Buddha, born with the name Siddhartha Gautama, was a teacher, philosopher and spiritual leader who is considered the founder of Buddhism. He lived and taught in the region around the border of modern-day Nepal and India sometime between the 6th to 4th century B.C.
The name Buddha means "one who is awakened" or "the enlightened one." While scholars agree that Buddha did in fact exist, the specific dates and events of his life are still debated.
According to the most widely known story of his life, after experimenting with different teachings for years, and finding none of them acceptable, Siddhartha Gautama spent a fateful night in deep meditation beneath a tree. During his meditation, all of the answers he had been seeking became clear, and he achieved full awareness, thereby becoming Buddha.