The most fundamental of Hindu deities, is the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva - popular deities include Ganesha, Krishna, Hanuman and goddesses like Lakshmi, Durga,Saraswati.
Happenings of the world concerned Gautam. Seeing the pain of the people who were old, helpless, weak and troubled, he used to question himself, "Why is there so much of pain and suffering in the world? How can this be avoided?"
One day when he observed an ascetic (Sanyasi) who looked calm and contended he thought that he is very near to the answers of his questions. He decided to renounce the world and become an ascetic.
Discarding his royal living, he left to seek the light of knowledge. He started to visit one religious centre to another seeking answers to his questions. When he did not get the answers, Gautam practiced meditation and penance for six years in a forest under a Peepal (Ficusreligiosa) tree at the edge of the river Niranjana near Gaya. Still when he got no answers, he seated himself and resolved to stay there until he found all the answers. The tree is called the Bodhi tree and the place as Bodh Gaya (presently in Bihar state of India).