Although scholars typically treat the story of the life of the Buddha as though based upon a literal and historical figure who lived during the fifth or perhaps sixth and fifth centuries BC, abundant evidence is presented in The Ancient World-Wide System: Star Myths of the World, Volume One which argues that the details of the life-story of the Buddha are based upon celestial metaphor and share many points of commonality with other Star Myths from other cultures around the world.
Below is a video I made in 2018 discussing many striking parallels between the traditional accounts of the birth of the Buddha and the birth of the Christ (as described in the scriptures of the New Testament, supposedly about the birth of another literal and historical figure born five or six centuries after the birth of the Buddha-to-be):
The parallels between the birth account of the Buddha and the birth account of the Christ indicate that in all probability neither was originally intended to be understood as literal and historical: the details in both stories indicate a foundation in celestial metaphor, centering around the constellations Virgo, Bootes, Coma Berenices, and others (as discussed in the video above), and indicating the importance of the figure of the Buddha or the Christ to the turning of the entire zodiac wheel.
Additional discussion in The Ancient World-Wide System makes clear that it is not only the miraculous birth of the Buddha (through the immaculate conception by his mother, Queen Maya, without sexual intercourse — a common feature in other Star Myths from around the world as well) which is based on celestial metaphor, but indeed all the other important details in the traditional accounts of the Life of the Buddha, including his meditation between a cleft in a rock or beneath a sacred fig tree, his encounter with the demon Mara and the demon’s seductive daughters, and his eventual attainment of enlightenment.
As it turns out, abundant evidence points to the conclusion that the Buddha corresponds to the centrally-important constellation of Ophiuchus in the night sky: the very same constellation with which Christ is also most-often associated (including during the episode of the Crucifixion), and the same constellation to which parallel figures including Vishnu and Shiva, Odin and Baldr, Kronos and Prometheus, and many others can be shown to be connected.
Below is a relief showing the Buddha which dates back to the period we designate as the first or second centuries AD, showing the seated Buddha and behind him the figure of Vajrapani. The term Vajra is a Sanskrit word which refers to the thunderbolt-weapon, which as we have seen is almost exclusively associated with figures who personify the constellation Hercules. The constellation Hercules stands above the constellation Ophiuchus: this artwork from the first or second centuries thus provides strong confirmation that the Buddha is associated with the constellation Ophiuchus (and that Vajrapani is associated with the constellation Hercules).
In fact, the “egg-shaped object” shown in the upraised hand of the figure of the Buddha in this ancient artwork constitutes additional confirmatory evidence that the Buddha is associated with Ophiuchus: The Ancient World-Wide System presents examples of artwork from other cultures (including ancient Mesopotamia) in which Ophiuchus-figures hold aloft a similar object.