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httpwwwencyclopediacom Buddha Pronounced As bood boo- Sktthe enlightened One usual title given to the founder of Buddhism He is also called the Tathagata he who has come thus Bhagavat the Lord and Sugata well-gone He probably lived from 563 to 483 BC The story of his life is overlaid with legend the earliest written accounts dating 200 years after his death Early Life His given name was Siddhartha and his family name Gautama or Gotama He was born the son of a king of the Sakya clan of the Kshatriya or warrior caste hence his later epithet Sakyamuni the sage of the Sakyas in the Himalayan foothills in what is now S Nepal It was predicted at his birth that he would become either a world ruler or a world teacher therefore his father King Suddhodana who wished Siddhartha to succeed him as ruler took great pains to shelter him from all misery and anything that might influence him toward the religious life Siddhartha spent his youth in great luxury married and fathered a son The scriptures relate that at the age of 29 wishing to see more of the world he left the palace grounds in his chariot He saw on successive excursions an old man a sick man a corpse and a mendicant monk From the first three of these sights he learned the inescapability of suffering and death and in the serenity of the monk he saw his destiny Forsaking his wife Yashodhara and his son Rahula he secretly left the palace and became a wandering ascetic Enlightenment Siddhartha first studied yogic meditation under the teachers Alara Kalama and Udraka Ramaputra and after mastering their techniques decided that these did not lead to the highest realization He then undertook fasting and extreme austerities but after six years gave these up fearing that they might cause his death before he attained illumination Taking moderate food he seated
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