Buddhism derives from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama who was born into a princely family near the border with Nepal in India during the 6th century BCE.
Leaving a life of luxury to seek an answer to the question of human suffering, Siddhartha became “enlightened” and from then on was known as the Buddha. His teachings - the Dharma - lay out a step by step path that anyone can follow to obtain freedom from the sufferings of this life. It is a “Middle Path” between the extremes of the luxurious princely life he had left, and an ascetic life.
The Four Nobel Truths are:
1. Life is suffering. Human existence is painful and death does not bring an end to suffering because of the cycle of death and rebirth.
2. Suffering has a cause: craving and attachment.
3. Craving and attachment can be overcome.
4. The path towards the cessation of craving and attachment is the Eightfold Path: Right Understanding, Right Purpose, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Alertness and Right Concentration.
Buddhists do not worship gods or deities. Buddhists believe that the pathway to enlightenment is found by personal spiritual development.