The Bodhisatta was determined to strive for deliverance from old age, illness, misery, and death not only for himself but for all beings that suffer. It was his deep compassion that led him to the quest ending in Supreme Enlightenment.
After the struggle for six strenuous years, in His 35th year the Bodhisatta, relying on His own efforts and wisdom, eradicated all defilements, ended the process of grasping, and, realizing things as they truly are by His own intuitive knowledge, became a Buddha – an Enlightened or Awakened One.
The Buddha’s ministry lasted 45 years. He served humanity both by example and by precept. Throughout the year He wandered from place to place, at times alone, sometimes accompanied by His disciples, expounding the Dhamma to the people and liberating them from the bonds of Samsāra.
The Buddha left us with the Dhamma-Vinaya as the guide for all of us who followed. Buddhists regard the Buddha as an instructor who shows the Path of Deliverance, the Dhamma as the way or means, and the Sangha as the living examples of the way of life to be lived.