Our Lord Buddha was born around 565 B.C. in an ancient city of northern India known as Nepal today. The son of King Suddhodana, the Prince grew up in an environment of care, love, respect and joy. However, despite this he wasn't always happy. The Prince studied science and technology, art and philosophy, religious knowledge, riding, archery and fencing. He excelled at all things he undertook. A wise sage was called by his father who pronounced that the Prince would do important things and so his father made him Crown Prince and his heir.
However the young prince was not pleased by this and grew steadily more thoughtful and depressed. One day the Prince decided to give up his wordly glory and travel, to look for the ultimate Truth. Departing from the palace and wearing coarse clothing, the Prince chose to become a Samana.
At this time the two major disciplines for the sake of enlightenment were meditation and ascetic austerity. The young Prince studied meditation under two famous teachers who were able to attain extremely high states in meditation. The Prince did not find it difficult to acheive these states and upon doing so found these different states did not ease his anxieties. He found that once he stopped the meditation he returned to his mental depression. So he left his teachers and continued his quest for the ultimate Truth.
He next tried asceticism which was common among Samanas. This is the practise of human suffering by weakening the physical body to detach from the mental spirit. After practising for six years he was merely skin and bones but no closer to attaining enlightenment. So he gave on this and gradually eating again regained his strength.
Knowing now that neither of these practices led to the ultimate Truth he made a seat of soft grass under a tree and sitting in the Lotus position vowed not to leave until he had attained enlightenment. Having struggled through so much he was finally enlightened and found the path to free humanity and attain eternal happiness.
Through attaining this state he became Buddha and a great teacher.