Around 563 B.C., Siddhartha Gautama's was born a prince. His father went to a fortune teller to see what his son would be when he grew up. The fortune teller predicted either a mighty king or a religious leader.
The prince grew up wearing the finest silk garments. He was never around anyone poor, sad or sick. He married and had a son and the kingdom celebrated.
The Prince traveled outside the kingdom. He came upon "Four Sights", an old man leaning on a stick, a man shrunken by disease, a man who died and a holy man. He decided to escape the palace and cut his hair and trade in his rich clothes for poor ones. He gave up life as a prince.
The prince lived on food from strangers. He slept under a tree. He studied with Hindu gurus who taught him about the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
Siddhartha wore scratchy clothes, didn't bathe and barely ate more than a grain of rice per day. He lost a lot of weight and became unwell. After five years of self-denial, his body was very weak and he decided to eat again. This was not the way he wanted to live.
One day, Siddhartha renewed his search under a fig tree and mediated for 49 days. The tree became the Bodhi Tree or Tree of Knowledge. He became the Buddha or "Enlightened One." He taught everyone his ways and that is how he became Enlightened and found the path to Enlightenment.