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HISTORY OF GAUTAM BUDDHA

Buddha, (Sanskrit: “Awakened One”) clan name (Sanskrit) Gautama or (Pali) Gotama, personal name (Sanskrit) Siddhartha or (Pali) Siddhattha, (born c. 6th–4th century BCE, Lumbini, near Kapilavastu, Shakya republic, Kosala kingdom [now in Nepal]—died, Kusinara, Malla republic, Magadha kingdom [now Kasia, India]), the founder of Buddhism, one of the major religions and philosophical systems of southern and eastern Asia and of the world. Buddha is one of the many epithets of a teacher who lived in northern India sometime between the 6th and the 4th century before the Common Era.

His followers, known as Buddhists, propagated the religion that is known today as Buddhism. The title buddha was used by a number of religious groups in ancient India and had a range of meanings, but it came to be associated most strongly with the tradition of Buddhism and to mean an enlightened being, one who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and achieved freedom from suffering. According to the various traditions of Buddhism, there have been buddhas in the past and there will be buddhas in the future. Some forms of Buddhism hold that there is only one buddha for each historical age; others hold that all beings will eventually become buddhas because they possess the buddha nature (tathagatagarbha).

All forms of Buddhism celebrate various events in the life of the Buddha Gautama, including his birth, enlightenment, and passage into nirvana. In some countries the three events are observed on the same day, which is called Wesak in Southeast Asia. In other regions the festivals are held on different days and incorporate a variety of rituals and practices. The birth of the Buddha is celebrated in April or May, depending upon the lunar date, in these countries. In Japan, which does not use a lunar calendar, the Buddha’s birth is celebrated on April 8. The celebration there has merged with a native Shintō ceremony into the flower festival known as Hanamatsuri.

 

 

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