6 facts about Buddha your teacher might not have told you

Published on : 2016-05-18 Last modified : 2016-08-14 06:04:20 By:Sanjeet Acharya

Sometimes, you might have wondered what secrets did he find out about the nature of human existence and in what ways his teachings and principles made a difference to people's lives. Although the world knows him as Buddha, his real name was Sakyamuni Siddhartha. He was born into the royalty of Sakya Dynasty.  'Buddha' is a title given to the one who has attained enlightenment or the ultimate knowledge, and this word can be applied for other seers as well. Yet, there is no other seer as insightful as Gautam Buddha. Being as such, there are some facts about Buddha which are less talked about, but which are more interesting.

1.  He walked 7 steps immediately after he was born

Maya Devi, the mother of Gautam Buddha, was on her way to visit her parents on a full-moon day. On the way, she suffered labor and gave birth to a son. To the astonishment of Maya Devi and her attendants, the child walked 7 steps soon after it was out of the mother's womb.

The steps he took after birth was a miraculous indication that he was definitely not an ordinary child. According to Buddhist literature, the seven steps Buddha walked have the following significance, each step denoting seven essential factors of enlightenment:

i. Mindfulness

ii. Investigation

iii. Energy

iv. Joy

v. Relaxation

vi. Concentration

vii. Equanimity


2. Buddha was married and had a son

If you think that Buddha was ascetic from the beginning, you are wrong. He was a family man married to Yasodhara who gave birth to their son, Rahul. Being a prince, he was deprived of direct contact to the commoners, and it was only after he was a grown up man that he saw how human life is plagued by old age, illness and death. Then he decided to abandon luxuries of a palace and go in search of remedies to human sufferings, leaving behind his wife and son.

3. Siddhartha Gautam – his real name

The son of Suddodhan and Maya Devi is known to the world as Buddha. He is also known as Sakyamuni Buddha. But, how many of you know that his real name is Siddhartha Gautam?

Since the day Buddha ventured out and saw the suffering of humankind, he was not the same person. Poverty, sickness, and deprivation he saw outside the four walls of his father's palace transformed prince Siddhartha. In his pursuit of truth, he left behind everything, even the name given by his family.

4. Hindu by birth

Having born into a Hindu family, Buddha was a Hindu by birth. Back then, the only religion followed in the Indian sub-continent was Hinduism. Christianity and Islam were not in existence. Buddhism began only after the enlightenment and nirvana of Buddha. With the expansion of the followers of Buddha, Buddhism gradually emerged as a distinct religion with its own scriptures and rituals. Due to its emphasis on attainment of peace and harmony, Buddhism is also known as the 'religion of peace'.

5. Predictions about him

Buddha's parents were curious about their son walking 7 steps after birth. Being amazed as well as apprehensive, they consulted a soothsayer. Then they were told that their child would be a holy man in the days to come and would be known all over the world.  Buddha's parents were  also told that he would leave the palace and the family. It was due to this prediction he was kept well guarded inside high walls of the palace until he was 29. His father saw these predictions come true, but Buddha lost his mother in childhood.

The soothsayer must have been very insightful indeed, as Buddha did leave the palace and family. He has also become renowned all over the world. Now, Buddha's message of peace is disseminated in every corner of the world. Changing his message into reality has been a challenge, though. 

6. Reunion with family

Buddha never looked back home until he found out what he was determined to attain. He had to go through every imaginable hardship prior to his enlightenment. He tried various methods as well. Sometimes he observed fast for days and tortured himself. Other times he meditated for months.When the moment came and he became enlightened, he felt an urge to share his ultimate knowledge with other men and help them cope with their sufferings. With his enlightenment, Buddha did not only find out the cure for human suffering; he also explained the causes of pain and suffering in man's life.

However, when Buddha returned home after enlightenment, he was not a son, father or husband of anyone. Although he visited his son, father, wife and foster mother as well, he showed no attachment to them. Instead, his family also joined the Sangha and became his disciples. His cousin named Ananda became his most devoted disciple.

1. He walked 7 steps as soon as he was born

Maya Devi, his mother, was on the way to her mother’s house on a full-moon night . On her way, she gave birth to a child who later was known to the world as Gautam Buddha. The news of a woman giving birth to a baby, on the way, would have never made a news then. The child walked 7 steps as soon as he was born.

The seven steps he took as soon as he came to the world was the sign of being an extraordinary human. Those 7 steps were said to be the steps of enlightenment. As per the pupils of Buddha, his 7 steps signified the following:

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Investigation
  3. Energy
  4. Joy
  5. Relaxation
  6. Concentration
  7. Equanimity

2. He was married and had a son too

After he realized and saw the sufferings in the world, he couldn’t enjoy his life as a prince. He decided to leave the luxury he received within the palace to search the remedy for old age, death, sadness. He was married to Yasodhara and even had a child named Rahul.

He did something that no normal people have ever thought of doing. To enlighten the whole world with the ways of living happily, he left the title of the prince, the love of his wife, his son,  and all the luxury he would have got in the palace.


3. Siddhartha Gautama – His Real Name

The son of Suddodhan and Maya Devi is known to the world as Gautam Buddha. Yet, very few of the people know his birth or the real name. He is also known as Shakyamuni Buddha.  However, his real name given by his parents was Siddhartha Gautama.

The poverty and the sickness he saw outside the  walls of his father’s palace changed prince Siddhartha. To pursue the path of the truth, he left every single thing he owned, even the name given by his parents. Then, the rest is the history.

4. Hindu by birth

Yes, Gautam Buddha was not a Buddhist by birth. It is known that he was the son of a Hindu Family. When Siddhartha went out of the palace for the first time (when he was 29) he saw the problems outside the wall of the royal home. He got to know about poverty, death, illness, old age, and many of such problems.; which pushed him to find out the course of happiness.

‘’Peace’’ is one of the best messages his teachings have conveyed to us. In a similar way, Buddha hated violence. The violence which prevailed and prevails in Hinduism gave the idea of establishing peace and choosing the anti-violence way to Lord Buddha.

Thus,  the knowledge he gained after lots of hardships and meditation has made him one of the most-followed person, globally.

5. Predictions about him

Being amazed after those 7 steps their son walked, Siddhartha’s parents were full of amazement and fears.  Thus, they decided to consult  a famous astrologer. The astrologer then said that their child would be a holy man in the days to come and would be known to the world.

His parents were also told that the prince may  leave the palace and his family. With all those fear of losing his son, King Suddodhan never let his son  go out of the palace till he was 29 years of age. Later, the prediction made about him came true and Buddha is now known throughout the world as the initiator of Buddhism, one of the most followed religions in the world.

6. Re-united with the Family

Everyone knows the sacrifice that Lord Buddha made for the well being of a human kind, including the luxury and own family. However, you would be surprised to know that Buddha, later, united with his family.

Buddha visited his son, father, wife, and his foster mother after leaving the home and starting the act of teaching his principles. His family members then became monks after joining the Sangha, formed on his own. To your surprise, his cousin named Ananda also joined him. Ananda is said to be one of the most known disciples of Gautam Buddha. Rahul, his son, also joined the Sangha to become the youngest monk there.

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