with Ven. S. Dhammika
In the year 563 B.C. a baby was born into a royal family in northern India. He grew up in wealth and luxury but eventually found that worldly comforts and security do not guarantee happiness. He was deeply moved by the suffering he saw all around and resolved to find the key to human happiness. When he was 29 he left his wife and child and set off to sit at the feet of the great religious teachers of the day to learn from them. They taught him much but none really knew the cause of human suffering and how it could be overcome. Eventually, after six years study and meditation he had an experience in which all ignorance fell away and he suddenly understood.
From that day onwards, he was called the Buddha, the Awakened One. He lived for another 45 years in which time he travelled all over the northern India teaching others what he had discovered. His compassion and patience were legendary and he had thousands of followers. In his eightieth year, old and sick, but still happy and at peace, he finally died.