“The Enlightened” or “Awakened One”
Siddhartha Gautama, or better know as Buddha, was born a Prince to King of the Shakyas tribe in 600 BCE in Nepal (formerly Northern India). Siddhartha’s mother died seven days after giving birth, but it was prophesized that her son would become a great King, military leader or spiritual leader. After his wife’s death the King built their son his own palace to shelter him from, not only religion, but the hardships and miseries of the world. Before Buddha’s death in 300 BCE, he will become known for many great achievements. However, before all his great accomplishments he lived his early life in solitude.
Due to an arrangement, Buddha was married off at the age of 16. Even after his young marriage, he continued to live in isolation for another 13 years. In his late twenties he was unaware of the world surrounding him. When he finally ventured out, Buddha was quickly identified with human suffering by seeing an elderly man. His charioteer began to explain to him that all people grow old eventually. Throughout his outing, he came across a decaying body, a diseased man and much more. It was when he came to an ascetic that his charioteer explained to him they renounce the world in order to release themselves from the human fear of death and suffering.
Becoming overwhelmed by the world around him, Siddhartha left his kingdom at the age of 29. Leaving behind his wife and son, he headed out to become an ascetic for the next six years of his life practicing, studying and mediating drawing his inspiration from numerous religious teachers. Being enthralled in his new way of life, his passion and dedication had become so profound that he began to have followers of his own. When being unable to find answers to his questions, Siddhartha would intensify his efforts by means of fasting, refusal of water as well as enduring physical pain. Even though his courageous and selfless sufferings did not allow him to achieve the...
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