Siddharta was a prince born around 563 B.C.E. in the Himalayas. He was a prince and lived in luxury and comfort as a prince would. When he turned 29 he decided to flee from this life of wealth, and began to see the illness and poverty in the world. Because of this experience he was discomforted by his materialistic way of living and chose to get rid of all his belongings. He chose to do a full abandonment of all needs, and starved himself. He then came to conclusion that both extremes would not sustain people in life.
This realization led him to strive for the middle path in life. He sat in concentration for 40 days and fought off worldly temptations. At the end of thee 40 days he reached his goal of nirvana, which means a perfect place of peace, happiness, and no inner suffering. He then became known as Buddha, or awakened one. Buddha then traveled through out northeastern India to share his way of life. For 45 years he made his philosophy known, and small communities of monks sprung up. When he reached his 45th year of spreading his philosophy he passed way.