The Buddha

Step into the world of Buddha, a prophet who helped sculpture the Buddhistic religion over 2000 years ago – a faith still practiced today by millions of people.

Utllizing the help of artists, sculptors, story tellers and faith believers throughout the ages, Buddha’s teaching and life comes alive once again.

Throughout The Buddha, we’ll get a sense of who the Buddha was in a historical and religious context interspersed by contemporary Buddhists commentary – including that of the Dalai Llama.

According to the story, the Buddha was born into an aristocratic family but eventually renounced lay life.

According to Buddhist tradition, after several years of mendicancy, meditation, and asceticism, the Buddha awakened to understand the mechanism which keeps people trapped in the cycle of rebirth.

He then traveled throughout the Ganges plain teaching and building a religious community.

The Buddha taught a middle way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the Indian śramaṇa movement.

He taught a spiritual path that included ethical training and meditative practices such as Jhana and mindfulness.

At the time of his life, the Buddha also critiqued the practices of brahmin priests, such as animal sacrifice.

A couple of centuries after his death he came to be known by the title Buddha, which means “Awakened One” or “Enlightened One”.

Gautama’s teachings were compiled by the Buddhist community in the Suttas, which contain his discourses, and the Vinaya, his codes for monastic practice.

These were passed down in Middle-Indo Aryan dialects through an oral tradition.

Later generations composed additional texts, such as systematic treatises known as Abhidharma, biographies of the Buddha, collections of stories about the Buddha’s past lives known as Jataka tales, and additional discourses, i.e, the Mahayana sutras.

The Buddha
  • Info
  • Release date2010
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)David Grubin
  • Production companyPBS