Siddhartha Gautama was born about 500 b.c. as a prince of Nepal with great wealth.A fortune teller predicted that he would either become a mighty king or a religious leader.Siddhartha´s father tried to guide him in the direction of becoming a mighty king.
Sidd's dad shielded him from anything that would make him want to be a religious leader. He did this by telling guards to go ahead of Sidd's chariot and tell anyone who wasn't young and healthy to get off the streets.
When Sidd was 29 he left the palace without telling anyone. He saw an old man that was hunched on his cane.The second thing he saw was a man crippled by sickness.His third site was a dead man with his family huddled around him.His last site was a poor man wearing holy clothes,but who was still happy.After seeing this he turned in his expensive clothes for holy ones then to the Gurus and finally to the Asetics.
I think all of you should follow the middle way.
After going into the woods and learning with the Gurus he still was not satisfied so he joined a band of Astecs. This meant he denied all physical comforts such as sleep, eating and wearing comfortable clothes. After 5 years of this he realized this was not the truth so he had a meal once the Astecs found out they abandoned him.
After he regained his strength he meditated under a fig tree. He did this until he could see his past lives and learn from them. This took him 49 days. After he acquired this new knowledge he went back to his parents and wife and eventually convinced them of the things he had learned.
After the Buddha freed himself from the cycle of rebirth, death and suffering he chose to go teach what he had learned. He taught this for another 45 years. The Buddha continued to travel and teach and attracted many followers.The Buddha died at the age of 80.