The Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, was a philosopher, mendicant, meditator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in Ancient India. He is revered as the founder of Buddhism. He taught for around forty five years and built a large following, both monastic and lay. His teaching is based on his insight into suffering and the end of such – the state called Nirvana. Prince Gautama was born into an aristocratic family but eventually joined the renounced order of life. After several years of mendicancy, meditation, and asceticism, he awakened to understand the workings of the cycle of rebirth and how it can be escaped. The Buddha then traveled widely teaching. He taught the middle way between sensual indulgence and severe asceticism. He taught a training of the mind that included self-restraint, and meditative practices such as mindfulness. The Buddha also critiqued the practices of Brahmin priests, such as animal sacrifice. Here is the illumined heart of his divine timeless teachings.