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Bihar in the sixth century B.C was characterised by a mental stir and spiritual urge of an unusual nature. During this period more than three hundred religious orders and their philosophies were afloat. Most of them stood in strong opposition to the Vedic system especially the element of Brahmanical sacrifice and the monistic theories of the Upanishads.
Buddha’s middle path triumphed in a big way.The essential point about him and his teaching is that he never claimed any connection with a God. The essence of his teaching is the universal question of suffering and the way to seek its eradication. The solution he advocated was individual effort and not ritual reliance on superhuman or external agency-save yourself by yourself.
Buddha introduced Four Noble Truths as the central point of his doctrine. The first of these is about unhappiness that exists everywhere; the second that there is a cause of this unhappiness –mainly due to craving, born of ignorance; the third states that there can be an end to unhappiness; the fourth that it is to be achieved by following the middle course to perpetual bliss. The summation of his teachings is to refrain from all evil, to do good and to purify the mind.
Siddhratha Gautama was born to the King Suddhodhana in Kapilavastu in 566 B.C.He bore 32 chief signs of a Great man and as ordained by the seers he was destined to conquer the world. It all began when he renounced the royality and decided to wander in search of answers to his questions on human existence and sufferings. After six long years he discarded practising austerities and penance and opted for a new path.He procured the shroud of a dead woman, washed it and donned it as a monastic robe and seated himself under a pipal tree with a vow to get up only after acquiring the supreme knowledge or to die. His efforts were finally rewarded on the 49th night when he attained enlightenment. Thereon he came to be known as Buddha or the Enlightened One.