Siddhartha Gautama is the founder of Buddhism, the fourth largest religion in the world. He is regarded variously as a human spiritual teacher or an omniscient active deity.
Gautama was the son of an aristocratic family in Nepal. At first he lived a life in luxury and comfort.
At 29 of age a great discontent befell Gautama, when he realized that men are subject to old age, disease, and death - that human life is suffering. He gave up his palace to search for the truth - becoming a wandering ascetic. He went south to the Magadha kingdom in search of teachers. He tried fasting, and yoga, and living as a hermit in the forest. After six years of severe austerity he abandoned the ascetic life to seek his own path to Enlightenment.