The Life of Siddharta Gautama the historical Buddha A Thai version, as depicted on Thai wat (temple) murals Artwork for this slideshow drawn from The Life of the Buddha, USIS, 1957
Maya’s Dream As (the future) Buddha’s mother slept, a white elephant circled her bed 3 times before disappearing into her womb.
Buddha’s Birth Maya wanted to go home to give birth. But on the way, she had to stop, giving birth in a park, under a Bo tree.
The newborn Siddharta miraculously took 7 steps – in each step, some say, a lotus blossomed. Seven Steps
It was predicted that Siddharta would become either a fine political leader or one of the world’s greatest religious leaders. So his father sequestered his son in the palace, making his life as pleasurable as possible. Siddharta’s Youth
The Awakening When Siddharta finally left the palace for the first time, he saw a sick man, an elderly man... and finally, a dead man.
The Departure Siddharta decided to abandon his life of false pleasure. Before leaving, he stopped to contemplate all he was about to give up.
Renunciation Siddharta left the palace, pausing by a river bank to cut off his hair and remove his bejewelled robes. Then he headed into the woods, alone.
Mortification He meditated and fasted, hoping to gain insight.... But eventually he realized that, like his life of extreme pleasure in the palace, this extreme, taken to its logical conclusion, could only result in death.
He meditated and fasted, hoping to gain insight.... But eventually he realized that, like his life of extreme pleasure in the palace, this extreme, taken to its logical conclusion, could only result in death. Mortification
Nourishment Siddharta took food for the first time in days. After he fully recovered, he returned to meditating.
Enlightenment Just at the point of enlightenment, The future-Buddha was attacked by Mara, a god of evil, and his army. But the earth goddess came to Sidharta’s protection, dipping her hair in the river, then wring it out to drown the evil attackers.
After reaching enlightenment, Buddha taught others. Those teachings became known as Buddhism, and he was known as the Buddha. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is to find release from continued suffering and re-birth, the endless return to earth in re-incarnated form: Nirvana. Enlightenment
The lay-person’s path Buddhism avoids extremes – neither extreme pleasure, nor extreme renunciation. This “Middle Way” advocates living in the world but being less attached to worldly “fetters,” to guide one to a increasing higher state of re-birth and eventual release.
-- Life is suffering -- The cause of suffering is desire -- Eliminate desire to stop suffering -- Do so by following the Eightfold Path Four Noble Truths