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Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini, a kingdom in Nepal, in c. 566 BC. The son of a king, he grew up in a world of beauty and luxury.
He secretly left the palace one day, and encountered an old man, a sick man, a dead man, and a monk. These Four Sights troubled him.
Siddhartha first tried to find answers by becoming an ascetic holy man, denying himself life's simplest pleasures. Still he remained troubled.
Siddhartha decided that self-denial was not the answer, so he began to follow The Middle Way, a life of neither luxury nor poverty.
As he sat in deep meditation under a fig tree, he found his answers: Life is Suffering. Desire causes Suffering. To end Suffering, end Desire. To end Desire, follow the Eightfold Path. He was now awakened: The Buddha.
By following the Eightfold Path—right viewpoint, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right mindfulness, right meditation—anyone can become enlightened and be a Buddha.
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