This genuine thangka painting depicts the different events of the life story of the Shakyamuni Buddha.
Buddha's life thangka illustrates the life history of Buddha. Buddha was born in a royal family with king Suddhodhan and queen Mayadevi as the parents who ruled Kapilvastu, Lumbini, Nepal. The actual Buddha lived from 563 to 483 B.C. according to tradition. He was born to the Shakya clan's rulers, hence the name Shakyamuni, which means "sage of the Shakya clan." His conception and birth, according to the traditions that grew up around him, were both miraculous. She gave birth to him while standing in the garden, gripping a tree. Maya's child emerged completely grown from her right side and took seven steps. When he returned to the palace, an astrologer predicted that he would grow up to be either a great monarch or a famous religious teacher, and he was given the name Siddhartha ("He Who Attained His Goal"). Siddhartha's father, fearful that any bad experience might lead him to seek renunciation as a Buddhist teacher, and not wishing to lose his son to such a fate, shielded him from the realities of life.
The horrors of poverty, disease and even old age were thus unknown to Siddhartha, who grew up in a lavish palace surrounded by every comfort. He took three chariot trips beyond the royal grounds at the age of twenty-nine and saw an old person, a sick person, and a corpse for the first time. On his fourth journey, he saw a traveling holy man whose austerity inspired Siddhartha to pursue a similar path in his quest for liberation from the pain caused by the endless cycle of birth, death, and reincarnation. Siddhartha discreetly left the palace in the middle of the night. He gave up his luxury lifestyle and spent six years as an ascetic, striving to control his intrinsic hunger for food, sex, and comfort through various yogic disciplines. He sat and pondered all night under a pipal tree at what is now known as Bodh Gaya (“enlightenment place”). At the age of thirty-five, Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became a Buddha (“enlightened one”) after conquering the powers of the evil Mara.
After his enlightenment, the Buddha sat for several weeks, meditating beneath the tree and then standing beside it. He decided to teach others what he had learned seven weeks following his enlightenment, encouraging them to follow a path he named "The Middle Way," which is one of moderation rather than radicalism. He quickly attracted a large following and spent the next 45 years wandering around northeastern India disseminating his teachings. Despite the fact that the Buddha did not promote himself as a god or an object of worship, he is reported to have performed numerous miracles throughout his lifetime.
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