Buddhist systems, rituals, and beliefs are based on the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, whom Buddhists consider to be one of the greatest spiritual teachers of human history. Buddha lived in the fifth century BCE.
According to accounts about his life, he was born in the ruling family of the Shakya clan in the area that today in Nepal. Buddha was expected to succeed his father as a king. However, he chose to quit the life of the ruling family at the age of 29 because he wanted to overcome the suffering that he saw in the world around him.
He has achieved his goal at the age of 35 by experiencing the awakening of Buddhahood when he was sitting under the tree of enlightenment.
Buddha has spent the remaining forty-five years of his life by traveling to the northern part of India spreading his teachings.
There is a statue of Buddha in Sarnath, India, where Buddha was believed to give his first sermon. Buddha has died when he was 80.
Buddhist teachings say that Buddha was a regular human who succeeded in achieving enlightenment through a lot of effort and practice over a prolonged period of time.
The Buddhist community is focused on preserving Buddha’s teachings in their purest form and passing them from one generation to the next.
Eventually, these teachings were written down, creating a vast number of manuscripts.
Over the centuries, the followers of Buddha have erected multiple monuments to celebrate the major events in the life of their teacher. Up to this day, a lot of people interested in Buddhism and practicing Buddhism make pilgrimages to these monuments to receive inspiration from them.
Today Buddhism is a living tradition because its followers have been passing on the teachings of this tradition from generation to generation for about 2,500 years.