Gotama, the ‘Buddha’
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Gotama, the ‘Buddha’ book
Around a date reckoned in the East to have been 630 b.c., in the West, 550 b.c., there was born to Suddhodāna, a raja of the provinces (that is as if we said, to a ‘laird ‘), in the kingdom of Kösālā (that is, in the present Nepal and also, may be, further eastward), a son whom he named Siddhartha, his own family name being Gotama, his clan, the Sakyans. With the many legends that grew up down the centuries about his childhood and early manhood this outline cannot deal. It would only obscure our subject ‘Buddhism’, obscure it much more than would a treatment of Christian legends about Jesus Christ obscure an outline of Christianity. In both cases the legends are about the Man ; but in the latter faith the Man is living on and working ; in the former the Man, save in Far-Eastern developments, lives on as Man no more. In the latter the Man and the religion cannot be separated ; in the former, the religion, whether in its original or its later forms, is the thing ; its worth is independent of the person of its Teacher.