The word ‘Buddha’ is a title, it means ‘awakened one’.
Buddha’s real name was ‘Siddhartha Gautama’ and he was an Indian prince who lived around 3000 years ago.
A famous astrologer told Siddartha’s father (the king) at his birth that he was destined to one day become either a powerful ruler or a great spiritual teacher; only time would tell which.
Despite his best efforts to shield his son from developing any interest in spiritual matters, Siddhartha was compelled to understand the nature of death and suffering, after seeing an old, sick man in pain during a Royal parade one day.
This burning desire for answers led the prince to leave his family, the palace and his luxurious life and travel all across India, spending time with the most eminent spiritual teachers of that time, hoping they would offer some insight and answers.
After a few disappointing years, Siddhartha left to seek his own answers; dissatisfied with the teachers and their perspectives.
He experimented tirelessly, exploring many types of lifestyles and meditations, knowing instinctively that the answers he sought lay within.
A few years later, he was exhausted and burned-out from the intensity of his search. He sat down under a Bodhi tree and gave up his quest for answers, saying to himself ‘I give-up, I can do no more’.
At that moment of complete letting-go and surrender, it happened. Siddhartha arrived at enlightenment; the adulthood of the soul, the highest state of human consciousness. He had found the answers he was looking for. In that state of highest and purest consciousness, he finally understood the nature of death and suffering.
From then on, people began referring to him as ‘Buddha’ and he spent the following forty years of his life travelling and teaching, dedicating his life to sharing the insights of his awakening.