Fresh tattoo by Andy Pho.
Tattoos of buddha are pretty popular, but ask around about Siddhartha Gautama, and many will have no answer. This tattoo which was just completed by Andy Pho is of Siddhartha Gautama and here’s how his story unfolds.
Siddhartha lived in northern India in the 6th century C.E., and was born into a Hindu family of the ruling caste. According to records from Ancient Buddhist, there are different variations as to how Siddhartha became a”Buddha” or “enlightened one,” but here is the most common version.
Siddhartha was about 5 days old when his father called a group of priests together for a feast. He asked them about the infant’s future. They prophesied that the infant would either become a great king or a great sage. The father preferred his son to become a great king, so he structured his son’s life such that he never had to face any of the hardship or struggles of life.
Because in the Hindu tradition of the time (which you can read about here), those who became holy men or sages followed a path of renunciation. At a certain point in their lives, they would renounce what was called “householder” life – a life of marriage, family, work, etc. – and go live in the forest where they spent the rest of their lives in study, meditation and other spiritual practices.
Siddhartha’s father did not want his son to become one of these renouncers, so he made sure his son’s life was as perfect as possible, offering everything wonderful and nothing negative or upsetting. The father made sure his son was shielded from anything that would make him want to leave the kingdom.