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Buddha Bar - Best Oriental Song Ever

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Published on Mar 27, 2012

Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम बुद्ध; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, Lumbini (today in Nepal), on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.[1] The word Buddha is a title for the first awakened being in an era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautam is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (P. sammāsambuddha, S. samyaksaṃbuddha) of our age, "Buddha" meaning "awakened one" or "the enlightened one." [note 1] Siddhārtha Gautama may also be referred to as Gautama Buddha or as Śākyamuni ("Sage of the Śākyas"). The Buddha found a Middle Way that ameliorated the extreme asceticism found in the Sramana religions.[2]

The time of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain: most early 20th-century historians dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE,[3] but more recent opinion dates his death to between 486 and 483 BCE or, according to some, between 411 and 400 BCE.[4][5] UNESCO lists Lumbini, Nepal, as a world heritage site and birthplace of Gautama Buddha.[6][7] There are also claims about birth place of Gautama Buddha to be Kapilavastu at Piprahwa, Uttar Pradesh, or Kapileswara, Orissa, modern India.[8][9][10][11][12] He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośala.[13][14]

Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, and 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 years later.

The primary sources for the life of Siddhārtha Gautama are in a variety of different and sometimes conflicting traditional biographies. These include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the Nidānakathā.[15] Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, an epic poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa, and dating around the beginning of the 2nd century CE.[15] The Lalitavistara Sūtra is the next oldest biography, a Mahāyāna/Sarvāstivāda biography dating to the 3rd century CE.[16] The Mahāvastu from the Mahāsāṃghika Lokottaravāda sect is another major biography, composed incrementally until perhaps the 4th century CE.[16] 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. Lastly, the Nidānakathā is from the Theravāda sect in Sri Lanka, composed in the 5th century CE by Buddhaghoṣa.[17]

From canonical sources, the Jātaka tales, Mahapadana Sutta (DN 14), and the Achariyabhuta Sutta (MN 123) include selective accounts that may be older, but are not full biographies. The Jātaka tales retell previous lives of Gautama as a bodhisattva, and the first collection of these can be dated among the earliest Buddhist texts.[18] The Mahāpadāna Sutta and Acchariyaabbhuta Sutta both recount miraculous events surrounding Gautama's birth, such as the bodhisattva's descent from Tuṣita Heaven into his mother's womb.

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".[19] 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.

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