University of London
The University of London is a collegiate federal research university located in London, England. As of October 2018, the university contains 18 member institutions, central academic bodies and research institutes; the university has over 52,000 distance learning external students and 161,270 campus-based internal students, making it the largest university by number of students in the United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836, as a degree-awarding examination board for students holding certificates from University College London and King's College London and "other such other Institutions, corporate or unincorporated, as shall be established for the purpose of Education, whether within the Metropolis or elsewhere within our United Kingdom", allowing it to be one of three institutions to claim the title of the third-oldest university in England, moved to a federal structure in 1900, it is now incorporated by its fourth royal charter and governed by the University of London Act 1994.
It was the first university in the United Kingdom to introduce examinations for women in 1869 and, a decade the first to admit women to degrees. In 1948 it became the first British university to appoint a woman as its vice chancellor; the university's colleges house the oldest teaching hospitals in England. For most practical purposes, ranging from admissions to funding, the constituent colleges operate on an independent basis, with many awarding their own degrees whilst remaining in the federal university; the largest colleges by enrolment as of 2016/17 are UCL, King's College London, Queen Mary, the London School of Economics, Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, each of which has over 9,000 students. Smaller, more specialist, colleges are the School of Oriental and African Studies, St George's, the Royal Veterinary College, London Business School, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, the Royal Academy of Music, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Institute of Cancer Research.
Imperial College London was a member from 1907 before it became an independent university in 2007, Heythrop College was a member from 1970 until its closure in 2018. City is the most recent constituent college, having joined on 1 September 2016; as of 2015, there are around 2 million University of London alumni across the world, including 12 monarchs or royalty, 52 presidents or prime ministers, 84 Nobel laureates, 6 Grammy winners, 2 Oscar winners, 3 Olympic gold medalists and the "Father of the Nation" of several countries. University College London was founded under the name “London University” in 1826 as a secular alternative to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which limited their degrees to members of the established Church of England; as a result of the controversy surrounding UCL's establishment, King's College London was founded as an Anglican college by royal charter in 1829. In 1830, UCL applied for a royal charter as a university; this was rejected, but renewed in 1834. In response to this, opposition to "exclusive" rights grew among the London medical schools.
The idea of a general degree awarding body for the schools was discussed in the medical press. And in evidence taken by the Select Committee on Medical Education. However, the blocking of a bill to open up Oxford and Cambridge degrees to dissenters led to renewed pressure on the Government to grant degree awarding powers to an institution that would not apply religious tests as the degrees of the new University of Durham were to be closed to non-Anglicans. In 1835, the government announced the response to UCL's petition for a charter. Two charters would be issued, one to UCL incorporating it as a college rather than a university, without degree awarding powers, a second "establishing a Metropolitan University, with power to grant academical degrees to those who should study at the London University College, or at any similar institution which his Majesty might please hereafter to name". Following the issuing of its charter on 28 November 1836, the new University of London started drawing up regulations for degrees in March 1837.
The death of William IV in June, resulted in a problem – the charter had been granted "during our Royal will and pleasure", meaning it was annulled by the king's death. Queen Victoria issued a second charter on 5 December 1837; the university awarded its first degrees in 1839, all to King's College. The university established by the charters of 1836 and 1837 was an examining board with the right to award degrees in arts and medicine. However, the university did not have the authority to grant degrees in theology, considered the senior faculty in the other three English universities. In medicine, the university was given the right to determine which medical schools provided sufficient medical training. In arts and law, by contrast, it would examine students from UCL, King's College, or any other school or college granted a royal warrant giving the government control of which colleges could affiliate to the university. Beyond the right to submit students for examination, there was no other connection between the affiliated colleges and the university.
In 1849 the university held its first graduation ceremony at Somerset House following a petition to the senate from the graduates, who had received their degrees without any ceremony. About 250 students graduated at this ceremony; the London academic robes of this period were distinguished by their "rich velvet facings". The list of affiliated colleges g
The Bardo Thodol is a text from a larger corpus of teachings, the Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones, revealed by Karma Lingpa. It is the best-known work of Nyingma literature, is known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead; the Tibetan text describes, is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, in the bardo, the interval between death and the next rebirth. The text includes chapters on the signs of death and rituals to undertake when death is closing in or has taken place. Bar do thos grol translates as: bar do: "intermediate state", "transitional state", "in-between state", "liminal state". Valdez: "Used loosely, the term "bardo" refers to the state of existence intermediate between two lives on earth." Valdez: " concept arose soon after the Buddha's passing, with a number of earlier Buddhist groups accepting the existence of such an intermediate state, while other schools rejected it."
