Have you ever wondered whether our existence is cyclical or linear? It’s an interesting question that our ancestors have also pondered, with answers coming from all over the world and from all cultures. This article is about a couple of well-known cultures that have perceived existence as cyclical.

Almost all we know of Siddhartha Gautama’s life comes from biographies written by his followers centuries after his death, and which differ widely in many details. What is certain is that he was born in Lumbini, modern-day Nepal, some time around 560 BCE. His father was an official, possibly the leader of a clan, and Siddhartha led a privileged life of luxury and high status. Dissatisfied with this, Siddhartha left his wife and son to find a spiritual path, and discovered the “middle way” between sensual indulgence and asceticism.