Siddhartha grew up in a palace and had little experience of the world outside. He was married by 16 since it was apart of his custom. Siddhartha started going on journeys out of the palace and on these he saw an elderly man, a sick man, a decaying corpse and an ascetic. At age 29 he left his wife and infant son to live an ascetic life.
When he didn´t get answers he starved and refused water while putting in more effort but causing more pain. One day after being offered a bowl of rice he realized denying himself wouldn´t help him achieve his goal and decided to leave the ascetic life. He encouraged people to follow the Middle Way, the path of balance.
He was so determined he vowed that he wouldn´t get up from under the Bodhi tree until he found the truths of suffering. While he meditated he had to overcome an evil demon named Mara.
Siddhartha found the answers to his questions about suffering and finally was enlightened and reached Nirvana. He became known as the Buddha, ¨enlightened one¨ or ¨awaken one¨. He didn´t know if he wanted to teach because he knew it couldn´t be put into words but Brahma, the king of gods, convinced him to teach.
Buddhism teaches the ¨4 Noble Truths¨ to end the cycle of suffering and reach Nirvana. Another thing that Buddhism teaches is the 8 basic paths to be happy and fulfilled in life. His first sermon was known as Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dharma and it was told his first disciples the most important teachings of Buddhism. Dharma, also known as moral conduct, was also taught in Hinduism.
Buddhism started in India in 500 B.C. but then spread to China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia by merchants traveling the Silk Road and monks and missionaries. The rest of his life Buddha traveled and taught and wanted to lead others to enlightenment. Before he passed it is said that he while speaking to his disciples he said to follow no leader.