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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.
- Actual Pacifist
- Suicidal Pacifism: At least his followers often see it that way.
- Arranged Marriage: With Yashodara.
- Bishōnen: In the beginning.
- Friend to All Living Things
- The Heart
- Magnetic Hero
- Rebel Prince
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.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Gives off this vibe as an adult.
- The Ditz: He's clever when dealing with danger, but otherwise not bright at all.
- Fatal Flaw: His inability to let go of his feelings of vengeance.
- Friend to All Living Things: As a child.
- Idiot Hair: As a child.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He has a good heart, he just can't let go of his Fatal Flaw.
- Manipulative Bastard: Starts off this way toward Siddhartha, who is his tool for revenge.
- Official Couple: With Migaila.
- Revenge: His chief motivation.
- Street Urchin
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.
- Action Girl
- All Love Is Unrequited: She's in love with Siddhartha at first, but he doesn't return it...and then, when he realizes he's in love with her and does return it, she's no longer interested in him! (Seeing as she's had her eyes burned out because of her love for him, that's understandable.)
- Blindfold Of Power
- Heel–Face Turn
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Ms. Fanservice
- Official Couple: With Tatta.
- Tsundere: Type A
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.
- Healing Factor: While protected by Mara.
- Heel–Face Turn
- Misanthrope Supreme: Prior to his Heel–Face Turn.
- Unusual Eyebrows
Princess YashodaraA princess of Koliya who becomes Buddha's wife and the mother to his child.
- Arranged Marriage: With Siddhartha.
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- Love Martyr
- Princess Classic
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.
- Gentle Giant: Starts out intimidating, but is actually a nice guy once you get to know him.
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.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Her attraction to Ananda.
- Bald Woman: Upon taking vows to Buddha.
- Cute Mute
- The Speechless
ChapraA 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.
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.
- Ambiguously Gay
- Bald of Evil
- Depraved Bisexual
- Face–Heel Turn
- In the Blood: His father is Bandaka, which is likely where he gets his negative traits.
- Kids Are Cruel: The other kids constantly bullied him. When they got trapped in a cave with litte water, he killed the others to stay alive. So it works both ways.
- Raised by Wolves
- Wild Child: For a while.
- Troubled Child
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.
- Handicapped Badass: He can only see in one eye.
- Heel–Face Turn
- Knife Nut
- Psycho for Hire
- Redemption Equals Death
- Serial Killer
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.
- Offing the Offspring: Tried this on the infant son out of fear, didn't manage to go through with it.
- You Can't Fight Fate