Buddhism is a multi-hued tradition of life, thought, and practice that has developed from the teaching and practice of Siddhartha Gautama (6th century BCE) who came to be called the Buddha, the awakened one. The three major streams of the tradition—Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana—share the conviction that one can gain liberation from the suffering inherent in life through mental attentiveness, moral cultivation, and compassionate service. Today, large Buddhist communities can be found in South and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia, with ever increasing communities in North America and Europe.