Siddhaartha as he was known in his childhood, was the son of King
Suddhodana of Kapilavastu. He grew up in luxury and was married to
Yashodharaa and had a son by name Rahul. He led a sheltered life in
the palace, unaware of the miseries of the world. On one occasion
when he went out of the palace, he saw an old man, sick man, a corpse
and an ascetic. He understood that all human beings were liable to
sickness and suffering and were subject to death. The sight
of the holy man impressed Buddha and he too decided to leave home
and went out into the forest in search of truth.
Seven years later, at Bodhgaya under the shade of a Bodhitree,
while sitting in meditation Buddha obtained enlightenment.
Buddha then traveled from place to place, touched the lives of thousands
of people, high and low, princes and peasants and all.
For 45 years, he taught people the beauty of charity, the joy of
renunciation and the primary need to lead a simple life and
have a heart full of compassion. At the age of eighty, at
Kushinagara, he attained parinirvaana. The Purnima or the full
moon day of the month of Vaishaakha is connected with 3 important
events in the life of Buddha - his birth, enlightenment and his parinirvaana.
It is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar.