
Formation of the sangha
Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, India, site of the first teaching of the
Buddha in which he taught the
Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths to his first five
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Mulagandhakuti, Remains of Buddha's hut in
Shravasti, India, Where the Buddha delivered majority of his
After his awakening, the Buddha met Taphussa and Bhallika — two
merchant brothers from the city of
Balkh in what is currently
Afghanistan — who became his first lay disciples. It is said
that each was given hairs from his head, which are now claimed to be
enshrined as relics in the
Shwe Dagon Temple in Rangoon, Burma. The
Buddha intended to visit Asita, and his former teachers, Alara Kalama
and Udaka Ramaputta, to explain his findings, but they had already
He then travelled to the Deer Park near
Varanasi (Benares) in northern
India, where he set in motion what Buddhists call the Wheel of Dharma
by delivering his first sermon to the five companions with whom he had
sought enlightenment. Together with him, they formed the first
saṅgha: the company of Buddhist monks.
All five become arahants, and within the first two months, with the
Yasa and fifty-four of his friends, the number of such
arahants is said to have grown to 60. The conversion of three brothers
named Kassapa followed, with their reputed 200, 300 and 500 disciples,
respectively. This swelled the sangha to more than 1,000.
Travels and teaching
Buddha with his protector Vajrapani, Gandhāra, 2nd century CE,
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For the remaining 45 years of his life, the Buddha is said to have
traveled in the Gangetic Plain, in what is now Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,
and southern Nepal, teaching a diverse range of people: from nobles to
servants, murderers such as Angulimala, and cannibals such as
Alavaka. Although the Buddha's language remains unknown, it's
likely that he taught in one or more of a variety of closely related
Middle Indo-Aryan dialects, of which
Pali may be a standardization.
The sangha traveled through the subcontinent, expounding the dharma.
This continued throughout the year, except during the four months of
Vassa rainy season when ascetics of all religions rarely traveled.
One reason was that it was more difficult to do so without causing
harm to animal life. At this time of year, the sangha would retreat to
monasteries, public parks or forests, where people would come to them.
A view of Vulture Peak, Rajgir,
India where the
Atanatiya Sutta was
The first vassana was spent at
Varanasi when the sangha was formed.
After this, the Buddha kept a promise to travel to Rajagaha, capital
of Magadha, to visit King Bimbisara. During this visit,
Maudgalyayana were converted by Assaji, one of the first five
disciples, after which they were to become the Buddha's two foremost
followers. The Buddha spent the next three seasons at Veluvana Bamboo
Grove monastery in Rajagaha, the capital of Magadha.
Upon hearing of his son's awakening, Suddhodana sent, over a period,
ten delegations to ask him to return to Kapilavastu. On the first nine
occasions, the delegates failed to deliver the message and instead
joined the sangha to become arahants. The tenth delegation, led by
Kaludayi, a childhood friend of Gautama's (who also became an
arahant), however, delivered the message.
Now two years after his awakening, the Buddha agreed to return, and
made a two-month journey by foot to Kapilavastu, teaching the dharma
as he went. At his return, the royal palace prepared a midday meal,
but the sangha was making an alms round in Kapilavastu. Hearing this,
Suddhodana approached his son, the Buddha, saying:
"Ours is the warrior lineage of Mahamassata, and not a single warrior
has gone seeking alms."
The Buddha is said to have replied:
"That is not the custom of your royal lineage. But it is the custom of
my Buddha lineage. Several thousands of Buddhas have gone by seeking
Buddhist texts say that Suddhodana invited the sangha into the palace
for the meal, followed by a dharma talk. After this he is said to have
become a sotapanna. During the visit, many members of the royal family
joined the sangha. The Buddha's cousins
two of his five chief disciples. At the age of seven, his son Rahula
also joined, and became one of his ten chief disciples. His
half-brother Nanda also joined and became an arahant.
Of the Buddha's disciples, Sariputta, Maudgalyayana, Mahakasyapa,
Anuruddha are believed to have been the five closest to
him. His ten foremost disciples were reputedly completed by the
quintet of Upali, Subhoti, Rahula,
Mahakaccana and Punna.
In the fifth vassana, the Buddha was staying at Mahavana near Vesali
when he heard news of the impending death of his father. He is said to
have gone to Suddhodana and taught the dharma, after which his father
became an arahant.
