Founder of Buddhism---
Name: Siddhartha Gautama (meaning: seeker of wisdom), or the Buddha (meaning: the man who has found the truth about life)
Birth place: Lumbini, Nepal
Year of Birth: 563 BC
Year of Death: 483 BC
Father: the chief of a region called the Shakyas
Family: one wife (Yashodhara, the daughter of the raja of Koli) and one son
Occupation (before became a preacher): Nil (Prince)
Founded Religion: Buddhism
Teaching: the "Four Noble Truths" and the "Eight-fold Path"
Personality: peaceful, compassionate, noble, wise
Power of Influence: the lives of millions of people for nearly 2500 years and has a membership of about 254,867,450 nowadays
An incident: After six years he leaving his palace, he overheard a teacher speaking of music. "If the strings on the instrument are set too tight, then the instrument will not play harmoniously . If the strings are set too loose, the instrument will not produce music. Only the middle way, not too tight and not too loose, will produce harmonious music." This conversation changed his life overnight and let him understand the truth.
Siddhartha Gautama was the son of a chief of a region called the Shakyas which was in Northern India. When Siddhartha was born, a seer predicted that he would either become a great king or he would save humanity. Fearing that his son would not follow in his footsteps, his father raised Siddhartha in a wealthy and pleasure-filled palace in order to shield his son from any experience of human misery or suffering.
Siddhartha married at the age of 19 and later had a son. One day in 533 BC he went outside to see his people, but he saw something he was not supposed to see---a sick man, a poor man, a beggar, and a corpse. He was filled with infinite sorrow for the suffering that humanity has to undergo and he resolved to dedicate himself to find a way to end human suffering. Siddhartha left his family and he wandered over northern India. At first, he tried to learn about life' s wisdom from holy men, the ascetics. But after six years, he found that his former thought was totally wrong. He discovered that he should live in a "middle way". He sat beneath a Bodhi tree and vowed that he would not leave until he understood the meaning of life. Forty-nine days later he achieved his great enlightenment and known as the Buddha. Buddha started his preaching and gave his first discourse in the Deer Park in Benares.
He returned to his native town and converted his father, his wife, and other members of his family to his beliefs. After 45 years of missionary activity, Buddha died at the age of 80 in Kusinagara, Nepal, as a result of eating contaminated pork.
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