Parents of Goutama Buddha: Suddhodan and Maya Devi

Suddhodan, the father of Buddhadeva was earlier known as the King of the Lumbini region of which Kapilavastu was the capital. The Sakya dynasty was actually never a great dynasty and Suddhodana was the son of a small estate owner or a Zamindar as described by Dharmananda Kosambi in his book “Bhagaban Buddha” at P.131. It is quite evident that Suddhodana was a proprietor of a small estate in the vast Kalinga kingdom of Brahmadutta.

Queen Maya had a dream about a white six-tusked elephant holding a beautiful lotus, flying down from the sky and getting into her right side.

It is written in the Mahapadan Sutta of Mahavagga that Lumbini was a small estate of the father of Buddha. It is known from the famous Tripitaka that Suddhodan was one of the owners of a small estate named Lumbini in a vast empire. Suddhodan’s father-in-law’s estate Devadaha was adjacent to Lumbini. In between the two estates was the river Rohini. This river, much of which has been merged in Kuakhai, a branch of Mahanadi can still be seen in many places between Andharua near Bhubaneswar and Puri. а

In Nepal where Buddhism had not entered till 6th7th century AD, at the Tarai region, there is neither any trace of the name of Kapilavastu nor any village with

paddy field. No area known as Lumbini ever existed in Nepal. Probably a pillar was erected with the duplicate birthplace plate to keep in tact the information regarding the birthplace of Buddha, which Ashoka had visited.


Debadaha Koliya was the founder of the Kola dynasty. The people of this region were never friendly with the Kings of Chaitra dynasty of the Kalinga kingdom. Mahamaya, wife of Suddhodan was the daughter of Anjana, the eldest daughter of Devadaha Koliya. The other three daughters were Anasuya, Kausalya and Kanchana. Prajavati was her younger sister who later on became the wife of Suddhodan.

Yoshodhara also called Gopa was the daughter of Dandapani, son of Anjana. Thus Goutam, son of Mahamaya was married to the daughter of his maternal uncle Dandapani. Devadutta was the son of Dandapani who was the brother-in-law of Suddhodan. Inside the premises of Konark temple, the temple of Mayadevi was later discovered in a ruined condition, but there was no image of Mayadevi there.

Mayadevi, the mother of Buddhadeva was also famous as Adimata Mahamaya and her image was worshipped as a Hindu goddess in a temple built for her by Brahmadutta. In Charitra Port (the present Konark) Buddhadev and his mother were revered and it attracted the notice of the people. Mayadevi had died 7 days after Goutam, her only son, was born. Goutam was brought up by his step mother Prajavati, younger sister of Mayadevi, who got married to Suddhodan later.

River water dispute between the two estates

Goutam had proficiency in all the branches of knowledge and was very handsome and amiable. He followed the sankhya school of thought of Kapila. He was the disciple of Alarakalam of Kesapatta town. This is now Keshapura of Kishan Nagar police station of Cuttack district in Orissa. He did not believe in God. He was a moralist.

There were frequent disputes between the Sakyas, his own kinsmen and the Kolas, the people of the region of his father-in-law cum maternal uncle regarding the distribution of water from a rivulet Rohini to the paddy fields. Both the parties were warriors as well as cultivators. As described by Kosambi in his book ‘Bhagaban Buddha’ the small rivulet Rohini was flowing in between the two estates. Goutam tried to have a mutual understanding between Sakyas and Kolas, but failed and he was disturbed badly by bloodshed and conflicts.

There started a fight between the two parties regarding the water disputes. So Goutam deserted his little son Rahul, old father, step mother and young wife Gopa. After taking permission from his teacher Alar Kalam in the town of Keshaputta in Kola region , he crossed river Anoma i.e. present Mahanadi and putting on the robes of an ascetic went to Magadha.