The last days of buddha teachings
The king's death and cremation was to inspire the creation of an order
Buddhist texts record that the Buddha was reluctant to ordain
women. His foster mother Maha Pajapati, for example, approached him,
asking to join the sangha, but he refused. Maha Pajapati, however, was
so intent on the path of awakening that she led a group of royal
Sakyan and Koliyan ladies, which followed the sangha on a long journey
to Rajagaha. In time, after
Ananda championed their cause, the Buddha
is said to have reconsidered and, five years after the formation of
the sangha, agreed to the ordination of women as nuns. He reasoned
that males and females had an equal capacity for awakening. But he
gave women additional rules (Vinaya) to follow.
The Buddha's entry into Parinirvana.
Sanskrit palm leaf manuscript.
Nālandā, Bihar, India. Pāla period
According to the
Mahaparinibbana Sutta of the
Pali canon, at the age
of 80, the Buddha announced that he would soon reach Parinirvana, or
the final deathless state, and abandon his earthly body. After this,
the Buddha ate his last meal, which he had received as an offering
from a blacksmith named Cunda. Falling violently ill, Buddha
instructed his attendant Ānanda to convince Cunda that the meal eaten
at his place had nothing to do with his passing and that his meal
would be a source of the greatest merit as it provided the last meal
for a Buddha. Mettanando and von Hinüber argue that the Buddha
died of mesenteric infarction, a symptom of old age, rather than food
The precise contents of the Buddha's final meal are not clear, due to
variant scriptural traditions and ambiguity over the translation of
certain significant terms; the
Theravada tradition generally believes
that the Buddha was offered some kind of pork, while the Mahayana
tradition believes that the Buddha consumed some sort of truffle or
other mushroom. These may reflect the different traditional views on
Buddhist vegetarianism and the precepts for monks and nuns.
Buddha's cremation stupa,
Waley suggests that Theravadins would take suukaramaddava (the
contents of the Buddha's last meal), which can translate literally as
pig-soft, to mean "soft flesh of a pig" or "pig's soft-food", that is,
after Neumann, a soft food favoured by pigs, assumed to be a truffle.
He argues (also after Neumann) that as "(p)lant names tend to be local
and dialectical", as there are several plants known to have suukara-
(pig) as part of their names,[note 14] and as
in an area remote from the Buddha's death, suukaramaddava could easily
have been a type of plant whose local name was unknown to those in
Pali regions. Specifically, local writers writing soon after the
Buddha's death knew more about their flora than Theravadin commentator
Buddhaghosa who lived hundreds of years and hundreds of kilometres
remote in time and space from the events described. Unaware that it
may have been a local plant name and with no Theravadin prohibition
against eating animal flesh, Theravadins would not have questioned the
Buddha eating meat and interpreted the term accordingly.
The sharing of the relics of the Buddha, Zenyōmitsu-Temple Museum,
According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha died at Kuśināra
(present-day Kushinagar, India), which became a pilgrimage
Ananda protested the Buddha's decision to enter
Parinirvana in the abandoned jungles of Kuśināra of the Malla
kingdom. The Buddha, however, is said to have reminded
Kushinara was a land once ruled by a righteous wheel-turning king and
the appropriate place for him to die.
The Buddha then asked all the attendant Bhikkhus to clarify any doubts
or questions they had and cleared them all in a way which others could
not do. They had none. According to Buddhist scriptures, he then
finally entered Parinirvana. The Buddha's final words are reported to
have been: "All composite things (Saṅkhāra) are perishable. Strive
for your own liberation with diligence" (Pali: 'vayadhammā
saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā'). His body was cremated and the
relics were placed in monuments or stupas, some of which are believed
to have survived until the present. For example, the Temple of the
Tooth or "Dalada Maligawa" in Sri Lanka is the place where what some
believe to be the relic of the right tooth of Buddha is kept at
Life scenes of Buddha, sand stone: Birth, Enlightenment, Descent from
Heaven, First Sermon, Passing Away, c. 2nd Century CE, Government
According to the
Pāli historical chronicles of Sri Lanka, the
Dīpavaṃsa and Mahāvaṃsa, the coronation of Emperor Aśoka
(Pāli: Asoka) is 218 years after the death of the Buddha. According
to two textual records in Chinese (十八部論 and 部執異論), the
coronation of Emperor Aśoka is 116 years after the death of the
Buddha. Therefore, the time of Buddha's passing is either 486 BCE
according to Theravāda record or 383 BCE according to Mahayana
record. However, the actual date traditionally accepted as the date of
the Buddha's death in Theravāda countries is 544 or 545 BCE, because
the reign of Emperor Aśoka was traditionally reckoned to be about 60
years earlier than current estimates. In Burmese Buddhist tradition,
the date of the Buddha's death is 13 May 544 BCE. whereas in Thai
tradition it is 11 March 545 BCE.
