Title meaning ‘Enlightened One’ in Sanskrit and Pali. It is most frequently used for Siddhārtha Gautama, whose teachings form the basis of the Buddhist faith. He lived about 563 to 483 BCE in the north-eastern area of the Indian subcontinent, around the same time and in the same area as Mahāvīra, the last of the 24 Jinas.
His life story is similar to that of the Jinas in certain ways, such as:
- his mother had significant dreams on the night of conception
- he was born a prince into a kṣatriya family
- as an adult he renounced his wealthy, pleasurable life to seek the meaning of life through asceticism.
After six years he reached enlightenment while meditating and from then on was known as Buddha – ‘Awakened One’ or ‘Enlightened One’.« Back to Glossary Index