Thos grol: "liberation", synonymous with the Sanskrit word bodhi, "awakening", "understanding", "enlightenment", synonymous with the term nirvana, "blowing out", "extinction", "the extinction of illusion". According to Tibetan tradition, the Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State was composed in the 8th century by Padmasambhava, written down by his primary student, Yeshe Tsogyal, buried in the Gampo hills in central Tibet and subsequently discovered by a Tibetan terton, Karma Lingpa, in the 14th century; the Tibetan title is bar do Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State. It consists of two comparatively long texts: "Great Liberation through Hearing: The Supplication of the Bardo of Dharmata", the bardo of dharmata. Within the texts themselves, the two combined are referred to as Liberation through Hearing in the Bardo, Great Liberation through Hearing, or just Liberation through Hearing, it is part of a larger terma cycle, Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones, (zab-chos zhi khro dgongs pa rang grol known as kar-gling zhi-khro, popularly known as "Karma Lingpa's Peaceful and Wrathful Ones."The Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation is known in several versions, containing varying numbers of sections and subsections, arranged in different orders, ranging from around ten to thirty-eight titles.
The individual texts cover a wide range of subjects, including meditation instructions, visualizations of deities and prayers, lists of mantras, descriptions of the signs of death, indications of future rebirth, texts such as the bar do thos grol that are concerned with the bardo-state. The Bardo Thodol differentiates the intermediate state between lives into three bardos: The chikhai bardo or "bardo of the moment of death", which features the experience of the "clear light of reality", or at least the nearest approximation of which one is spiritually capable; the Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State mentions three other bardos: "Life", or ordinary waking consciousness. Together these "six bardos" form a classification of states of consciousness into six broad types. Any state of consciousness can form a type of "intermediate state", intermediate between other states of consciousness. Indeed, one can consider any momentary state of consciousness a bardo, since it lies between our past and future existences.
The bar do thos grol is known in the west as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a title popularized by Walter Evans-Wentz's edition, but as such unknown in Tibet. The Tibetan Book of the Dead was first published in 1927 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Walter Y. Evans-Wentz chose this title. According to John Myrdhin Reynolds, Evans-Wentz's edition of the Tibetan Book of the Dead introduced a number of misunderstandings about Dzogchen. In fact, Evans-Wentz' collected seven texts about visualization of the after-death experiences and he introduced this work collection as "The Tibetan Book of Death." Evans-Wentz was well acquainted with Theosophy and used this framework to interpret the translation of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, provided by two Tibetan lamas who spoke English, Lama Sumdhon Paul and Lama Lobzang Mingnur Dorje. Evans-Wentz was not familiar with Tibetan Buddhism, his view of Tibetan Buddhism was "fundamentally neither Tibetan nor Buddhist, but Theosophical and Vedantist." He introduced a terminology into the translation, derived from Hinduism, as well as from his Theosophical beliefs.
Contrary to the general belief spread in the West by Evans-Wentz, in Tibetan Buddhist practice the Tibetan Book of Dead is not read to the people who
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a history going back about 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions. Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language; as one of the oldest documented members of the Indo-European family of languages, Sanskrit holds a prominent position in Indo-European studies. It is related to Greek and Latin, as well as Hittite, Old Avestan and many other extinct languages with historical significance to Europe, West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, it traces its linguistic ancestry to the Proto-Indo-Aryan language, Proto-Indo-Iranian and the Proto-Indo-European languages.
Sanskrit is traceable to the 2nd millennium BCE in a form known as the Vedic Sanskrit, with the Rigveda as the earliest known composition. A more refined and standardized grammatical form called the Classical Sanskrit emerged in mid-1st millennium BCE with the Aṣṭādhyāyī treatise of Pāṇini. Sanskrit, though not Classical Sanskrit, is the root language of many Prakrit languages. Examples include numerous modern daughter Northern Indian subcontinental languages such as Hindi, Bengali and Nepali; the body of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, drama, scientific and other texts. In the ancient era, Sanskrit compositions were orally transmitted by methods of memorisation of exceptional complexity and fidelity; the earliest known inscriptions in Sanskrit are from the 1st-century BCE, such as the few discovered in Ayodhya and Ghosundi-Hathibada. Sanskrit texts dated to the 1st millennium CE were written in the Brahmi script, the Nāgarī script, the historic South Indian scripts and their derivative scripts.
Sanskrit is one of the 22 languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It continues to be used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hinduism and some Buddhist practices such as hymns and chants; the Sanskrit verbal adjective sáṃskṛta- is a compound word consisting of sam and krta-. It connotes a work, "well prepared and perfect, sacred". According to Biderman, the perfection contextually being referred to in the etymological origins of the word is its tonal qualities, rather than semantic. Sound and oral transmission were valued quality in ancient India, its sages refined the alphabet, the structure of words and its exacting grammar into a "collection of sounds, a kind of sublime musical mold", states Biderman, as an integral language they called Sanskrit. From late Vedic period onwards, state Annette Wilke and Oliver Moebus, resonating sound and its musical foundations attracted an "exceptionally large amount of linguistic and religious literature" in India; the sound was visualized as "pervading all creation", another representation of the world itself, the "mysterious magnum" of the Hindu thought.
