Prince Nanda Shakya, also known as Sundarananda Shakya, was the younger half-brother of Gautama Buddha. He shared the same father as Buddha, King Śuddhodana, and his mother, Mahapajapati Gotami, was the Buddha's mother's younger sister. Nanda also had a own sister named Sundari Nanda.
The Buddha was born into a noble family in Lumbini in 563 BCE as per historical events and 624 BCE according to Buddhist tradition.
He was called Siddhartha Gautama in his childhood. His father was king Śuddhodana, leader of the Shakya clan in what was the growing state of Kosala, and his mother was queen Maya.
According to Buddhist legends, the baby exhibited the marks of a great man. A prophecy indicated that, if the .
Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential śramaṇa schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Jainism, and Ajñana.
Śāriputra and Moggallāna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were formerly the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the sceptic; and the Pāli canon frequently depicts Buddha engaging in debate with the adherents of rival schools of thought.
When the Buddha's community had grown to around sixty awakened monks, he instructed .
In Buddhism, an arahant or arhat is one who has gained insight into the true nature of existence and has achieved Nibbana and liberated from the endless cycle of rebirth.
Mahayana Buddhist traditions have used the term for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood.
The understanding of the concept has changed over the centuries, and varies between different schools of Buddhism and different regions.