Buddha Shakyamuni was a historical figure, believed to have lived from about 563 BCE to 483 BCE. Born a prince of the Shakya clan, Sidhartha Gautama at the age of 29 embarked on the quest for enlightenment and liberation from the world of sufferings. He finally attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya when he was 35 years old.
Buddha urged his disciples to seek truth within their own experiences. He taught that existence is based on the Four Noble Truths, namely: life is rooted in suffering; suffering is caused by craving for worldly things; one can find release from suffering by eliminating craving; craving can be eliminated by following the Eightfold Path. The path consists of: Right Understanding; Right Motivation; Right Speech; ; Right Action; Right Livelihood; Right Effort; Right Awareness; and Right Concentration
Buddha Shakyamnuni, after attaining complete enlightenment, spent over 40 summers in the samsaric world, teaching the holy Dharma and guiding the ignorant beings on the right spiritual path. The Buddha’s teachings were eventually documented by his disciples after his Mahaparinirvana and are contained in the Three Pitakas.