Gemstone Hand Carved Figures - Buddha
The Buddha was a philosopher, mendicant, mediator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in Ancient India circa 5th to 4th century BCE. He is revered as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism. He taught for around 45 years and built a large following. His teaching is based on his insight into duḥkha (typically translated as "suffering") and the end of duhkha – the state called Nibbāna or Nirvana.
The Buddha was born into an aristocratic family, in the Shakya clan but eventually renounced that life. According to Buddhist tradition, after several years of mendicancy, meditation, and asceticism, he awakened to understand the mechanism which keeps people trapped in the cycle of rebirth. The Buddha then travelled throughout the Ganges plain teaching and building a religious community. The Buddha taught a middle way between sensual indulgence and the severe self discipline found in the Indian śramaṇa movement. He taught a spiritual path that included ethical training and meditative practices such as mindfulness. The Buddha also critiqued the practices of others, such as animal sacrifice.