Buddhism is one of the major world state religions. It is also one of the oldest in the world.  It began over 2000 years ago in northeast India, with the teachings of Siddharta Gautama the founder, otherwise known as the Buddha. 

        Buddhism has spread all over India and through the Himalayan Mountain passes into China, Tibet, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam, Europe, USA, and even Australia.

        The number of Buddhists in the world is estimated to be about 300 million.  This is because Buddhism has always adapted well to other cultures and therefore it has developed several distinctive forms in different countries.

        Buddhists believe that the best way of life is found in moderation.  This is called The Middle Way.  It is based on the Buddha’s discovery that happiness is found neither in self-indulgence nor in extreme self-denial.  There is also a strong belief in Karma. The word Karma means deeds but the teaching of karma is a law of cause and effect.  Karma influences the way people behave.  However unfair life seems, nothing is wasted at any given moment. They say that the present is the fruit of the past and the seed of the future.  Thoughts and actions bear fruit in our lives, according to the intentions behind them, though this is not always obvious to other people.

The Buddha

        Siddharta Guatama lived in northern India over 2000 years ago.  Most scholars think that he lived from 536 B.C. till 483 B.C.

Join now!

        The term Buddha means ”The Enlightened One“. Another of Siddharta’s titles is Shakyamuni, which means “The wise man of the Shakya clan.”  

        When he was about 29, Guatama persuaded his chariot driver to take him outside the palace grounds and into the neighboring villages.  There he saw an old man, a sick man, a corpse being carried in a funeral procession, and a holy man.  Whatever their origin they had a big effect on Guatama.  For the first time he was faced by the reality of old age, sickness and death.  After seeing these signs Gautama became restless and ...

This is a preview of the whole essay