Events of the Historical Buddha's Life Frequently Depicted in Art

KNOW: *   4 Great Events (Miracles)
              ** 8 Great Miracles

*    1. Dream of the White Elephant
                     by Queen Mahamaya in Kapilavastu

**    2. Miraculous Birth in Lumbini Grove (Park)
Younger sister, Prajpati, is mid-wife.  He is received by Brahma Sahapati, (white skin, carries umbrella) and Indra (green skin, rides 3-headed elephant Erawan, conch shell).  These two with Buddha are frequently presented as a Theravada Buddhist trinity. Indra (Sakka) is king of the heaven of the 33 deities (deva and devatas).  Brahma rules the four directions and the world of the Brahmas.

        3. The First Bath

        4. The First Seven Steps

        5. Childhood scenes of valor and bravery

        6A. Marriage of the Buddha to Yasdhara (Bimba)

        6B. Escapes from Palace grounds and sees 4 sights of suffering: A man dying of sickness, a man dying of old age, a corpse, a man committed to asceticism (to overcome suffering).

        7. The Great Departure - the Four Great Kings, Maharajikas, hold horses' hooves.

        8.Great Hair Cutting (Tonsure: hair is carried to Heaven of the 33 where it becomes the eminent relic enshrined in the Culamani  Stupa).

        9. Brahmanic God gives Buddha the 8 necessities: begging bowl, 3 robes, razor, belt, drinking cup, staff or makes robes from discarded scrapes of cloth.

        10. Practice of Asceticism - Buddha image with emaciated body

        11. Gift of boiled rice from Sujata.

        12. Gift of a handful of grass from grass cutter.

**    13. Enlightenment - Victory over Mara - maravijaya cycle

  1. Temptation by Mara's Daughters
  2. Attack by Mara's Army
  3. Calling the Earth Goddess to Witness Bhumisparsa madra.  Dharani (Thorani) The Earth Goddess wrings water from her hair.

        14. Attainment of Full Enlightenment - Buddha receives Urna and Ushnisha.

        15. The Omniscience of Enlightenment: 7 weeks after enlightenment, a series of exercises designed to make enlightenment irreversible

  1. 1st week -- meditation on jeweled throne
  2. 2nd week -- gazes at Bodhi Tree
  3. 3rd week -- walks on golden pathway between 2nd week position and Bodhi Tree
  4. 4th week -- reflects on Abhidharma, the Pure Doctrine
  5. 5th week -- meditation under goat herd's tree
  6. * 6th week -- Mualinda, the Naga King, protects Buddha from storm
  7. 7th week -- under tree nearby, Buddha: 1. receives gift of myrobalan fruit; 2. makes 1 alms-bowl out of four; 3. accepts nourishment from 2 merchants Tapussa and Bhallika.

**    16. First Sermon: Turning the Wheel of the Law -- 1st Sermon preached in the Deer (Gazelle) Park at Sarnath (Alias Benares)

        17. Conversion of Great Disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana, the Maha Kassapa, son of a Brahman

        18. Bimba's Grievances - wife requests inheritance for son.

**    19. The Miracle of Double Appearances -- At Sravasti

  1. Miracle of the Mango Tree
  2. Fills entire sky with symmetrical doubles of himself that appear in four postures: seated, standing, walking, and reclining.
  3. Fire blazes from his shoulders and water from his feet.

        20. Preaching to his Mother (reborn a male god) in Tavatimsa Heaven

**    21. Descent from Tavatimsa Heaven (walking Buddha)

**    22. "Miracle(s)" of Parileyyaka Forest. An elephant becomes a faithful follower and a monkey offers the gift of a honeycomb.

**    23. Taming the Nalagiri Elephant

**    24. Death: The Great Parinirvana -- Death after eating a poisoned meal from Cunda

        25. The Apportionment of the Relics