Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born in the 6th century B.C. in what is now modern day Nepal. His father, King Suddhodana, was the ruler of the Sakya people and Siddhartha grew up living the extravagant life of a young prince.
At the age of 29, Siddhartha left his palace and ventured out into the world outside of his sheltered upbringing. He encountered an old man, a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic holy man. These four sights deeply disturbed him, and he began to think deeply about the suffering in the world.
Siddhartha decided to renounce his royal life and dedicate himself to finding a way to end suffering. He studied with various religious teachers and experimented with different forms of meditation. After many years of searching, he finally achieved enlightenment at the age of 35 and became known as the Buddha, or “the awakened one.”
The Buddha then spent the rest of his life teaching others the path to enlightenment. He gave sermons, established monasteries, and performed miracles. He also developed the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which are the foundations of Buddhism.
The Buddha died at the age of 80, but his teachings have been passed down through the centuries and continue to be practiced by millions of people around the world.