The Shakya prince, Siddhartha Gautama, raised in comfort and luxury renounced it all when he realized that he had been living a privileged life devoid of sufferings.
In his quest to attain spiritual enlightenment, Gautama gave up life as a prince and householder and adopted the mendicant’s life. While meditating under a tree in Bodh Gaya, he had a spiritual awakening and became famous as Gautama Buddha or the ‘enlightened one’. This tree known as the Bodhi tree stands
till today and draws pilgrims from across the world.
Today, Buddhism is the world’s fourth largest religion. According to the 14th Dalai Lama, Buddha argued against following any religious authority or tradition for its own sake. He wanted his followers to adapt his teachings to suit their own lives. Leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi have been inspired by Buddha to defend their causes with compassion. Learn about Gautama Buddha’s journey seeking enlightenment and how it continues to impact the world today.