Gautama Buddha or Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम बुद्ध; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.
The word Buddha is a title for the first awakened being in an era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (P. sammāsambuddha, S. samyaksaṃbuddha) of our age, "Buddha" meaning "awakened one" or "the enlightened one." Gautama Buddha may also be referred to as Śākyamuni (Sanskrit: शाक्यमुनि "Sage of the Śākyas").
Gautama taught a Middle Way compared to the severe asceticism found in the Sramana (renunciation) movement common in his region. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośala.
The time of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain: most early-20th-century historians dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE, but more recent opinion dates his death to between 486 and 483 BCE or, according to some, between 411 and 400 BCE.
Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Famous quotes containing the word buddha:
“The vast silence of Buddha overtakes
and overrules the oncoming roar
of tragic life that fills alleys and avenues;
it blocks the way of pedicabs, police, convoys.”
—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)