Learn about the historical life of Siddhartha, his mission, and the fate of his teachings.
Siddhartha Gautama, the first Buddha, was the chief's son of a tribal group, the Shakyas, so he was born around 566 BC. At the age of twenty-nine, he left his family in order to lead an ascetic life. He gained "enlightenment" and began to preach this new philosophy. His teaching has lasted for several centuries and many devote their lives to "The Middle Way," a lifestyle that is midway between a completely ascetic lifestyle and one that is world-devoted.