What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a spiritual movement that goes back to the person of Siddhartha Gautama (India, fifth century BC). He grew up in a Brahmin society, within a Vedic culture (Hindu). At a young age he was confronted with the unsatisfactoriness of existence. He sought a way out of suffering after years of deprivation and ascetic practices and by following the middle path, known to be the highest form of happiness, the highest form of consciousness.
He became a Buddha (Awakened by his own efforts) and wandered the rest of his life in North India to preach the Dhamma (teachings). He founded an order of monks and nuns who has lived on continuously to this day in Asia and more recently in the West. Buddhism literally means "wake-ism," or "cultural awakening".