AMERICAN MILITARY UNIVERSITY
The Life of Siddhārtha Gautama
Brian Todd Carey
Department of History and Military Studies
World Civilization before 1650, HIST111
March 23, 2011
Where and when was Siddhārtha Gautama born? Were there any persons or events in his
early life which you believe helped shape this individual’s legacy?
According to the sacred tales, in 563 BCE Siddhārtha Gautama, who was to become “The
Buddha,” was born in Lumbini. This is now one of the world’s holiest places in southern Nepal
at the foot of the Himalayas.
There are many legends surrounding the birth, life, and death of
Siddhartha Gautama, passed down through the generations. The stories say that before his birth,
his mother, the queen of a small Indian kingdom, had a dream. A beautiful white elephant offered
1 Stephen T. Asma,
Why I Am a Buddhist
(Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Pub., 2010), 5.
DVD, directed by David Grubin (2010; New York, NY: David Grubin Productions, 2010).
What the Buddha thought
(Oakville, CT: Equinox Pub., 2009), 32.