History Of Buddhism
The Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, lived in Nothern India over 2500 years ago. He was known as Siddhattha which means the One whose purpose has been achieved, and his family was Gotama. His father whose name was King Suddhodana ruled over the land of the Nepalese frontier. His queen was Princess Mahamaya, a daughter of the kingdom of Koliyas.
On the full-moon day of May, Queen travelled ina state from Kapilavatthu to her parental home-Devadaha, according to the custom of time, to give birth to her child. But when she was on the halfway between the two cities, in the Lumpini Grove, she brought forth a son.
The young prince was named Siddattha. He was well brought up and had every chance to study all as a prince should. He became skilled in many branches of knowledge and, especially, in the arts of warfare surpassing all others. According to the custom of time, the prince was married quite young, at the age of 16, to a beautiful young and devoted princess named Yasodhara, the only daughter of King Suppabuddha and Queen Patana of the Koliyas.
When he was twenty-nine, Yasodhara gave birth to his only son Rahula. However difficult it might be, with his superhuman effort he tore himself away from his wife, son, others and all materials. He dressed himself in the guise of an ascetic. He retreated in to the forest solitude to seek the eternal truths of life. His world renunciation was the Great.
For six years, the ascetic Gotama wandered in the valley of the Ganges, meeting the famous teachers of religion, following their methods and even submitting himself to the rigorous ascetic practices. Not before too late he realized that their methods did not lead to the final security from suffering. So he abandoned all traditional religious practices, and went to his own way. It was thus one evening when Gotama remained seated with Vipassana meditation under the Bodhi tree on the bank of Neranjara River at Buddha-Gaya at the age of 35 he attained Enlightenment, after which he was known as Buddha – the Englightened one. Having a good rest for some time, then the Buddha delivered his First Sermon to a group of five former colleagues in the Deer Park at Isipatana near Varanasi or Benares. During the next 45 years, the Buddha taught all castes of people such as Kings, Brahmins and outcasts, bankers and beggars, holy men and robbers without making the slightest distinction between them. He recognized no differences of social status. The way the Buddha taught was open to the people from walks of life who were ready to understand and to follow it. At 80 he passed into Pariniibbbana in the Malla State at Kusinara.