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Born: c. 563 BCE Lumbini (in present-day Nepal)
Died: c. 483 BCE (aged 80) Kushinagar (present-day in Uttar Pradesh, India)
Biography: Gautama Buddha is the primary figure in Buddhism, and account of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later. Born in the Shakya republic in the Himalayan foothills, he is believed to have lived and taught mostly in eastern India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE. According to tradition, the Buddha emphasized ethics and correct understanding. He questioned everyday notions of divinity and salvation. He stated that there is no intermediary between mankind and the divine; distant gods are subjected to karma themselves in decaying heavens; and the Buddha is only a guide and teacher for beings to attain the spiritual awakening called bodhi and understand reality. The Buddhist system of insight and meditation practice is not claimed to have been divinely revealed, but to spring from an understanding of the true nature of the mind, which must be discovered by treading the path guided by the Buddha´s teachings. The word Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one.
Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind.