Buddha's Birth

The birth of prins Siddharta, the future Gautama Buddha

Story has it that around the time of the Buddha's conception, his mother, Mahamaya had a dream in which she saw a large white elephant enter her side. Because the elephant was an auspicious symbol of sovereignty, Brahmin-priests said that there were two options: either the child would grow up to be a great emperor or he would become a great holy man who would teach the world.

When Mahamaya felt she would soon have her baby, she wanted to go to her parents. On her way there she gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama standing up and holding on to a tree, which is why the Buddha seems to have been born at Lumbini rather than his father's town of Kapilavatthu. According to legend, as soon as he was born, the Buddha walked seven steps and announced: 'I am the highest in the world; I am the best in the world; I am the foremost in the world. This is my last birth; now there is no renewal of being for me'.

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