Lastly, Siddhartha encountered an ascetic meditating. Siddhartha learned that the ascetic meditated to renounce the world so he could free himself of the fear of death and suffering.
As a result of all Siddhartha had saw, he left his life of luxury and meditated day and night. His desire for answers led him to a state of self suffering. Despite this, Siddhartha could not find the answers he was looking for. He realized that living in harsh conditions would not help him achieve spiritual release. From then on, Siddhartha taught people to follow a path of balance instead of one characterized by extremism. He called this path the "Middle Way".
That night, Siddhartha sat under a tree, vowing to not get up until the truths he sought came to him. He remained there for several days. Soon a picture began to form in his mind of all that occurred in the universe, and he finally saw the answer to the questions of suffering that he had been seeking. In that moment of enlightenment, Siddhartha had achieved nirvana and became the Buddha.
With his new knowledge, the Buddha was hesitant to teach because what he knew could not be communicated to others in words. According to legend, Buddha was convinced by the god Brahma to teach. Soon he came across a gathering of people to which he preached his first sermon where he explained the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
The Four Noble Truths are: 1. All life is suffering 2. The cause of suffering in desire 3. To rid yourself of suffering, you must rid yourself of desire 4. In order to rid yourself of desire, you must follow the Eightfold path The Eightfold path is: 1. Right Understanding 2. Right Resolve 3. Right Speech 4. Right Action 5. Right Livelihood 6. Right Effort 7. Right Mindfulness 8. Right Mediation
For the remainder of his life, Buddha traveled, preaching the Dharma (the teachings of the Buddha) in an effort to lead others to and along the path of enlightenment. When he died, he told his disciples that they should follow no leader.The Buddha is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in history, and his teachings have influenced everything from literature to philosophy, both within India and the rest of the world. The Buddha not only established many Buddhist beliefs but lived and experienced them, setting an example for many Buddhists to come.