The words and example of Gautama (often known by the title, 'Buddha') have affected billions of people. But what do we really know about him? While there is much we cannot say for certain about the historical Gautama, this persuasive new biography provides the fullest and most plausible account yet. Weaving ancient sources and modern understanding into a compelling narrative, Gautama Buddha places his birth around 484 BCE, his Enlightenment in 449 BCE and his death in 404 BCE, a century later than the traditional dates. Vishvapani Blomfield examines Gautama's words and impact to shed fresh light on his culture, his spiritual search and the experiences and teachings that led his followers to call him 'The Awakened One'. Placing Gautama in a credible historical setting without assuming that he was really just an ordinary person, this book draws on the myths and legends that surround him to illuminate the significance of his life. It traces Gautama's investigations of consciousness, his strikingly original view of life and his development of new forms of religious community and practice. This insightful and thought-provoking biography will appeal to anyone interested in history and religion, and in the Buddha as a thinker, spiritual teacher and a seminal cultural figure. Gautama Buddha is a gripping account of one of history's most powerful personalities.