At his death, the Buddha is famously believed to have told his
disciples to follow no leader.
Mahakasyapa was chosen by the sangha to
be the chairman of the First Buddhist Council, with the two chief
Sariputta having died before the Buddha.
Hair Relics of Buddha on display at
Gangaramaya Temple (Colombo).
While in the Buddha's days he was addressed by the very respected
titles Buddha, Shākyamuni, Shākyasimha, Bhante and Bho, he was known
after his parinirvana nirvana as Arihant, Bhagavā/Bhagavat/Bhagwān,
Mahāvira, Jina/Jinendra, Sāstr, Sugata, and most popularly in
scriptures as Tathāgata.
Śarīra and Relics associated with Buddha
After his death, Buddha's cremation relics were divided amongst 8
royal families and his disciples; centuries later they would be
enshrined by King
Ashoka into 84,000 stupas. Many
supernatural legends surround the history of alleged relics as they
accompanied the spread of
Buddhism and gave legitimacy to rulers.
War over the Buddha's Relics held by the city of Kushinagar, South
Stupa no.1, Sanchi.
Main article: Physical characteristics of the Buddha
Gandhāran depiction of the Buddha from Hadda, Afghanistan; Victoria
and Albert Museum, London.
An extensive and colorful physical description of the Buddha has been
laid down in scriptures. A kshatriya by birth, he had military
training in his upbringing, and by Shakyan tradition was required to
pass tests to demonstrate his worthiness as a warrior in order to
marry. He had a strong enough body to be noticed by
one of the kings and was asked to join his army as a general.[citation
needed] He is also believed by Buddhists to have "the 32 Signs of the
Brahmin Sonadanda described him as "handsome, good-looking, and
pleasing to the eye, with a most beautiful complexion. He has a
godlike form and countenance, he is by no means unattractive." (D,
"It is wonderful, truly marvellous, how serene is the good Gotama's
appearance, how clear and radiant his complexion, just as the golden
jujube in autumn is clear and radiant, just as a palm-tree fruit just
loosened from the stalk is clear and radiant, just as an adornment of
red gold wrought in a crucible by a skilled goldsmith, deftly beaten
and laid on a yellow-cloth shines, blazes and glitters, even so, the
good Gotama's senses are calmed, his complexion is clear and radiant."
A disciple named Vakkali, who later became an arahant, was so obsessed
by the Buddha's physical presence that the Buddha is said to have felt
impelled to tell him to desist, and to have reminded him that he
should know the Buddha through the Dhamma and not through physical
Although there are no extant representations of the Buddha in human
form until around the 1st century CE (see Buddhist art), descriptions
of the physical characteristics of fully enlightened buddhas are
attributed to the Buddha in the Digha Nikaya's Lakkhaṇa Sutta (D,
I:142). In addition, the Buddha's physical appearance is
Yasodhara to their son
Rahula upon the Buddha's first
post-Enlightenment return to his former princely palace in the
Pali devotional hymn, Narasīha Gāthā ("The Lion of
Among the 32 main characteristics it is mentioned that Buddha has blue
Recollection of nine virtues attributed to the Buddha is a common
Buddhist meditation and devotional practice called Buddhānusmṛti.
The nine virtues are also among the 40
Buddhist meditation subjects.
The nine virtues of the Buddha appear throughout the Tipitaka,
Buddho – Awakened
Sammasambuddho – Perfectly self-awakened
Vijja-carana-sampano – Endowed with higher knowledge and ideal
Sugato – Well-gone or Well-spoken.
Lokavidu – Wise in the knowledge of the many worlds.
