Buddhism is named after Buddha. Buddha means “the Enlightened One,” and this name was given to Siddharta Gautama because he achieved enlightenment.
Siddharta Gautama lived about 2,500 years ago in what is now called India. He was born 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 even that did not give him a way out of this dissatisfaction. Therefore he went out, to study with the religious teachers of his time. In this way he also learned to meditate. Eventually he withdrew into solitude. He wanted to find a way to become and remain happy, happiness that does not change anymore.
When he was 35 years old, he succeeded: he was enlightened. Then he went all over the country as a teacher, teaching others what he had found, the path to lasting happiness. He had many disciples.
When he was 80 he died. He left behind a complete and very comprehensive teaching. It shows a lot about how the world works, and why all attempts to continue living happily always fail. He called this the four noble truths. But he also taught people a way out of this failure, through the noble eightfold path.
Ca. 14 x 9 x 20 cm
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