An elegant Japanese Buddha statue. Buddhism is named after Buddha. Buddha means “the Enlightened”, and this name was given to Siddharta Gautama because he reached the enlightenment. Siddharta Gautama lived in what is now India about 2500 years ago. He was born as the son of a king, and had a life of abundance. He had everything he could wish for. Yet he suffered from the same feelings as everyone else, and he was not satisfied. Although he had everything, he felt empty from within. He studied with the best teachers the king gave him, but that did not give him a way out of this dissatisfaction either. That’s why he went out to study with the religious teachers of his time. This is how he learned to meditate. Eventually he withdrew in loneliness. He wanted to find a way to become and stay happy, happiness that doesn’t change anymore. When he was 35 years old and he succeeded: he was enlightened. Then he went all over the country as a teacher and taught others what he had found, the path to lasting happiness.
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