Anuttaro Purisa-damma-sarathi – Unexcelled trainer of untrained
Satthadeva-Manussanam – Teacher of gods and humans.
Bhagavathi – The Blessed one
Araham – Worthy of homage. An
Arahant is "one with taints
destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid
down the burden, reached the true goal, destroyed the fetters of
being, and is completely liberated through final knowledge."
Lord Buddha at Pandavleni Caves, Nashik.
Main article: Buddhist philosophy
Use of Brahmanical motifs
Pali Canon, the Buddha uses many Brahmanical devices. For
Samyutta Nikaya 111,
Majjhima Nikaya 92 and
Vinaya i 246
Pali Canon, the Buddha praises the
Agnihotra as the foremost
sacrifice and the
Gayatri mantra as the foremost meter:
aggihuttamukhā yaññā sāvittī chandaso mukham.
Sacrifices have the
Agnihotra as foremost; of meter, the foremost is
Tracing the oldest teachings
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Information of the oldest teachings may be obtained by analysis of the
oldest texts. One method to obtain information on the oldest core of
Buddhism is to compare the oldest extant versions of the Theravadin
Pali Canon and other texts.[note 15] The reliability of these sources,
and the possibility of drawing out a core of oldest teachings, is a
matter of dispute. According to Vetter,
inconsistencies remain, and other methods must be applied to resolve
those inconsistencies.[note 16]
According to Schmithausen, three positions held by scholars of
Buddhism can be distinguished:
"Stress on the fundamental homogeneity and substantial authenticity of
at least a considerable part of the Nikayic materials;"[note 17][note
18], from the oldest extant texts a common kernel can be drawn
out. According to Warder, c.q. his publisher: "This kernel of
doctrine is presumably common
Buddhism of the period before the great
schisms of the fourth and third centuries BC. It may be substantially
Buddhism of the Buddha himself, although this cannot be proved: at
any rate it is a
Buddhism presupposed by the schools as existing about
a hundred years after the parinirvana of the Buddha, and there is no
evidence to suggest that it was formulated by anyone else than the
Buddha and his immediate followers". and Richard Gombrich. 
Richard Gombrich: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that
the main edifice is not the work of a single genius. By "the main
edifice" I mean the collections of the main body of sermons, the four
Nikāyas, and of the main body of monastic rules."
"Scepticism with regard to the possibility of retrieving the doctrine
of earliest Buddhism;"[note 19][note 20]
"Cautious optimism in this respect."[note 21]
Dhyana and insight
The Buddha on a coin of Kanishka I, circa 130 CE.
A core problem in the study of early
Buddhism is the relation between
dhyana and insight. Schmithausen notes that the mention
of the four noble truths as constituting "liberating insight", which
is attained after mastering the Rupa Jhanas, is a later addition to
texts such as
Majjhima Nikaya 36.
Main article: Presectarian Buddhism
According to Tilmann Vetter, the core of earliest
Buddhism is the
practice of dhyāna, as a workable alternative to painful ascetic
practices.[note 22] Bronkhorst agrees that Dhyāna was a Buddhist
invention,[page needed] whereas Norman notes that "the
Buddha's way to release [...] was by means of meditative
practices." Discriminating insight into transiency as a separate
path to liberation was a later development.
According to the Mahāsaccakasutta,[note 23] from the fourth jhana the
Buddha gained bodhi. Yet, it is not clear what he was awakened
to.[page needed] According to Schmithausen and
Bronkhorst, "liberating insight" is a later addition to this text, and
reflects a later development and understanding in early
Buddhism.[page needed] The mentioning of the four
truths as constituting "liberating insight" introduces a logical
problem, since the four truths depict a linear path of practice, the
knowledge of which is in itself not depicted as being liberating:
[T]hey do not teach that one is released by knowing the four noble
truths, but by practicing the fourth noble truth, the eightfold path,
which culminates in right samadhi.
Although "Nibbāna" (Sanskrit: Nirvāna) is the common term for the
desired goal of this practice, many other terms can be found
throughout the Nikayas, which are not specified.[note 24]
According to Vetter, the description of the Buddhist path may
initially have been as simple as the term "the middle way". In
time, this short description was elaborated, resulting in the
description of the eightfold path.
