The Buddha (c. 5th to 4th century BC) was a philosopher, mendicant, meditator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in Ancient India. He is revered as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism. He taught for around 45 years and built a large following, both monastic and lay. The Buddha was born into an aristocratic family but eventually renounced lay life. According to Buddhist tradition, after several years of mendicancy, meditation, and asceticism, he awakened to understand the mechanism which keeps people trapped in the cycle of rebirth. The Buddha then traveled throughout the Ganges plain teaching and building a religious community. He taught a spiritual path that included ethical training and meditative practices.





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