The Founding of Buddhism
Buddhism originates in the teachings of Shakyamuni (Gautama Siddartha), the historical founder of Buddhism who was born in what is now Nepal some 2,500 years ago.
Shakyamuni was born a prince but renounced his royal upbringing to embark on a spiritual quest to understand how human suffering could be ended. Eventually, while in deep meditation, he experienced a profound awakening, or enlightenment–a deep, encompassing understanding of life and human nature.
According to tradition, Shakyamuni then traveled throughout the Indian subcontinent for nearly 40 years sharing his enlightened wisdom, promoting peace and teaching people how to unleash the great potential of their lives. He became known as the Buddha, or “awakened one.” His teachings were recorded as sutras and spread throughout Asia, giving rise to a number of distinct schools of Buddhism, generally characterised by an emphasis on peace and compassion.