According to both Bronkhorst and Anderson, the four truths became a
substitution for prajna, or "liberating insight", in the
suttas[page needed] in those texts where "liberating
insight" was preceded by the four jhanas. According to
Bronkhorst, the four truths may not have been formulated in earliest
Buddhism, and did not serve in earliest
Buddhism as a description of
"liberating insight". Gotama's teachings may have been personal,
"adjusted to the need of each person."
The three marks of existence[note 25] may reflect Upanishadic or other
influences. K.R. Norman supposes that these terms were already in use
at the Buddha's time, and were familiar to his listeners.
The Brahma-vihara was in origin probably a brahmanic term; but
its usage may have been common to the Sramana traditions.
In time, "liberating insight" became an essential feature of the
Buddhist tradition. The following teachings, which are commonly seen
as essential to Buddhism, are later formulations which form part of
the explanatory framework of this "liberating insight":
The Four Noble Truths: that suffering is an ingrained part of
existence; that the origin of suffering is craving for sensuality,
acquisition of identity, and fear of annihilation; that suffering can
be ended; and that following the
Noble Eightfold Path
Noble Eightfold Path is the means to
The Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right intention, right speech,
right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and
Dependent origination: the mind creates suffering as a natural product
of a complex process.
Buddha depicted as the 9th avatar of god
Vishnu in a traditional Hindu
Gautama Buddha in world religions
Hindus regard Gautama as the 9th avatar of Vishnu.[note 11]
However, Buddha's teachings deny the authority of the
Vedas and the
concepts of Brahman-Atman. Consequently
generally classified as a nāstika school (heterodox, literally "It is
not so"[note 26]) in contrast to the six orthodox schools of
The Buddha is regarded as a prophet by the minority Ahmadiyya
sect of Muslims – a sect considered a deviant and rejected as
apostate by mainstream Islam. Some early Chinese
Taoist-Buddhists thought the Buddha to be a reincarnation of
Disciples of the
Cao Đài religion worship the Buddha as a major
religious teacher. His image can be found in both their Holy See
and on the home altar. He is revealed during communication with Divine
Beings as son of their Supreme Being (God the Father) together with
other major religious teachers and founders like Jesus, Laozi, and
The Christian Saint Josaphat is based on the Buddha. The name comes
Bodhisattva via Arabic Būdhasaf and Georgian
Iodasaph. The only story in which St. Josaphat appears, Barlaam
and Josaphat, is based on the life of the Buddha. Josaphat was
included in earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology (feast day 27
November) — though not in the Roman Missal — and in the
Eastern Orthodox Church liturgical calendar (26 August).
In the ancient Gnostic sect of Manichaeism, the Buddha is listed among
the prophets who preached the word of God before Mani.
In Sikhism, Buddha is mentioned as the 23rd avatar of
Vishnu in the
Chaubis Avtar, a composition in Dasam Granth traditionally and
historically attributed to Guru Gobind Singh.
Depiction in arts and media
Main article: Depictions of
Gautama Buddha in film
Little Buddha, a 1994 film by Bernardo Bertolucci
Prem Sanyas, a 1925 silent film, directed by
Franz Osten and Himansu
Buddha, a 2013 mythological drama on Zee TV
The Light of Asia, an 1879 epic poem by Edwin Arnold
Buddha, a manga series that ran from 1972 to 1983 by Osamu Tezuka
Siddhartha novel by Hermann Hesse, written in German in 1922
Lord of Light, a novel by
Roger Zelazny depicts a man in a far future
Earth Colony who takes on the name and teachings of the Buddha
Creation (novel), a 1981 novel by Gore Vidal, includes the Buddha as
one of the religious figures that the main character encounters
Karuna Nadee, a 2010 oratorio by Dinesh Subasinghe
The Light of Asia, an 1886 oratorio by Dudley Buck
A panorama of scenes from the Buddha's life, from a Burmese parabaik
or picture book
Comparison of the founders of religious traditions
^ a b c d e According to the Buddhist tradition, following the
Nidanakatha, the introductory to the Jataka tales, the stories of
the former lives of the Buddha, Gautama was born in Lumbini,
present-day Nepal. In the mid-3rd century BCE the Emperor
Ashoka determined that
Lumbini was Gautama's birthplace and thus
installed a pillar there with the inscription: "...this is where the
Buddha, sage of the Śākyas (Śākyamuni), was born."
Based on stone inscriptions, there is also speculation that Lumbei,
Kapileswar village, Odisha, at the east coast of India, was the site
of ancient Lumbini. Hartmann discusses the hypothesis and
states, "The inscription has generally been considered spurious
(...)" He quotes Sircar: "There can hardly be any doubt that the
people responsible for the Kapilesvara inscription copied it from the
said facsimile not much earlier than 1928."
Kapilavastu was the place where he grew up:[note 9]
Warder: "The Buddha [...] was born in the Sakya Republic, which was
the city state of Kapilavastu, a very small state just inside the
modern state boundary of Nepal against the Northern Indian
Walsh: "He belonged to the Sakya clan dwelling on the edge of the
Himalayas, his actual birthplace being a few miles north of the
present-day Northern Indian border, in Nepal. His father was, in fact,
an elected chief of the clan rather than the king he was later made
out to be, though his title was raja – a term which only partly
corresponds to our word 'king'. Some of the states of North
that time were kingdoms and others republics, and the Sakyan republic
was subject to the powerful king of neighbouring Kosala, which lay to
The exact location of ancient Kapilavastu is unknown. It may have
Piprahwa in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, or
Tilaurakot, present-day Nepal. The two cities are located
only fifteen miles from each other.
See also Conception and birth and Birthplace Sources
^ According to Mahaparinibbana Sutta, Gautama died in Kushinagar,
which is located in present-day Uttar Pradesh, India.
^ /ˈɡɔːtəmə, ˈɡaʊ- ˈbuːdə, ˈbʊdə/
^ /sɪˈdɑːrtə, -θə/; Sanskrit: [sid̪ːʱɑːrt̪ʰə
^ Sanskrit: [ɕɑːkjəmun̪i bud̪ːʱə]
^ a b
411–400: Dundas 2002, p. 24: "...as is now almost universally
accepted by informed Indological scholarship, a re-examination of
early Buddhist historical material, [...], necessitates a redating of
the Buddha's death to between 411 and 400 BCE..."
405: Richard Gombrich
Around 400: See the consensus in the essays by leading scholars in
Narain, Awadh Kishore, ed. (2003), The Date of the Historical
Śākyamuni Buddha, New Delhi: BR Publishing,
ISBN 81-7646-353-1 .
Pali scholar K. R. Norman, a life span for the Buddha of
c. 480 to 400 BCE (and his teaching period roughly from c. 445 to 400
BCE) "fits the archaeological evidence better". See also Notes on
the Dates of the Buddha Íåkyamuni.
^ According to Alexander Berzin, "
Buddhism developed as a shramana
school that accepted rebirth under the force of karma, while rejecting
the existence of the type of soul that other schools asserted. In
addition, the Buddha accepted as parts of the path to liberation the
use of logic and reasoning, as well as ethical behavior, but not to
the degree of Jain asceticism. In this way,
Buddhism avoided the
extremes of the previous four shramana schools."
^ In 2013, archaeologist Robert Coningham found the remains of a
Bodhigara, a tree shrine, dated to 550 BCE at the Maya Devi Temple,
Lumbini, speculating that it may possible be a Buddhist shrine. If so,
this may push back the Buddha's birth date. Archaeologists caution
that the shrine may represent pre-Buddhist tree worship, and that
further research is needed.
Richard Gombrich has dismissed Coningham's speculations as "a
fantasy", noting that Coningham lacks the necessary expertise on the
history of early Buddhism.
Geoffrey Samuels notes that several locations of both early Buddhism
Jainism are closely related to Yaksha-worship, that several
Yakshas were "converted" to Buddhism, a well-known example being
Vajrapani, and that several Yaksha-shrines, where trees were
worshipped, were converted into Buddhist holy places.
^ Some sources mention Kapilavastu as the birthplace of the Buddha.
Gethin states: "The earliest Buddhist sources state that the future
Buddha was born Siddhārtha Gautama (
Pali Siddhattha Gotama), the son
of a local chieftain — a rājan — in Kapilavastu (Pali
Kapilavatthu) what is now the Indian–Nepalese border." Gethin
does not give references for this statement.
