One night, when Queen Maya was asleep, she dreamed of a white elephant running towards her. A few months after the dream, she found out that she was pregnant.
When Queen Maya passed through Lumbini Garden, on her way back to her maiden home, she gave birth to a son, named Prince Siddhartha. The prince took seven steps, pointing to the sky with one hand and the earth with the other, he proclaimed that, “Chief am I in this world.”
The prince was compassionate in nature and was very loving towards all beings. He once rescued a wild goose from the arrow of his cousin, Devadatta.
The prince married his cousin, Princess Yashodhara at the age of 16, and gave birth to Prince Rahula. They lived happily in the palace.
One day, when the prince roamed around outside the palace, he met an old man, a sick man, a dead body and a serene monk. He started to think about the meaning of life.
One night, he planned to leave the palace to become a monk and in search of the meaning of life.
Since then, Prince Siddhartha lead a very simple life. He only took a small amount of food each day for six years. One day, he became very weak and fainted on the river bank of Neranjar River.
A shepherd girl named Sujata happened to pass by and offered the prince some milk. The prince regained his strength.
On the full moon day of May, the prince became enlightened under the Bodhi tree. Since then, he was regarded as the “Buddha,” and the “enlightened one.”
The Buddha met his first five disciples in Deer Park and told them about the way of life, which is the “Dharma.” This marked the existence of the Triple Gem: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
The Buddha propagated the Dharma along the Ganges River for 45 years. His disciples came from all levels of society. They found joy and peace in his teachings.
The Buddha passed away at the age of eighty surrounded by his disciples in Kushinagara. He was said to have entered the realm of “Nirvana.”
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