Skip to main content
A short Biography of Gautama Buddha

A short Biography of Gautama Buddha

A short Biography of Gautama Buddha
Gautama buddha

Short biography of Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha (also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, Shakyamuni,or the Buddha) was a monk on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. Buddha was born in Lumbini, Nepal, grew up in Kapilavastu, Nepal and died at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in eastern India between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE.

Siddhartha Gautama was the son of Śuddhodana, “an elected chief of the Shakya clan”, whose capital was Kapilavastu. His mother, Queen Maha Maya (Māyādevī) was a Koliyan princess. 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”. His family name was Gautama. In accordance with ancient Indian customs many learned Brahmins were invited to the palace for the naming ceremony of newly born prince. Among them there were eight distinguished Brahmins. After examining the characteristics of the child, seven of these highly learned Brahmins indicated two alternative possibilities, and said he would either become a universal monarch or a Buddha (“awakened one”). But the youngest Brahmin, Kaundinya, who excelled others in wisdom, declared that the prince would become a Buddha.

Siddhartha was brought up by his mother’s younger sister, Maha Pajapati. At the age of sixteen Gautama Buddha got married with his cousin of the same age named Yaśodharā. Princess Yaśodharā gave birth to a son, named Rahula.

At the age of 29, he left his palace to see the outside world. Despite his fathers efforts to hide from him, all the negativeness of life such as aging, sickness, suffering, and death, Siddhartha saw an old man,a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. After coming in contact with these harsh realities of life, Buddha felt that material wealth was not life’s ultimate goal. These sights depressed him, and he decided to overcome aging, sickness, suffering and death by living the life of an ascetic.

Departure of Prince  Siddhartha  Biography of Gautama Buddha
Departure of Prince Siddhartha

To begin his journey in search of truth and eternal peace, Prince Siddhartha left his Palace, accompanied by his charioteer Channa and riding his horse Kanthaka. The ascetic Siddhartha, the former prince who once lived in lap of luxury, now became a penniless wanderer. He initially went to Rajagaha and began his ascetic life by begging for alms in the street. After he left Rajgaha, he studied and practiced under some learned aesthetics of that time, but none of these teachings satisfied Siddhartha, and he felt that his quest of the highest truth was not achieved.

Hearing about Siddhartha’s renunciation, Kaundinya, the young Brahmin who predicted his future, and four sons of other Brahmin also renounced the world and joined him. They lived a strict ascetic life and practicing self- mortification. For almost six long year’s ascetic Gautama made a superhuman struggle practicing all forms of intense austerities. His body was almost reduced to a skeleton. Despite these all hard work he didn’t found what he was looking for. Nevertheless, his energy was indomitable.

Siddhartha began to reconsider his path. Then he thought about cultivating breathing exercise. Siddhartha realized that meditative dhyana was the right path to awakening, and the extreme asceticism didn’t work. Siddhartha realized that enlightenment could not be gained with an exhausted body. Physical fitness was essential for spiritual progress. He started taking food and nourished his body.

Kaundinya and four other companions thinking that Siddhartha had abandoned his search and become undisciplined left him alone. Siddhartha was not discouraged by this incident but there separation helped him. Alone in deep solitude great men realize deep truths.

Siddhartha Gautama sat under a pipal tree (the famous Bodhi tree)—in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, and he vowed never to arise until he had found the truth. Siddhartha attained enlightenment under this tree.

After a stupendous struggle of six years, in his 35th year the aesthetic Siddhartha, without the guidance of any supernatural agency, and with the help of his own intuitive knowledge, wisdom, hard work and persistence became a Buddha or the awakened one. He became a Buddha by his own effort and was not a Buddha by birth.

Gautama Buddha provided answers to questions like ‘What is the nature of human life?’ and ‘Why does man have to undergo suffering?’ in the form of four noble truths.

Noble Truths: At the root of all human affairs, there are the following four noble truths.
1.Dukkha(Suffering):Human life is full of suffering.

2.Trisha(Desire):The cause of suffering is desire or craving.

3.Dukkha -nirodh:It is possible to end suffering.

4.Pratipad:The way to end of suffering.

The way shown by Gautama Buddha to end suffering is known as astang marg or the eight fold path.The eight principles are

1.Right view

2.Right thought/concept

3.Right speech

4.Right action

5.Right livelihood

6.Right effort

7.Right memory

8.Right concentration

Panchasheel:These are the rules of conduct that are to be followed along with eight-fold path.