^ Minor Rock Edict Nb3: "These Dhamma texts – Extracts from the
Discipline, the Noble Way of Life, the Fears to Come, the Poem on the
Silent Sage, the Discourse on the Pure Life, Upatisa's Questions, and
the Advice to
Rahula which was spoken by the Buddha concerning false
speech – these Dhamma texts, reverend sirs, I desire that all the
monks and nuns may constantly listen to and remember. Likewise the
laymen and laywomen."
Dhammika:"There is disagreement amongst scholars concerning which Pali
suttas correspond to some of the text.
Vinaya samukose: probably the
Atthavasa Vagga, Anguttara Nikaya, 1:98–100. Aliya vasani: either
the Ariyavasa Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya, V:29, or the Ariyavamsa Sutta,
Anguttara Nikaya, II: 27–28. Anagata bhayani: probably the Anagata
Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya, III:100. Muni gatha: Muni Sutta, Sutta Nipata
207–221. Upatisa pasine:
Sariputta Sutta, Sutta Nipata 955–975.
Laghulavade: Rahulavada Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya, I:421."
^ a b Kumar Singh, Nagendra (1997). "Buddha as depicted in the
Purāṇas". Encyclopaedia of Hinduism. 7. Anmol Publications.
pp. 260–75. ISBN 978-81-7488-168-7. Retrieved 16 April
^ According to Geoffrey Samuel, the Buddha was born as a
Kshatriya, in a moderate Vedic culture at the central Ganges Plain
area, where the shramana-traditions developed. This area had a
moderate Vedic culture, where the Kshatriyas were the highest varna,
in contrast to the Brahmanic ideology of Kuru-Panchala, where the
Brahmins had become the highest varna. Both the Vedic culture and
the shramana tradition contributed to the emergence of the so-called
"Hindu-synthesis" around the start of the Common Era.
^ Scholars have noted inconsistencies in the presentations of the
Buddha's enlightenment, and the Buddhist path to liberation, in the
oldest sutras. These inconsistencies show that the Buddhist teachings
evolved, either during the lifetime of the Buddha, or thereafter. See:
* Andre Bareau (1963), Recherches sur la biographie du Buddha dans les
Sutrapitaka et les Vinayapitaka anciens, Ecole Francaise
* Schmithausen, On some Aspects of Descriptions or Theories of
'Liberating Insight' and 'Enlightenment' in Early Buddhism
* K. R. Norman, Four Noble Truths
* Tilman Vetter, The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism
* Richard F. Gombrich (2006). How
Buddhism Began: The Conditioned
Genesis of the Early Teachings. Routledge.
ISBN 978-1-134-19639-5. , chapter four
* Bronkhorst, Johannes (1993), The Two Traditions Of Meditation In
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers , chapter 7
* Anderson, Carol (1999), Pain and Its Ending: The Four Noble Truths
Theravada Buddhist Canon, Routledge
^ Waley notes: suukara-kanda, "pig-bulb"; suukara-paadika, "pig's
foot" and sukaresh.ta "sought-out by pigs". He cites Neumann's
suggestion that if a plant called "sought-out by pigs" exists then
suukaramaddava can mean "pig's delight".
^ The surviving portions of the scriptures of Sarvastivada,
Dharmaguptaka and other
schools, and the Chinese Agamas and other surviving portions
of other early canons.
^ Exemplary studies are the study on descriptions of "liberating
insight" by Lambert Schmithausen, the overview of early Buddhism
by Tilmann Vetter, the philological work on the four truths by
K.R. Norman, the textual studies by Richard Gombrich, and
the research on early meditation methods by Johannes Bronkhorst.
^ A well-known proponent of the first position is A.K. Warder
^ According to A.K. Warder, in his 1970 publication "Indian Buddhism"
^ A proponent of the second position is Ronald Davidson.
^ Ronald Davidson: "While most scholars agree that there was a rough
body of sacred literature (disputed)(sic) that a relatively early
community (disputed)(sic) maintained and transmitted, we have little
confidence that much, if any, of surviving Buddhist scripture is
actually the word of the historic Buddha."
^ Well-known proponents of the third position are:
* J.W. de Jong: "It would be hypocritical to assert that nothing can
be said about the doctrine of earliest
Buddhism [...] the basic ideas
Buddhism found in the canonical writings could very well have been
proclaimed by him [the Buddha], transmitted and developed by his
disciples and, finally, codified in fixed formulas."
