Buddhism was founded in Northern India by the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, circa 563-483 BCE) At the age of 29, he left his wife, children and political involvement's in order to seek truth; this was an accepted pratice at the time for some men to leave their family and lead the life of an ascetic. He studied Brahminism, but ultimately rejected it. In 535 BCE, he reached enlightenment and assumed the title Buddha. He is also regerred to as the Sakyamuni, He promoted The Middle Way, rejecting both extremes fo the mortification of the flesh and of hedonism as paths toward the state of Nirvana. He had many disciples and accumulated a large public following by the time of his death in his early 80's.
Two and a half centuries later, a council of Buddhist monks collected his teachings and the oral traditions of the faith into written form, called the Tripitaka. This included a very large collection of commentaries and traditions; most are called Sutras.