Birth of Gautam Buddha

Born: Kapilavastu, Nepal
Full name: Siddhartha Gautama
Spouse: Yasodharā
Parents: Maya, Mahapajapati Gotami, Suddhodana
Died: Kushinagar

  • Birth Place of Gautama Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal Lumbini, The Birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha

As per our history Lumbini (in Nepal) is the birth place of the Buddha. It is also described in the Ashok pillar, set up in Kapilvastu, by Emperor Ashok of Magadh Dynasty. Buddha grew up in Kapilavastu. The exact site of ancient Kapilavastu is unknown. It may have been either Piprahwa, Uttar Pradesh, present-day India, or Tilaurakot, present-day Nepal. Both places belonged to the Sakya territory, and are located only 15 miles apart from each other.

Gautama was born as a Kshatriya, the son of Suddhodana, "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 (MayaDevi), 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 laterSiddhartha was born. As was the Shakya tradition, when his mother Queen Maya became pregnant, she left Kapilvastu 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.

  • Birth Place of Gautama Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal Maya dream of the Birth of Gautam Siddharta

Queen Maya went to her father’s home to prepare for the birth. As she stepped from her chariot in the Lumbini Gardens she stopped to rest, taking hold of a branch of a sal tree. Legend tells us that at that moment Buddha emerged from her right side. Without any help the infant walked seven steps in each of the four directions of the compass. In his footprints lotus flowers sprouted from the earth. The miraculous infant announced, "No further births have I to endure, for this is my last body. Now shall I destroy and pluck out by the roots the sorrow that is caused by birth and death." Seven days after the wondrous birth Queen Maya died. Hence Mahaprajapati, Maya’s sister, looked after Siddhartha.

The day of the Buddha's birth is widely celebrated in Theravada countries as Vesak. Buddha's Birthday is called Buddha Purnima in Nepal 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, meaning "he who achieves his aim". During the birth celebrations, the hermit seer Asita journeyed from his mountain abode and announced that the child would either become a great king (chakravartin) or a great sadhu. By traditional account, 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.

  • Birth Place of Gautama Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal A statue of the Buddha from Sarnath

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.[68] The more egalitarian gana-sangha form of government, as a political alternative to the strongly hierarchical kingdoms, may have influenced the development of the sramanic Jain and Buddhist sanghas, where monarchies tended towards vedic Brahmanism

While later tradition and legend characterized Suddhodana as a hereditary monarch, the descendant of the Suryavansha (Solar dynasty) of Ikṣvaku, many scholars think that Suddhodana was the elected chief of a tribal confederacy.