Important Notes on Buddhism for SSC CGL

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Table of content


Important Notes on Buddhism for SSC CGL Examination. 


  • Buddhism was started by Gautam Buddha who was also known as Sakyamuni and Tathagata
  • Gautam Buddha was born in the year 563 B.C at Lumbini near Kapilvastu district of Nepal on the day of the poornima (full moon day)
  • His childhood name was Siddhartha
  • His father’s name was king Suddhodhana who was the ruler of the Saka dynasty and the mother’s name was Mahamaya who was the princess of the Kosalan dynasty
  • 7 days after the birth of Gautam Buddha, her mother died and he was brought up by his stepmother Mahaprajapati Gautami  who gave him the  title of Gautam
  • In his childhood Gautam Buddha use to play with his horse named Kanthak
  • At the age of 16 years Gautam Buddha was married with extremely beautiful Yasodhara and had a son named Rahula
  • After seeing the sorrow of the world Gautam Buddha decided to leave the pleasures of the life and start living the life of the wanderer
  • At the age of 29 years he left home in search of salvation or Nirvana and reached Vaishali where he became the disciple of Alara Klama but he was not convinced by the teachings of Alara Klama and he moved from there and became the disciple of Udraka Ramputra
  • He wondered for 6 years and one day at Bodh Gaya under the Peepal tree (bodhi tree) he attained the Nirvana or Enlightenment at the age of 35 years
  • Tapasso and Mallic became the first disciple of Gautam Buddha whereas Ananda was the most favourite disciple of Gautam Budddha
  • Gautam Buddha delivered his first sermon at Sarnath on the topic “Dharmachakrapravartan” or Turning of the Wheel of Law
  • In his last days of life he reached Vaishali where his disciple named Kunda fed him pork due to which he died at the age of 80 years in the year 483 B.C at Kushinagar district Deoria in the Malla republic. His death is known as Mahaparinirvana

Teachings of Gautam Buddha

Gautam Buddha gave four great truths of life

  1. The world is full of sorrows and misery
  2. The desire of human being is the main cause of his sorrows
  3. If there are no desires there are no sorrows
  4. The desires can be conquered be Eight Fold Paths

Eight Fold Paths of Buddhism

Right Speech

Right Livelihood

Right Efforts

Right Thoughts

Right Actions

Right Remembrance

Right Concentration

Right Mindfulness

According to Gautam Buddha the person after following the Eight Fold Paths is free from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth is gained by following it.

Buddhist Literature

The Buddhist literatures were written in the Pali language

Vinay Pitaka

It deals with the laws of the Buddhist monasteries. It was recited by Uppali in the first Buddhist council in the year 483 B.C

Sutta Pitaka

It is the collection of the Buddha’s sermons and it is divided in 5 parts

Abhidhamma Pitaka

It deals with the life and the philosophy of the Buddha’s teachings


It deals with the conversation with the Greek king Menander and the Buddhist Monk Nagasena


It is the sacred book of the Buddhism


Buddhist Councils


First Council

The first council was held in the year 483 B.C at Saptaparni caves near Rajgriha in Bihar under the chairmanship of king Ajatshatru, during the first council two Buddhist literatures were compiled Vinaya and Sutta Pitaka by Upali

Second Council

The second council was held in the year 383 B.C at Vaishali under the chairmanship of king Kalashoka

Third Council

The third council was held in the year 250 B.C at Patliputra under the chairmanship of king Ashoka the Great, during the third council Abhidhamma Pitaka was added and Buddhist holy book Tripitaka was compiled.

Fourth Council

The fourth council was held in the year 78 A.D at Kundalvan in Kashmir under the chairmanship of king Kanishka, during this council Hinayana and Mahayana were divided.


Types of Buddhist

The Buddhism after the death of Gautam Buddha was divided into 3 parts


They believe in the real teachings of Gautam Buddha of attaining Nirvana. They do not believe in idol worship and Pali language was used in the Hinayana text


They believe that Nirvana is attained by the grace of Gautam Buddha and not by following his teachings. They believe in idol worship and Sanskrit was used in Mahayana text


They believe that Nirvana is attained by the help of magical tricks or black magic.

Symbols Associated with Gautam Buddha

Birth- Lotus or Bull

Great renunciation- Horse

First Sermon- Wheel

Nirvana- Bodhi tree/ Peepal tree

Mahaparinirvana/ Death- Stupa


Famous Monks at the time of Buddha

  • Ananda – constant companion of Buddha and most devoted disciple
  • Anurddha – master of right mindfulness
  • Mahakassapa – president of Buddhist council held at Rajagriha
  • Moggallana – he had greatest super natural powers
  • Sariputta – possessed the profound insight into the dhamma
  • Upali – master of Vinaya


Famous Buddhist Scholars

  • Ashvagosha – contemporary of Kanishka, poet, dramatist, musician who wrote famous book Buddhacharita
  • Nagarjuna – friend and contemporary  of Satavahana kings wrote the famous book Madhyamik Shastra
  • Buddhagosha – pali scholar  who wrote “Visuddhimaga”
  • Dinnaga – founder of Buddhist logic

Important Buddhist Gods and Goddess

  1. Buddha Shakyamuni -the historical Buddha
  2. Buddha Maitreya -the future Buddha.
  3. Avalokiteshavara – the Bodhisattva of Compassion
  4. Manjushri – the bodhisattva of wisdom and literature.
  5. Tara – a female Bodhisattva. She is considered a great protector that guards people against the eight major dangers in life
  6. Padmasambhava -also called Guru Rinpoche, is the historically tangible founder of Tibetan Buddhism

All the best 

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