“I am not a man. Those evil influences, those lusts, whose non-destruction would have individualised me as… a man, I have completely annihilated. Know, therefore… that I am a Buddha.” – Gautama Buddha, from the Pali scriptures (Goddard, page 5) Throughout history there have been hundreds of influential figures. Some are well-known for their charitableness or kindness, or for their supreme knowledge which contributed to the growth of humanity. Others are noted for their religious, literary, or cultural contributions to the world. Yet very few are known as all of these. One figure in particular could be called not only a religious founder, but a humanitarian and a philosopher as well. This is Siddharta Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha. Born in about 563 B.C.E. in the Indian Subcontinent, the Gautama Buddha founded a well-known religion and proved to be an extremely influential figure whose traditions and beliefs are held in high regards today. Without the unique teachings of the Gautama Buddha, the world would be different for people of all practices, for in the path of this one great man were many more who helped to pass down and spread his beliefs across many cultures. As a young prince growing up in Kapilavastu, now known as Padeira, Gautama led an indulged life under the care of his maternal aunt and father. No pains were spared to make the course of his life smooth. At the age of sixteen he was married; his wife bore a son several years later. For twenty-five years Gautama was sheltered from the suffering of mankind. Yet one day he left the palace and immediately saw an aged man, a sick man, and a corpse by the roadside. Shocked by his first experience with sadness, the prince lost all joy in living. At the age of twenty- nine Gautama left his sleeping wife and son and rode away into the forest, impelled by a strong desire to find the origin of pain and suffering of mankind. This was known as the N…

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