This is the story of Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha. Siddhartha was born a son to his mother and father, the king and queen of Kapilavastu, at around 566 B.C.E. So, just from that, you could probably tell he was very wealthy. Siddhartha’s parents were very expecting of him, hoping he would become the next ruler for the kingdom, but an astrologer had a different idea. Soon after Siddhartha was born, a kingdom astrologer conjectured that the young prince would instead leave the kingdom – and his chance of ruling – behind. The king and queen, depredated from this announcement, locked Siddhartha up in the castle. Siddhartha wasn’t quite in a tower like Rapunzel, but it was close. After that, Siddhartha wasn’t able to see past the extravagance and bliss of his family’s prosperity, and didn’t realize it may be different for the people outside of the castle. But, that didn’t mean he wasn’t curious. Trusting that this may be another way to keep Prince Siddhartha in the palace with all the reason to rule, the king and queen married Siddhartha to a beautiful young woman, Yashodhara. One morning, Siddhartha got too curious to wait any longer, so he requested that his personal charioteer to escort him on a little tour of the kingdom. The first person that they noticed was a sick and frail old man, and that taught Siddhartha a new lesson, that with old age, you give away, not just youth, but also strength and health. The next villager they came across was an old man that was in very much discomfort and pain. Someone in the village then told Siddhartha that the man was not immune to many diseases at his point of health. After that event, he even saw a deceased man being cremated into the ground. This taught Siddhartha his second lesson, that everyone eventually grows old and dies without a choice. Siddhartha was devastated by his outside world experience, but he decided that he needed to escape the luxurious boundaries of his palace, and go help the outside world as much as he can. On the 29th year of young Prince Siddhartha’s life, he set out for the open world, accompanied only by his high spirits. He left in the night while his wife and son were sound asleep. He traveled far and wide and then he found the city of Bodhgaya and started meditating under a fig tree. After 49 long days of meditating under the fig tree, he finally became enlightened and from here on was called the “Awakened One,” or Buddha. He then shared his new knowledge with five comrades that meditated with Buddha. After that, they traveled together teaching this knowledge, or the principles that they had just created, such as: 1. The world is full of suffering and misery. 2. Desire is the cause for all suffering and misery. 3. Suffering and misery can be abolished by removing desire. 4. Desire can be overcome by following the Eight Fold Path. The Eight Fold Path included: Right Views, Right Thoughts, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Efforts, Right Mindfulness and Right Meditation. Buddha liked to preach about non-violence, peace and harmony, along with thinking that people should treat other people with compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance. He also preached to people to follow a peaceful, balanced life. Many monuments were made in his honor. Buddha sadly passed away in 483 B.C.E. Even after three centuries, people that practice Buddhism still celebrate his birthday. Even the Bodhi Tree is still worshipped today. His life was full of adventure, travel, preaching, satisfaction, and sometimes even grief. He lived a long good life and was very encouraging to be yourself, take risks, and follow your heart. This is the story of Buddha. FIN.