Buddha ("the awakened") was the title given to Siddhartha Gautama, the son of a Nepalese rajah. According to tradition, Guatama left a life of luxury at age 30 and devoted himself to years of contemplation and self-denial, finally reaching enlightenment while sitting beneath a tree. Henceforth known as Buddha, he spent his life teaching disciples about his beliefs (embodied in the Four Noble Truths) and the goal of achieving the enlightened state of Nirvana.
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