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Siddhartha (Buddha)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.
TattaA 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.
MigailaA bandit falling love with Buddha early in the series. Her eyes are burnt out as punishment for scheming to marry him. Later marries Tatta.
AnandaThe 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.
Princess YashodaraA princess of Koliya who becomes Buddha's wife and the mother to his child.
DhepaA 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.
YatalaA twenty-foot giant who serves as a Kolasan palace guard. He becomes one of Buddha's disciples.
AsajiA 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.
LataA pretty former slave girl who falls in love with Ananda.
ChapraA slave boy who becomes adopted by a general of Kosala and seeks to make a better life for himself and his mother.
DevadattaOne 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.
BandakaAn arrogant and vicious archer who tries to take the Shakya throne from Siddhartha. He is the father of Devadatta.
VirudhakaThe 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 / AngulimalaA notorious and ruthless killer who hates the Brahmin monks. He cuts the fingers off of all his victims and wears them as a knecklace.
BimbisaraThe 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.
Prince AjasattuBimbisara'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.