5 Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) c. 563–c. 483 B.C. : You might be surprised to know that most of the people who google Buddha are not Buddhists. In the Western Hemisphere and throughout Europe, Buddhism is not as well understood as the three major monotheisms. A few clarifications:Gautama was probably born in Kapilavastu or Lumbini, Nepal in about 563 B.C., about 24 years after Babylon sacked Jerusalem.

Gautama was a mortal man who attained Nirvana, or spiritual awakening and peace of mind, at the age of 35, while seated under a Pipal tree, now referred to as the Bodhi tree, in Bodh Gaya, India. The tree growing there now was planted in 288 B.C. from a seed of the original. Buddha sat in meditation for 49 days until he attained the knowledge of how to thoroughly end suffering for all people on Earth. The people do have to follow his teaching in order to free themselves from the various griefs of life.