With regard to Buddha, the name is not identify a person, but a term to denote a person who has reached bodhi, a person who has acquired Absolute Englightment, and is thus aware of the meaning of life; and to him is revealed the real way to liberate oneself from the constrain of Karma. The founder of Buddhism, as we learned from history, is actually a son of a king named Prince Siddhartha.
Prince Siddhartha was born as the son of King Suddhodana and Queen Dewi Maya of Kapilawastu (in present known Nepal) in 563 B.C. The founder of Buddhism was born in Lumbini Park. Seven days after his birth his mother, Dewi Maya, died, and went to the paradise Dewa Indra (the God). The boy was then taken care of by a sister of his mother named Mahaprajapati Gautami. As soon as he had become an adult, the Prince married Putri Gopa (Princess of Gopa) .
One day, during a pleasure tour round the city, the Prince met the following in succession that was an old man, a sick man, a dead man and a priest. The three first meetings awakened awareness in the Bodhisattva (a person who will become a Buddha) of the reality that suffering is inevitable and accompanies the worldly life of man, while the meeting with the priest opened the way to absolute liberation from all kinds of suffering.
From that moment on he decided to leave this worldly live. He became a wandering monk and called himself as Sakyamuni (a monk from the family of sakya). He studied at prominent teacher such as Arada Kapala and Rudraka, but none of their teachings satisfied him. Prince Siddhartha, therefore, decided to take his own way, the golden mean Madyamika. In the end he meditated under the Bodhi tree in the city of Bodhgaya in order to attain the Englightment which constituted him the Buddha. As soon as he had attained absolute Englightment he was called Buddha Gautama.
The teaching of Buddha is called Dharma, which also means the law. Dharma is symbolized by the wheel. The essence of the teaching is how to eliminate Karma (causality of good and bad deeds), how to break the Samsara circle (suffering by endless recurrence of lives) and the end how to reach Nirwana (a state of absolute nothingness). Life in Samsara is suffering; suffering is caused by passion, desire and therefore passion should be eradicated.
The way taught by Buddha to eradicate passions not by worship, the teaching of Weda, or self torture, but by leading the novice to concentrate of meditate (dhyana, samadi). This way is based on the belief in Buddha and his teachings by living ethnically and by persevering, going from one stage to a higher stage. Gradually desire will be eliminated and the novice will mature to receive the Budi (consciousness) that individually does not exist, so that he is free of Karma and Samsara and may enter Nirwana.
The Buddha can easily be recognized because he is always depicted as a human being. His statues all shows him dressed simply in the robe of a monk. On his head there is a kind of knot of hair called Ushnisha, and his wavy hair coils to the right. There are two small protrusions between the brows. His hands never hold anything, but the position of the hands called Mudra is important to differentiate each Buddha. The face of Buddha is always depicted without emotion. The statues of Buddha exude extreme serenity and peacefulness.