- Also known as Sakyamuni or Tathagata.
- Born in 536 BC. On the vaishakha poornima day at Lumbini ( near Kapilavastu) in Nepal.
- His father Suddhodhana was the Saka ruler.
- His mother (Mahamaya, of Kosala dynasty) died after 7 days of his birth. Brought up by the stepmother Gautami.
- Married at 16 to Yashodhara. Enjoyed the marital life for 13 years and had a son named Rahula.
- After seeing an old man, a sick man, a corpse and an ascetic, he decided to become a Wanderer.
- Left his place at 29 in search of truth ( also called ‘Mahabhinishkramana’ or the Great Renunciation ) and wandered for 6 years .
- Attained ‘Enlightenment’ at 35 at Gaya in Magadha (Bihar) under the Pipal tree.
- Delivered the first sermon at Sarnath where his five disciples had settled . His first sermon is called ‘Dharmachakrapravartan’ or ‘Turning of the wheel of law’.
- Attained Mahaparinirvanda at Kushinagar (identical with village Kasia in Deoria district of UP) in 483 BC at the age of 80 in the Malla Republic.
- FIRST COUNCIL: At Rajgriha , in 483 BC under the chairmanship of Mehakassaapa ( King was Ajatshatru). Divided the teachings of Buddha into two Pitakas- Vinaya Pitaka and Sutta Pitaka.
- SECOND COUNCIL : At Vaishali, in 383 BC under Sabakami (King was Kalasoka). Followers divided into Sthavirmadins and
- THIRD COUNCIL : At Pataliputra, in 250 BC under Mogaliputta Tissa (king was Ashoka). In this, the third part of the Tripitaka was coded in the Pali language.
- FOURTH COUNCIL: At kashmir ( Kundalvan), in 72 AD under Vasumitra (King was Kaniska. Vice-Chairman was Ashwaghosha). Divided Buddhism into Mahayana and Hinayana
- In Pali language.
- Rules of dicipline in Buddism.
- Largest, contains collection of Buddha’s sermons.
- Explanation of the philosophical principles of the Buddhist religion.
- Founded by Rishaba.
- There were 24 Tirthankaras ( Prophets or Gurus ), all Kshatriyas. First was Rishabnath (Emblem: Bull).
- The 23rd Tirthankar Parshwanath (Emblem : Snake ) was the son of king Ashvasena of Banaras.
- The 24th and the last Tirthankar was Vardaman Mahavira ( Emblem : Lion ). He was born in Kundagram (District Muzaffarpur, Bihar) in 599 BC.
- His father Sidhartha was the head of Jnatrika clan.
- His mother was Trishala, sister of Lichchavi Prince Chetak of Vaishali.
- Mahavira was related to Bimbisara.
- Married to Yahoda, had a daughter named Priyadarsena, whose husband Jamali became his first disciple.
- At 30, after the death of his parents, he became an ascetic.
- In the 13th year of his asceticism (on the 10th of Vaishakha), outside the town of Jrimbhikgrama, attained supreme knowledge (Kaivalya).
- From now on he was called Jaina or Jitendriya and Mahavira, and his followers were named Jains. He also got the title of Arihant, i.e worthy.
- At the age of 72, attained death at Pava, near Patna, in 527 BC.
- Mahavira preached almost the same message as Parsvanath and added one more, Brahmcharya (celibacy) to it.