Buddhism was developed by Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Buddha is translated into English as the “enlightened one”. Prior to becoming Buddha his name was Siddhartha Gautama. He was born between the 6th and 4th century BC in Lumbini, near Kapilavastu, Shakya republic, Kosala kingdom that can be located in present day Nepal. He died in Kusinara, Malla republic, Magadha kingdom now Kasia, India . Siddhartha before he became Buddha was an Indian prince who lived a life of luxury and was constantly shielded from any form of suffering since birth.
It is said that the fateful day came while as a young prince traveling to the city he met with a life-changing experience when he saw suffering first hand for the very first time. Accounts of Siddhartha’s life tell that he met an old man, a sick man, and a decaying corpse on the road and these really affected him emotionally. The prince also met a monk who was seeking enlightenment and it was this monk who inspired him to live the life of an ascetic and seek enlightenment as well.
Siddhartha’s deep despair for the tremendous suffering he saw was the reason he turned away from his luxurious life and spent the next years as an ascetic seeking understanding about the nature of suffering and of existence.
However, the years living the life of an ascetic were not fruitful enough for Siddhartha. He eventually reached a point where he decided to leave the group. It is said that after leaving his companions Siddharta sat beneath a pipal tree and vowed that he will never get up unless he attains enlightenment. Accounts of Siddharta’s life tell that he sat underneath that tree to meditate and, while meditating, he was constantly being tempted by an evil deity named Mara to abandon his quest. Resisting each and every attempt Siddharta conquered Mara’s temptations and, after forty-five days of contemplation, he awoke to the true nature and meaning of life. From then on for rest of his life Siddharta, the very first and the greatest Buddha, taught others the path to enlightenment.
Buddhism is not mere religion. It encompasses traditions and beliefs and its doctrines permeate all levels of existence. These doctrines are constantly lived by in every second of a person’s life. One of Buddha’s greatest teaching is that people suffer because of the continuous want or desire for things that do not give true and lasting happiness. The Buddhists believe that these desperate holding on to worldly things like wealth, health, and even to people such as family or friends are among the reasons for sorrow.
While most Western Philosophers view the human person as a living being with a soul this is not so in Buddhism. Buddha taught that nothing is permanent. Thus it includes everything that is associated to being human like sensations, emotions, thoughts, awareness, etc. This doctrine that is a principal concept in Buddhism is called annata or the “no-soul”.
Nevertheless, the human person is still a subject...