* Johannes Bronkhorst: "This position is to be preferred to (ii) for
purely methodological reasons: only those who seek may find, even if
no success is guaranteed."
* Donald Lopez: "The original teachings of the historical Buddha are
extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recover or
^ Vetter: "However, if we look at the last, and in my opinion the most
important, component of this list [the noble eightfold path], we are
still dealing with what according to me is the real content of the
middle way, dhyana-meditation, at least the stages two to four, which
are said to be free of contemplation and reflection. Everything
preceding the eighth part, i.e. right samadhi, apparently has the
function of preparing for the right samadhi."
Majjhima Nikaya 36
^ Vetter: "I am especially thinking here of MN 26 (I p.163,32;
165,15;166,35) kimkusalagavesi anuttaram santivarapadam pariyesamano
(searching for that which is beneficial, seeking the unsurpassable,
best place of peace) and again MN 26 (passim), anuttaramyagakkhemam
nibbiinam pariyesati (he seeks the unsurpassable safe place, the
nirvana). Anuppatta-sadattho (one who has reached the right goal) is
also a vague positive expression in the Arhatformula in MN 35 (I p,
235), see chapter 2, footnote 3, Furthermore, satthi (welfare) is
important in e.g. SN 2.12 or 2.17 or Sn 269; and sukha and rati
(happiness), in contrast to other places, as used in Sn 439 and 956.
The oldest term was perhaps amata (immortal, immortality) [...] but
one could say here that it is a negative term."
^ Understanding of these marks helps in the development of detachment:
Anicca (Sanskrit: anitya): That all things that come to have an end;
Dukkha (Sanskrit: duḥkha): That nothing which comes to be is
Anattā (Sanskrit: anātman): That nothing in the realm of experience
can really be said to be "I" or "mine".
Sanskrit philosophical literature, 'āstika' means 'one who
believes in the authority of the Vedas', 'soul', 'Brahman'.
('nāstika' means the opposite of these).
^ a b c Cousins 1996, pp. 57–63.
^ a b Norman 1997, p. 33.
^ "Maha-parinibbana Sutta",
Digha Nikaya (16), Access insight, part
^ a b Baroni 2002, p. 230.
^ Boeree, C George. "An Introduction to Buddhism". Shippensburg
University. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
^ a b c d Warder 2000, p. 45.
^ Laumakis 2008, p. 4.
^ Skilton 2004, p. 41.
^ Charles Russell Coulter (2013). Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities.
Routledge. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-135-96390-3. , Quote:
"According to some, Buddha was the ninth avatar of Vishnu. Buddhists
do not accept this theory."
^ Holt, John Clifford (2008). The Buddhist Viṣṇu: Religious
Transformation, Politics, and Culture.
Motilal Banarsidass Publishe.
^ Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism.
Infobase Publishing. ISBN 9780816075645.
^ Rawlinson, Hugh George. (1950) A Concise History of the Indian
People, Oxford University Press. p. 46.
^ Muller, F. Max. (2001) The
Dhammapada And Sutta-nipata, Routledge
(UK). p. xlvii. ISBN 0-7007-1548-7.
^ India: A History. Revised and Updated, by John Keay: "The date [of
Buddha's meeting with Bimbisara] (given the Buddhist 'short
chronology') must have been around 400 BCE."
^ Smith 1924, pp. 34, 48.
^ Schumann 2003, pp. 1–5.
^ Jayatilleke 1963, chpt. 1–3.
^ Clasquin-Johnson, Michel. "Will the real Nigantha Nātaputta please
stand up? Reflections on the Buddha and his contemporaries". Journal
for the Study of Religion. 28 (1): 100–114.
^ Walshe 1995, p. 268.
^ Collins 2009, pp. 199–200.
^ Berzin, Alexander (April 2007). "Indian Society and Thought before
and at the Time of Buddha". Study Buddhism. Retrieved 20 June
^ Nakamura 1980, p. 20.
^ Wynne 2007, pp. 8–23, ch. 2.
^ Warder 1998, p. 45.
^ Roy 1984, p. 1.
^ Roy 1984, p. 7.
^ a b Carrithers 2001.
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