Siddartha's parents were King Shuddhodana and Queen Maya. His birth was special because Siddartha descended from heaven and entered his mother's womb in the form of a baby white elephants (symbol of purity). She gave birth to SIddartha while holding on to a tree and some stories claim that the tree lowered to help her through the birth. Once he was born, he took seen steps and said the words "this is my last birth", which means he would be a great ruler or religious teacher. Lotus blossoms also sprouted from his steps.
His father, King Shuddhodana, wanted Siddartha to be a ruler. To try and ensure this, he made his life as pleasant as possible so that he would never want to leave the palace.
SIddartha left the kingdom because he craved spiritual satisfaction. On his first adventure he say an old man with a decrepit body. On his second adventure, Siddartha saw a sick man on the road. On his third adventure, he saw a dead body being cremated. Finally, on his last adventure, Siddartha saw a monk who was in severe denial. He was wearing a yellow robe and holding a bowl. Channa told Sidarthra that this man was looking for the answer on the riddle of life.
Siddartha learned to how to meditate. This experience was good; however, it did not give him the satisfaction that he had hoped for. Then, he tried reducing his food intake and controlling his breathing. He had to stop this because he became too ill. He realized that extremes were unlivable.
At this time, Siddartha became known as Buddha. He shared his insights with five Hindu Ascetics. This was the beginning of the Buddhist community. The order was called bhikkhuni sangha.
Siddartha discovered that the best lifestyle is one lived in moderation.
Siddartha returned to eating and meditating once again. As he meditated under a tree, he remembered his previous lives and the rebirth as a consequence of his good and bad deeds in previous lives. He decide to remove ignorance and craving from his life. At this time, he achieved nirvana and truly understood the meaning of life. He also obtained wisdom and absolute peace. This state lasted seven days before he shared this knowledge with the world.
Buddha told his followers that once he died, they were to choose what they wanted to follow based on their personal evaluation. In order to have a good life, they were to avoid cravings, depression, and not to be self possessed and collected in mind. Parinirvana releases people from the cycle of rebirth.