1.Ahimsa(Non-violence):No living thing should be hurt.

2.Satya(Truth):One should not tell lies.

3.Asteya:One should not steal.

4.Indriya Samyam:One should win control over bodily desires.

5.One should not take intoxicants.

Formation of the Sangha: Gautama Buddha organized his followers in the Sangha in order to propagate his doctrine to masses. Followers who entered the Sangha have to follow strict rules and were called Bhikkhus. People from all casts and women were allowed to join the Sangha. Buddha used Pali language to propagate his teachings.
Gautam Buddha’s message, “Bahujan-hitay, Bahujan -sukhaya”: For the welfare and happiness of all” made a deep impact on the world.

At the age of 80, the Buddha announced that he would soon reach Parinirvana, or the final deathless state, and abandon his earthly body.

“Behold, O monks,I exhort you. All component things are subject to change . Strive with diligence.”

These were the last words of Gautama Buddha.

Buddha quotes on Happiness

Buddha quote on Life’s Journey

Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse- A Short Biography

Hermann Hesse
Hermann Hesse
Source- Wikipedia

Hermann Hesse was born on July 2, 1877 in the black forest town of Calw in Wurttemberg, German Empire.
Hesse’s parents served in India at a Protestant christian missionary society. In 1873 Hermann Hesse’s family came to calw, where his father worked for a publishing house, calwer verlagsverein, specializing in theological texts and school books. Hermann Hesse’s grandfather who was a doctor of philosophy (phD), managed the publishing house at the time and Hesse’s father succeeded his grandfather in 1893.

From childhood, Hesse was energetically willful,determined and hard to handle for his family. He showed signs of serious mental disorders in his early days of schooling. His grandfather , Hermann Gundert(PhD) who was very fluent in many languages, encouraged him to read widely, giving young Hesse access to his library, which was filled with the books of world literature.All this gradually but firmly established an idea in Hermann Hesse that he was a citizen of the world.

Both music and poetry were important parts of his life. At an early age Hesse had developed the ability to rhyme, and by 1889 had decided that he wanted to be a writer.

In 1895, at the age of 18, Hesse began working in a book store in Tubingen. This bookstore had a specialized collection of theology, philosophy and law. Organizing, packing and archiving the books these were the work assign to Hesse. Hesse followed his own work, and instead of spending Sundays with friends, he spend it with books. He studied theology and philosophers such as Goethe, Lessing, Schiller and Nietzsche. Hesse and his works were highly influenced by Nietzsche idea of “Dual impulse of passion and order” in humankind. His first publication “One Hour After Mid-Night” was published and failed to become a commercial success.

With bitter experience with his first published work, he began working in Basel, in an antique book shop. While working in Basel, Hesse got many opportunities of journeys, wandering and self-exploration. Nerve disorders, persistent headache’s and a sight disorder affected him throughout his life. Due to these disorders Hesse was freed from compulsory military service in 1900.

In 1904, Peter Comenzind, the first novel of Hesse was published and became popular throughout Germany. In 1910 his novel Gertude was published. It was in these years Hesse interest in Buddhism were ignited. In 1911 he left for a long trip to Asia for religious and spiritual inspiration. He traveled to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Sumatra and Burma. And instead of any spiritual experience he got a painful physical experience which was depressing.But the journey did inspired his writings.

In 1922, Hesse’s love for Buddhism and Indian culture came in front of world, when his novel Siddhartha was published. Siddhartha is Hesse’s ninth novel and is based on the spiritual journey of self realization of a man named Siddhartha. It was published in United States in 1952, and became influential in 1960. In 1923 he received Swiss citizenship.

The Glass Bead Game, His last full length novel, was published in 1943. Few years later in 1946 Hesse won the Noble Prize In Literature.

After receiving the Noble Prize, Hesse didn’t produce any major work. However, during his last 20 years of his life, he wrote many short stories, poems and essays. He passed away on 9 August 1962 at the age of 85.

Steppenwolf, Siddhartha and The Glass Bead Game are his most influential works. Hermann Hesse is one of the most Famous German writer in the world and his books have been translated in many languages, and have been adapted in films and plays.

Recommended Books:-
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Narcissus and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse

Steppenwolf: A Novel by Hermann Hesse

The Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann Hesse

%d bloggers like this: