Uncertain date
c.560-c.477 BC

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.

As he sat under a banyan tree a sense of clear vision came to him and he became a supreme Buddha. The title Buddha, means 'wise' or 'enlightened' in Sanskrit. See Map

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