Gautama siddhartha was born as a prince. His father, Suddhodana, who belonged to the Sakya clan, was ruler of the Kingdom of Kapilavastu. His mother was queen Maya who was a religious, pious lady.

                     One night the queen had a strange dream. She saw a six-tusked white elephant descended from the heavens and entered her body. In the morning she related the dream to the king.His father called the royal priest immediately and enquired about the significance of the dream. The priest predicated it was an auspicious dream. It meant that the queen had conceived and the baby born to her will grow up to be  great person.
                     The king was pleased to hear this and he loaded the priest with the gifts of gold and cows. Time passed and the time of delivery approached. One day queen Maya wished to go out into the garden. Her entourage of maid servants accompained her as she went to the Lumbini garden. The garedn looked beautiful with flowers blooming all over and the birds chirping in the trees. An ashoka tree, that was in full bloom, laden with flowers attracted queen Maya. She went closer to the tree and lifted her right arm to pluck the flowers. As did so, a child was born, it slid to 
the ground, she didnot feel any pain or discomfort. The child was born clean without dirt on its body and was in a conscious state.
                      Just then, many strange things happened. For instance, there were showers of flowers from the sky. Some of the queen's attendants rushed to the palace and informed the king about the birth of the prince, and the strange things that occured. The king called the royal saint, Asita. The saint looked at the price and trying to control the tears from his eyes, told the king, "This child will grow upto bring great honour to your clan. He will become an emperor. In case he leaves the kingdom and goes to the forests, he will become a great siant.The king's mind was put to rest by these words of aint Asita but he enquired, "Tell me why do you have tears in your eyes?" The saint replied, "These are the tears of joy as well as remorse. I am overjoyed to see the prince. At the same time I feel sad thet I am already old and so will not be able to live long to see the prince in glory". He amde gifts of cows, land, gold, and food to the saint.

                   The prince's birth was celebrated all over the kingdom with great joy and fanfare. He was named Siddhartha. Just a week after his bith, queen Maya died. So his maternal aunt, Mahaprajapati Gautami brought up the prince as her own child.

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