The search for perfection in thought and of salvation was one of the dimensions of sacred sound, the common thread to weave all ideas and inspirations became the quest for what the ancient Indians believed to be a perfect language, the "phonocentric episteme" of Sanskrit. Sanskrit as a language competed with numerous less exact vernacular Indian languages called Prakritic languages; the term prakrta means "original, normal, artless", states Franklin Southworth. The relationship between Prakrit and Sanskrit is found in the Indian texts dated to the 1st millennium CE. Patanjali acknowledged that Prakrit is the first language, one instinctively adopted by every child with all its imperfections and leads to the problems of interpretation and misunderstanding; the purifying structure of the Sanskrit language removes these imperfections. The early Sanskrit grammarian Dandin states, for example, that much in the Prakrit languages is etymologically rooted in Sanskrit but involve "loss of sounds" and corruptions that result from a "disregard of the grammar".
Dandin acknowledged that there are words and confusing structures in Prakrit that thrive independent of Sanskrit. This view is found in the writing of the author of the ancient Natyasastra text; the early Jain scholar Namisadhu acknowledged the difference, but disagreed that the Prakrit language was a corruption of Sanskrit. Namisadhu stated that the Prakrit language was the purvam and they came to women and children, that Sanskrit was a refinement of the Prakrit through a "purification by grammar". Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-European family of languages, it is one of the three ancient documented languages that arose from a common root language now referred to as the Proto-Indo-European language: Vedic Sanskrit. Mycenaean Greek and Ancient Greek. Mycenaean Greek is the older recorded form of Greek, but the limited material that has survived has a ambiguous writing system. More important to Indo-European studies is Ancient Greek, documented extensively beginning with the two Homeric poems. Hittite.
This is the earliest-recorded of all Indo-European languages, distinguishable into Old Hittite, Middle Hittite and Neo-Hittite. I
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
Chögyam Trungpa was a Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages, the eleventh Trungpa tülku, a tertön, supreme abbot of the Surmang monasteries, teacher, poet and originator of a radical re-presentation of Shambhala vision. Recognized both by Tibetan Buddhists and by other spiritual practitioners and scholars as a preeminent teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, he was a major figure in the dissemination of Buddhism to the West, founding Vajradhatu and Naropa University and establishing the Shambhala Training method. Among his contributions are the translation of numerous Tibetan texts, the introduction of the Vajrayana teachings to the West, a presentation of the Buddhadharma devoid of ethnic trappings. Trungpa coined the term crazy wisdom; some of his teaching methods and actions were the topic of controversy during his lifetime and afterwards. Born in the Nangchen region of Tibet in March 1939, Chögyam Trungpa was eleventh in the line of Trungpa tülkus, important figures in the Kagyu lineage, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
Among his three main teachers were Jamgon Kongtrul of Sechen, HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Khenpo Gangshar. The name Chögyam is a contraction of Chökyi Gyamtso, which means "ocean of dharma". Trungpa means "attendant", he was trained in the Kagyu tradition and received his khenpo degree at the same time as Thrangu Rinpoche. Chögyam Trungpa was trained in the Nyingma tradition, the oldest of the four schools, was an adherent of the ri-mé ecumenical movement within Tibetan Buddhism, which aspired to bring together and make available all the valuable teachings of the different schools, free of sectarian rivalry. At the time of his escape from Tibet, Trungpa was head of the Surmang group of monasteries. On April 23, 1959, twenty-year-old Trungpa set out on an epic nine-month escape from his homeland. Masked in his account in Born in Tibet to protect those left behind, the first, preparatory stage of his escape had begun a year earlier, when he fled his home monastery after its occupation by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
After spending the winter in hiding, he decided definitively to escape after learning that his monastery had been destroyed. Trungpa started with Akong Rinpoche and a small party of monastics, but as they traveled people asked to join until the party numbered 300 refugees, from the elderly to mothers with babies – additions which slowed and complicated the journey. Forced to abandon their animals, over half the journey was on foot as the refugees journeyed through an untracked mountain wilderness to avoid the PLA. Sometimes lost, sometimes traveling at night, after three months’ trek they reached the Brahmaputra River. Trungpa, the monastics and about 70 refugees managed to cross the river under heavy gunfire eating their leather belts and bags to survive, they climbed 19,000 feet over the Himalayas before reaching the safety of Pema Ko. After reaching India, on January 24, 1960 the party was flown to a refugee camp. Between 2006 and 2010, independent Canadian and French researchers using satellite imagery tracked and confirmed Trungpa’s escape route.
