The quest of a Prince, confined to the four walls of the Palace, to know the truth in life, gave to the world the great philosophy and world religion or way of life known as BUDDHISM. It is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who is known as the Buddha, or the Enlightened One.
Siddhartha Gautama, the great warrior Prince, was born around 566 BC in Lumbini (formerly in North India). Even when he was an infant a seer predicted that Siddhartha would become either a great King or an ‘enlightened one’. The king, fearful of losing his son and heir to the kingdom, confined him to the Palace. During his three attempts to encounter with the realities that lay outside the walls of the Palace, Prince Siddhartha saw a sick man, an old woman and a decaying corpse and a wandering holy man. This created unrest within him and he realized that there is something beyond the human life, beyond the physical existence. He realized that all men have to undergo all these four stages and not just in one life but life after life. While the Palace was sleeping, one night he escaped leaving his wife and child, and the luxuries of the Palace, in search of the truth. This was the first step towards attaining ‘bodha’.
In search of the truth Siddhartha travelled across the country, from one saint to the other. At each step he did release one layer of negativity from within but was still not able to attain the truth. He realized that neither a the life penance and ascetic practices nor a life full of luxuries could reach him there. He discovered what is now called the ‘middle path’ to attain enlightenment.
He remembered a moment in childhood in which he had been watching his father start the seasons plowing, and he had fallen into a naturally concentrated and focused state in which time seemed to stand still, and which was blissful and refreshing (Wikipedia). He sat down under a large