who taught him the technique of meditation at Vaisali, and the second was
Uddaka or Ramaputta who taught him at Rajagriha) and visiting many places.
Finding no satisfaction there he practised the severest penances, the most
rigid austerities and made fruitless efforts to find the Truth. He then gave up
penances, took a bath in river Niranjana (modern Lilajan) and sat under a
pipal tree at modem Bodh Gaya. Here at the age of 35, he attained unto
supreme knowledge and insight. Revelation came to him that the Great Peace
was within his own heart and he must seek it there. This is known as the
Enlightenment (nirvana) and since then he became known as the Buddha (the
Enlightened One) or tathagat (one who attained the Truth).
    Then he proceeded to the deer park near Sarnath in the vicinity of
Banaras       where    he      gave        his        first religious discourse
(dharmachakrapravartana) as a result of which five disciples joined him.
After preaching for the next 45 years, he passed away in 483 BC under a sal
tree at Kusinagar in UP. Shortly before his death Buddha lived in Pavapuri in
the hut of a poor smith named Chanda (Kanda), where he ate bad mushrooms
and pork, which allegedly caused his death. Buddha’s last teaching was heard
by Subhadra, a wandering ascetic, and Ananda, his favourite disciple. His last
words were: ‘Subject to decay are all component things. Strive earnestly to
work out your own salvation.’
    The most renowned among the early converts to his teaching were
Sariputta and Moggallana, ascetics of Rajagriha, who were converted by
Assaji, one of the five original disciples. More famous among his followers
were Ananda (his cousin and chief disciple), Kassapa or Kasyapa (his most
learned disciple), Upali (the barber), and the rich youth Vasa. Kings like
Prasenjit of Kosala and Bimbisara and Ajatasatru of Magadha accepted his
doctrines and became his disciples.
    Channa (the charioteer), Kanthaka (his horse), Alara Kalama (the sage
who taught him the technique of meditation) and Sujata (the farmer’s
daughter who gave him ricemilk at Bodh Gaya) were the other important
figures connected with the life of the Buddha.