“who pensively tried to understand
the true meaning of human life”
Siddhartha Gautama was a spiritual teacher in the north eastern region of the Indian subcontinent who founded Buddhism.In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha (Sammasambuddha) of our age, “Buddha” mean “Awakened One” or “the Enlightened one.” The time of his birth and death are uncertain: most early 20th-century historians dated his lifetime as 563 BCE to 483 BCE; more recently, however, at a specialist symposium on this question, the majority of those scholars who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha’s death, with others supporting earlier or later dates.
Gautama, also known as Sakyamuni or Shakyamuni (“sage of the Shakyas”), is the key figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to Gautama were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later. Early Western scholarship tended to accept the biography of the Buddha presented in the Buddhist scriptures as largely historical, but currently “scholars are increasingly reluctant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha’s life and teachings.”