The life of the Buddha (400's BCE)

The mother of the future Buddha conceives her child when she has an auspicious dream about an elephant;
The newborn Gautama is worshipped by Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu
Preparing to perform austerities, the future Buddha first cuts off his long hair
His austerities are so extreme that he fasts until he's almost a skeleton; this magnificent Gandharan sculpture is one of the glories of the Lahore Museum
Sitting under the Bodhi tree at BODH GAYA, the future Buddha is tempted and threatened by Mara-- but wins through to enlightenment
At the Deer Park at Sarnath, outside Varanasi, the Buddha preaches his first sermon, and thus begins to turn the Wheel of the Law
The Buddha soon acquires followers, and moves around with them through many parts of the *eastern Gangetic plains*

The Buddha passes many rainy seasons in the early monasteries of Shravasti and nearby Jetavana (in the Lucknow area)
The Buddha's death, at Kushinagara, leaves his followers desolate; but they spread his method for escaping sorrow

Once the Buddhist tradition begins to develop, the Mahayana ("Great Vehicle") school multiplies the numbers of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, heavens, and celestial entities
The Buddhist cave temples of Dunhuang, on the Chinese border, were for many centuries important stops on the silk route
Among other stupas and early Buddhist sites, Sri Lanka has one that claims to enshrine one of the Buddha's teeth
Swayambhunath Temple in KATHMANDU, Nepal, was a major pilgrimage center for Buddhists of the early Theravada and the later tantric Vajrayana ("Lightning Vehicle") schools
Nepal is famous for its own special blending of Hindu and Buddhist religious culture

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