Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly known as Buddha, was born around 563 BCE in Lumbini, Nepal.
Siddhartha began his life as a prince. During his childhood and through his early twenties, he led a royal life of privilege, but was unhappy and dissatisfied. At age 29, Siddhartha left his family and fortune behind in hopes of finding happiness by following the path of the holy man. He practiced meditation. He abstained from food and drink for so long that he nearly starved to death.
This spiritual quest eventually led to a state of Enlightenment, which is the absence of greed, hatred, and ignorance. Siddhartha came to understand the cause of suffering and how to remove it from one’s life. These experiences later became the fundamentals on which Buddhism is based.
Today, over 300 million people practice Buddhism, based on the Buddha’s teachings on life, meditation, and learning.