Buddhism is among one of the largest and oldest religions in the world.

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Buddhism is among one of the largest and oldest religions in the world. Buddhism originated in India and is based on the teachings of Buddha or the Enlightened One.

It is believed that Buddha lived somewhere around 563 and 483 BC. Buddha was an Indian philosopher who was born in Lumbini, Nepal. Buddha was the son of the head of the Sakya warrior caste. It is hard to determine what the truth is about Buddha and his life but it is generally accepted that Buddha, at young age showed interest and took part in meditation and reflection on life; this caused his father to be unhappy as he wanted Buddha to be a warrior and leader, like him. Buddha was blinded of the reality of life and lived luxuriously but as time went on he came to realize that his life was dull and he set out in search of enlightenment. Approximately 533 BC, Buddha met an aged man, a sick man and a corpse; from his discovery he came to realize that human life is full of suffering and pain. Later he met a monk who was calm and wise. Upon meeting the monk Buddha decided to give up family, wealth and power in order to find the truth. This was a turning point in Buddhism that is referred to Great Renunciation; this is a celebrated event as the turning point in history.

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Buddhism is divided into two major parts, Theravada which is the way of the elders and Mayahana which refers to Hinayana, the lesser vehicle. Buddhism has been significant not only in India but also in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (now known as Burma), and Laos, where Theravada has been dominant; Mahayana has had its greatest impact in China, Japan, Taiwan, Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as in India. It is believed that currently there is between 150 and 300 million Buddhist around the world. The reason that the exact number is not known is due ...

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