Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teaching of Gautam Buddha.


Life of Gautam Buddha

  • Gautam Buddha was born in 563 BC in a Sakya Kshatriya family at lumbini near Kapilvastu in Nepal.
  • His father Sudhodhan was the elected ruling chief of Kapilvastu.
  • His mother Mayadevi/Mahamaya was a princess of Koshalan dynasty.
  • The childhood name of Gautam Buddha was Siddharta.
  • His mother died after seven days of his birth and he was looking after by his step mother Gautami Prajapati and siddharth become Gautam after that.
  • At the age of 16 he was married with Yasodhara.
  • He had a son named Rahula.
  • He left his home secretly at the age of 29 and embraced the life of a wondering hermit, this act in buddhism is known as Mahavinishkraman or Renuneration.
  • Gautam Buddha learnt sankhya philosophy from Arada Kalama at Vaisali and the meditation from Rudraka Ramputra at Rajgriha.
  • Gautam Buddha sat in meditation under a pipal tree on the bank of the river Niranjana.
  • The place where he attained enlightenment is called Bodh Gaya, and the pipal tree is known as Bodhibriksha.
  • Gautam Buddha Died at the age of 80 in 483 BC at Kusinagar Village in Uttar Pradesh. This incident is known as Mahaparinirvana.

Teaching of Gautam Buddha

  • After enlightenment Gautam Buddha’s first sermon was preached at the Deer Park at Sarnath before the first five disciples. Thus we can say Buddhism started from Sarnath and this episode is known as Dharmachakraparivartana.
  • He gave his discourse in Prakrit or Pali language.
  • His primary aim was to secure deliverance from the grim reality of sorrows and sufferings, so pronounced the four noble truth.

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  1. Sorrow
  2. Desire (Trishna)
  3. Cessation is possible
  4. The path leading to the cessation of sorrow is Ashtangik Marg.

For the extinction of desire Buddha outlined the Eight fold Pathand it consists:-

  1. Right Speech
  2. Right Action
  3. Right means of livelihood
  4. Right Exertion
  5. Right Purpose
  6. Right Resolution
  7. Right memory
  8. Right meditation.

This eight-fold path is also known as Middle Path or Majjhima Patha as it avoids extremes of luxury and hardship.

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Buddhist Councils:-

CouncilYearVenueChairmanRoyal patronDevelopment
1st 483BCSaptaparni cave RajgrihaMahakasyapaAjatshatruCompilaton of Sutta Pitaka and vinay pitaka.
2nd383BCVaishaliSabakamiKalasokaMonks were split into Sthaviravada and Maha Sanghika.
3rd250BCPatliputraMogaliputta TissaAshokaCompilation of Abhidamma Pitaka
4th 72 ADKundalvan KashmirVasumitra & AshwaghoshaKanishkaDivision of Buddhism into Hinyana and Mahayana.

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About Buddhism

  • There is no existence of God and Soul in Buddhis.
  • The Jewels of Buddhism are as follows:-
  1. The Buddha – The enlightment
  2. The Dhamma – The Doctrine
  3. The Sangha- The order.
  • The most important festival of Buddhist is Buddha Purnima of Vaishakha Purnima.
  • Ashoka and Kanishka made Buddhism a state religion and spread it to Central Asia, West Asia and Sri Lanka.
  • Pali Language is used in Buddhism to explain the doctrines.
  • The followers of Buddhism is known as Upasikas.
  • Pavarna or Upavastha was the ceremony when buddhist monks met to confess their Offences.
  • One who attained the truth is known as Tathagatha.
  • The most important mantra of the Vajrayana is OM MANI PADME HUM.
  • Buddhism was divided into three main sects namely:-
  1. Hinyana or the Lesser Wheel
  • They didn’t believe in Idol worship, only believe in Karma.
  • The Oldest School of Hinyana is the Sthaviravada.
  • Hinyana Buddhist used Pali Language.
  1. Mahayana or the Greater Wheel
  • They believed in the heavenliness of the Buddha.
  • They believed in Idol Worship.
  • They have two chief philosophical school Madhayamika and Yogachara.
  • They used Sanskrit Language.
  1. Vajrayana or the Vehicle of Thunderbolt
  • They believed that salvation could be best attained by acquiring the magical power, which they called Vajra.
  • The Chief divinity of this new sect was Tara.
  • It became popular particularly in Bengal and Bihar.

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The Sutta Pitaka is a collection of Buddha’s sermons and is divided into five groups namely:-

  • The Digha Nikaya
  • The Madhyami Nikaya
  • The Samyaka Nikaya
  • The Anguttara Nikaya
  • The KhuddakaNikaya.

The Vinaya Pitaka contains the rules and regulations of monastic discipiline for the monks. It is divided into five groups namely:-

  • Maha Varga
  • Kasullak Varga
  • Paschatta Varga
  • Parajika Varga, Parivara Varga.

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  • The Abhidhamma Pitaka contains profound Philosphine of the Buddha’s Teachings.
  • The jatakas were a collection of over 500 poems, which describe the previous births of the Buddha.
  • Milind Panho has the discussion between Menander and the Buddhist Monk Nagasena.
  • Buddhist Images began to be first made by Mathura School of Art.

where was Gautam Buddha Born?

Ans- Kapilvastu in Nepal.

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