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The prince of the Shakya tribe. He leaves the palace to become a monk. He achieves enlightenment. Trying to help people suffering, he teaches and inspires a great number of people.
A thief with the ability to possess animals. Growing up, he wants vengeance against the kingdom of Kosala for killing his family and friends. Befriends Buddha and Migaila. Later marries Migaila.
A bandit falling love with Buddha early in the series. Her eyes are burnt out as punishment for scheming to marry him. Later marries Tatta.
The half-brother of Devadetta through their mother. A former criminal who seeks revenge on all of humanity. He becomes one of Buddha's major disciples after Buddha saves his life.
A princess of Koliya who becomes Buddha's wife and the mother to his child.
A samanna (a non-Brahmin monk), who believe that humans are meant to suffer. Befriends Buddha, but the two part ways due to differences in belief. Eventually becomes one of Buddha’s disciples.
A twenty-foot giant who serves as a Kolasan palace guard. He becomes one of Buddha's disciples.
- Gentle Giant: Starts out intimidating, but is actually a nice guy once you get to know him.
A young boy with a runny nose, following Buddha and Dhepa. After almost dying of fever, he gains the power to see the future, even his own death.
A pretty former slave girl who falls in love with Ananda.
A slave boy who becomes adopted by a general of Kosala and seeks to make a better life for himself and his mother.
- Decoy Protagonist: He is the protagonist of the first volume, while Siddhartha is the protagonist for the remaining seven.
One of Buddha's first disciples. He leaves the sect when he is not chosen to be Buddha's successor and attempts to form his own sect by stealing Buddha's followers.
An arrogant and vicious archer who tries to take the Shakya throne from Siddhartha. He is the father of Devadatta.
The Crystal Prince. Prince of Kosala. His father married a slave, having been tricked into thinking she was a noble woman. After learning this, he banishes his mother to the slave quarters and lets her die with the other slaves when a plague breaks out among them. Later imprisons his own father and rules Kosala.
Ahimsa / Angulimala
A notorious and ruthless killer who hates the Brahmin monks. He cuts the fingers off of all his victims and wears them as a knecklace.
The king of Magadha, whom Asaji prophesies will be killed by his son. This torments Bimbisara all his life. Bimbisara is overthrown by his son Ajasattu and locked in a tower where he gradually starves to death.
Bimbisara's son. Tries to kill Buddha, and is imprisoned in a tower by his father. He falls in love with a blue-eyed blonde slave named Yudelka, and vows revenge on his father when she is murdered. Later overthrows his father.