Buddhism is named after Buddha. Buddha means “the Enlightened”, and this name was given to Siddharta Gautama because he reached enlightenment. Siddharta Gautama lived about 2500 years ago in what is now called India. 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 inside. He studied with the best teachers the king gave him, but that didn’t 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, he was able to do the same: 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. He had a lot of pupils. At the age of 80 he died. He left behind a complete and very extensive leather. It shows a lot about how the world works, and why all attempts to stay happy always fail. He called this the four noble truths. But he also taught the people a way out of this failure, through the noble eightfold path.
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