In 2012, five survivors of the escape in Nepal and the U. S. supplied their personal accounts. More recent analysis has shown the journey to be directly comparable to such sagas as Shackleton’s 1914/17 Antarctic Expedition. In 2016 accumulated research and survivors’ stories were published in a full retelling of the story, in the year preliminary talks began on the funding and production of a movie. In exile in India, Trungpa began his study of English. In collaboration with Freda Bedi, who had initiated the project and Akong Tulku founded the Young Lamas Home School and, after seeking endorsement from the Dalai Lama, were appointed its spiritual head and administrator respectively. In 1963, with the assistance of sympathetic Westerners, Trungpa received a Spalding sponsorship to study comparative religion at St Antony's College, Oxford University. In 1967, upon the departure of the western Theravadan monk Anandabodhi and Akong Rinpoche were invited by the Johnstone House Trust in Scotland to take over a meditation center, which became Samye Ling, the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the West.
In 1970, after a break with Akong, Trungpa moved to the United States at the invitation of several students. Shortly after his move to Scotland, a variety of experiences, including a car accident that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body, led Trungpa to give up his monastic vows and work as a lay teacher, he made that decision principally to mitigate students' becoming distracted by exotic cultures and dress and to undercut their preconceptions of how a guru should behave. He drank, slept with students, kept students waiting for hours before giving teachings. Much of his behavior sparked controversy. In one account, he encouraged students to give up smoking marijuana, claiming that the smoking was not of benefit to their spiritual progress and that it exaggerated neurosis. Students were angered and intimidated by him, but many remained fiercely loyal and devoted. Upon moving to the United States in 1970, Trungpa traveled around North America, gaining renown for his ability to present the essence of the highest Buddhist teachings in a form understandable to Western students.
During this pe
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions and spiritual practices based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana. Most Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, their specific teachings and practices. Observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism and the cultivation of the Paramitas.
Theravada Buddhism has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia such as Myanmar and Thailand. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Nichiren Buddhism and Tiantai, is found throughout East Asia. Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian adepts, may be viewed as a separate branch or as an aspect of Mahayana Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth-century India, is practiced in the countries of the Himalayan region and Kalmykia. Buddhism is an Indian religion attributed to the teachings of the Buddha born Siddhārtha Gautama, known as the Tathāgata and Sakyamuni. Early texts have his personal name as "Gautama" or "Gotama" without any mention of "Siddhārtha," which appears to have been a kind of honorific title when it does appear; the details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain. The evidence of the early texts suggests that he was born as Siddhārtha Gautama in Lumbini and grew up in Kapilavasthu, a town in the plains region of the modern Nepal-India border, that he spent his life in what is now modern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Some hagiographic legends state that his father was a king named Suddhodana, his mother was Queen Maya, he was born in Lumbini gardens. However, scholars such as Richard Gombrich consider this a dubious claim because a combination of evidence suggests he was born in the Shakyas community – one that gave him the title Shakyamuni, the Shakya community was governed by a small oligarchy or republic-like council where there were no ranks but where seniority mattered instead; some of the stories about Buddha, his life, his teachings, claims about the society he grew up in may have been invented and interpolated at a time into the Buddhist texts. According to the Buddhist sutras, Gautama was moved by the innate suffering of humanity and its endless repetition due to rebirth, he set out on a quest to end this repeated suffering. Early Buddhist canonical texts and early biographies of Gautama state that Gautama first studied under Vedic teachers, namely Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, learning meditation and ancient philosophies the concept of "nothingness, emptiness" from the former, "what is neither seen nor unseen" from the latter.
Finding these teachings to be insufficient to attain his goal, he turned to the practice of asceticism. This too fell short of attaining his goal, he turned to the practice of dhyana, which he had discovered in his youth, he famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia. He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way as the right path of spiritual practice to end suffering from rebirths in Saṃsāra; as a enlightened Buddha, he attracted followers and founded a Sangha. Now, as the Buddha, he spent the rest of his life teaching the Dharma he had discovered, died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India. Buddha's teachings were propagated by his followers, which in the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE became over 18 Buddhist sub-schools of thought, each with its own basket of texts containing different interpretations and authentic teachings of the Buddha.
The Four Truths express the basic orientation of Buddhism: we crave and cling to impermanent states and things, dukkha, "incapable of satisfying" and painful. This keeps us caught in saṃsāra, the endless cycle of repeated rebirth and dying again, but there is a way to liberation from this endless cycle to the state of nirvana, namely following the Noble Eightfold Path. The truth of dukkha is the basic insight that life in this mundane world, with its clinging and craving to impermanent states and things is dukkha, unsatisfactory. Dukkha can be translated as "incapable of satisfying," "the unsatisfactory nature and the general insecurity of all conditioned phenomena". Dukkha is most translated as "suffering," but this is inaccurate, since it refers not to episodic suffering, but to the intrinsically unsat