Illustration of Buddha

Illustration of Buddha for the 2008-09 Ayo Gorkhali Exhibition
©Rebecca Van Ommen

Siddartha Gautama, the Supreme Buddha (meaning the Enlightened or Awakened One), was born in Lumbini, Southern Nepal, in the 6th Century BCE. Originally a prince of the kingdom of Kapilvastu (also within modern Nepal), Siddartha left his life of material wealth in his late 20s and began his search for true enlightment. Years later he achieved his goal, meditating beneath the boughs of a pipal (or Bodhi) tree.

Enlightened Traveller

Once he had become enlightened Buddha travelled with his disciples teaching his Four Noble Truths: that suffering is a part of existence; all suffering comes from ignorance and desire; that desire can be overcome and that following his Noble Eightfold Path will lead to end of desire, attachment and therefore suffering. It is said that Buddha visited the holy sites of Nepal's Kathmandu Valley during the time of the Kirati Dynasty.

Today Buddhism is one of the world's largest religions, practised around the world, including Nepal.

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