The Buddha

Essential Question

How did Buddhism begin?


The Buddha

Siddhartha Gautama also known as the Buddha “the awakened one”. The teachings of Siddhartha Gautama are considered the core of Buddhism: after his death, the community he founded slowly evolved into a religious-like movement which was finally established as a state religion in India by the time of Emperor Ashoka, during the 3rd century BCE. Reliable factual data on the life of Siddhartha Gautama is very scarce. His historical biography can be, to some extent, pieced together by comparing early Buddhist texts from different traditions. These accounts are filled with myth and legendary stories that slowly but surely changed the initial attributes of the biography of the Buddha.

Origins of Buddhism.pdf

Discussion Questions

  • What are the four passing sights? What impact did it have on the Buddha?

  • How did Siddhartha Gautama give up his life of wealth?

  • How was his life as an ascetic different from his life as a prince?

  • What happened when Siddhartha was under the Bodhi tree?

Activity 1: What were the main events in the Buddha's life that lead to the origin of Buddhism?

Using the information from this lesson, answer the questions in a thinking map. Complete this assignment digitally or on paper. It will be collected in your portfolio.

Extension Activities