Who is Gautama Buddha?

Gautama BuddhaGautama attained the enlightenment of the Buddha in his final incarnation as Siddhartha Gautama. He was born in northern India, about 563 B.C., the son of King Suddhdana and Queen Mahamaya. Soon after his birth, his mother passed on and he was raised by her sister. At sixteen, Prince Siddhartha got married and had a son. The turning point of his life did not occur until the age of twenty-nine, when he set out on four journeys, which presented the four passing sights: (1) a very old man leaning on a staff; (2) a pitiful man racked with disease lying in the road; (3) a corpse; and (4) a yellow-robed monk with a shaved head and a begging bowl.

Moved with the compassion by the first three sights, he realized that life was subject to old age, disease and death. The fourth sight signified to him the possibility of overcoming these conditions and inspired him to leave the world he knew to find a solution for suffering. He left his palace and wandered and meditated for several years and realized the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the Middle Way. He passes during the full moon of May, about 483 B.C.

Gautama Buddha today holds the office of Lord of the World. At inner levels, he sustains the threefold flame of life, the divine spark, for all children of God on earth.

Words from the Master - Gautama »

Adapted from The Masters and Their Retreats