Who was the Buddha?

Normally we refer to Shakyamuni Buddha as the historical Buddha. Born in 563 BCE as Siddhartha Gautama, the son of a prince, after observing suffering he renounced his heritage to become a wandering ascetic. Later he found that within the "Middle Way" between wealth and extreme poverty was the path for escaping from the cycle of suffering (samsara) and the attainment of freedom from suffering (nirvana). The content of his teaching, based upon his path to Enlightenment, can be found in his Four Noble Truths. Shakyamuni Buddha is considered the historical Buddha of our age. Actually Buddhists believe that there were other Buddhas before him and that there will be others after him.

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