Who is this? The Gautama Buddha.
Only recently did I actually find out that ‘he’ is well,a he. As you may or may not have noticed in these images and his statues, it’s not that easy to decipher his sexuality or at least it wasn’t for me. So I’ve decided to break down for you, the who and the what and the why’s of The Gautama Buddha. .........Let’s go back to Lumbini Nepal, somewhere between the 4thand 6thcentury, 563BC according to Buddhist teaching. Although many not wanting to lay claim to too many historical facts, most can agree he was born in Mahajanapada era.
It was Queen Mayadevi ‘Maya’ who gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama later to become ‘Buddha’. Maya (The mother of Buddha) is known to have died not long after giving birth, which wasn’t an uncommon thing during this period. She also is said to have come back to life in a Buddhist heaven (to which all Buddhas proceeded to do after death) and would come down from the heavens to advise her son.
Her son, Sidartha Buddha was to be the founder of Buddhism. Buddha meaning ‘The enlightened one’ taught what is known as the ‘middle way’ between sensual indulgence and severe asceticism (a teaching which almost entirely deprived itself of worldly pleasures). Buddha himself practiced extreme Asceticism after leaving his father’s palace but then rejected it after he discovered it was “an impediment to ultimate freedom from suffering” and chose a path that met the needs of the body whilst avoiding luxury and indulgence. This middle path was the essential link between self-indulgence and self-mortification.
Gautama is the fundamental figure in Buddhism and teachings were brought together by his followers and were passed down over hundreds of years until finally being written down and recorded 400 years later.
His teachings and wisdom are still very much a massive part of Buddhism and his ornaments, pictures, statues and quotes effortlessly represent a stillness in ones self. Whether it’s his upright relaxed posture, the peaceful nature of his face or the thousand year old legacy he’s left in his wake, you can’t help but feel a sense of warmth and comfort in his presence.