Gotama Buddha was born in the Lumbini Park in the year 653 B.C. He belonged to Khatiya clan of Kapilavastu. At the Lumbini Park, the Emperor Asoka erected a stone pillar in 229 B.C. to mark the birth place of the Buddha, Bearing the following inscription: “When King piyadassi had been anointed twenty years, he came to worship this place because it was the birth place of Lord Buddha. The King caused a stone pillar to be set up in order to show that the Buddha was born here.” The Buddha’s father was Suddhodana, the king of Kapilavastu. His mother Maya died seven days after the birth of child his family name was Gotama but he was called “Siddhattha” Which mean “He whose aim is accomplished”.
The child grew under the care of his aunt named Mahapajapati and was brought up in luxury. At an early age he was married to his cousin “Yasodhara” a beautiful princess and they had a son named “Rahula”.
But Siddhattha, Though surrounded by worldly pleasures, felt dissatisfaction with the actual life around him. The sufferings of the people affected him deeply and made him think of the problem of life.
At the age of twenty-nine, he informed his father of his determination to renounce the luxurious life for the quest of Enlightenment, and to find the way leading to welfare of man.
One night he summoned his charioteer Chandada to saddle him his favorite house named Kanthaka, and left the palace. On crossing the river Anoma, he entered the forest of Uruvala and there bid farewell to Chandaka asking him to assure his wife Yasodhara and all his relatives that he would return back when the truth was revealed to him. Then he cut off his long hair and put on an appropriate agarment of a religious ascetic.
At Uruvala he met Brahmin priests and under their guidance studied the various schools of Hindu philosophy. He the led the life of a hermit and came to a hermitage run by an ascetic Kondanya. There he was the pupils devoting themselves to practices of extreme forms of Self-Mortification. He was persuaded to believe that asceticism could purity the mind. Gotama decided to follow them in earnest zeal. For six years he practiced every possible method of Self-Mortification. But Gotama realized that that neither the mystical speculation of the Brahmins nor the methods of Self-Mortification would help him to discover the way to Man’s liberation. On the contrary ascetic practice might lead him to self-delusion. Gotama then took a seat in the forest of Uruvela under the Bodhi tree resolving that he would not abandon his quest until he had attained the Enlightenment.
So it happened. He attained deep understanding “Samma Sambodhi” or Enlightenment and Nirvana the way to which he would proclaim to the world.
In Maha-Saccaka Sutta. The Buddha is reported to have described the Supreme Victory of reaching goal of his quest as follows. When this knowledge, this insight had arisen within me, my heat was set free from lusts, set free from craving, set free form ignorance. In me, thus emancipated, there arose the certainty of that emancipation. And I come to know: Rebirth is at the end. The higher life has been fulfilled. What had to be done has been accomplished. Thus ended the struggle of six long years. The Buddha now went to the deer park (Sarnath) Near Benaras in search of his five former disciples who were to be proud of their asceticism, and proclaimed of them the Eternal law, (Dhamma) this sermon was the first sermon of which the Buddha preached the doctrine of the middle path between the two extremes of Sexual-Indulgence and Self-Mortification declaring that by avoiding. This sermon is described as “Setting in motion the wheel of Dhamma (Righteousness).
The Buddha has got a number of the disciples. To them he said “Go now brethren, for the good of the many, for the welfare of the many, teach the truth, beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle and beautiful at the end. Beings whose eyes are dimmed with dust perish because they did not hear the truth (Dhamma). He spent the time to teach his religion for 45 years and he died when he had 80 years old.