The Buddha Shakyamuni lived 2,500 years ago in India. He was a human being who possessed the same spiritual potential that is within us all. He realised enlightenment and spent His life helping others find what He had found. Enlightenment is the direct realisation of one's true nature and the nature of all existence. It is the end of suffering and the awakening of compassion.
Since the time of the Buddha many schools of Buddhism have developed. The aim of each has been to express the essence of the Buddha's teaching in a manner appropriate to the time and culture.
Buddhism is not a fanatical religion. Our aim is to make the Buddha's teaching available to all, but never to to try to impose it upon others. Buddhism does not claim an exclusive Truth; but it is a way that has lead many to the deepest fulfilment.