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Buddhism is a religion indigenous to the Indiansubcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions,beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributedto Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as theBuddha, meaning "the awakened one". The Buddha livedand taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinentsometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.[1] He isrecognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightenedteacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings endtheir suffering (dukkha) through the elimination ofignorance (avidyā) by way of understanding and theseeing of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda) andthe elimination of desire (taṇhā), and thus the attainmentof the cessation of all suffering, known as the sublime stateof nirvāņa.[2]

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  • Buddhism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism[08/28/2013 12:11:15 PM]

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    Buddhism

    Part of a series onBuddhism

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Buddhism is a religion indigenous to the Indiansubcontinent that encompasses a variety of traditions,beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributedto Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as theBuddha, meaning "the awakened one". The Buddha livedand taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinentsometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.[1] He isrecognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightenedteacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings endtheir suffering (dukkha) through the elimination ofignorance (avidy) by way of understanding and theseeing of dependent origination (prattyasamutpda) andthe elimination of desire (tah), and thus the attainmentof the cessation of all suffering, known as the sublime stateof nirva.[2]

    Two major branches of Buddhism are generally recognized:Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana("The Great Vehicle"). Theravada has a widespreadfollowing in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia (Cambodia,Laos, Thailand, Myanmar etc.). Mahayana is foundthroughout East Asia (China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam,Singapore, Taiwan etc.) and includes the traditions of PureLand, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism,Shingon, and Tiantai (Tendai). In some classifications,Vajrayanapracticed mainly in Tibet and Mongolia, and adjacentparts of China and Russiais recognized as a third branch, whileothers classify it as a part of Mahayana.

    While Buddhism remains most popular within Asia and India, bothbranches are now found throughout the world. Estimates ofBuddhists worldwide vary significantly depending on the way

    Standing Buddha. One of the earliestknown representations of the Buddha, 1st2nd century CE. Greco-Buddhist art,Gandhara. (Tokyo National Museum)

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  • Buddhism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism[08/28/2013 12:11:15 PM]

    Outline Buddhism portal

    V T E

    Buddhist adherence is defined. Conservative estimates arebetween 350 and 750 million.[3][4][5] Higher estimates arebetween 1.2 and 1.6 billion.[6][7][8] It is also recognized as one ofthe fastest growing religions in the world.[9][10][11][12]

    Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation,the importance and canonicity of various teachings and scriptures,and especially their respective practices.[13] The foundations ofBuddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels: the Buddha,the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community).Taking "refuge in the triple gem" has traditionally been adeclaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path, and ingeneral distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist.[14] Other practices may include followingethical precepts; support of the monastic community; renouncing conventional living and becoming amonastic; the development of mindfulness and practice of meditation; cultivation of higher wisdomand discernment; study of scriptures; devotional practices; ceremonies; and in the Mahayanatradition, invocation of buddhas and bodhisattvas.

    Contents [hide]

    1 Life of the Buddha2 Buddhist concepts

    2.1 Life and the world2.1.1 Sasra2.1.2 Karma2.1.3 Rebirth

    2.2 Suffering's causes and solution2.2.1 The Four Noble Truths2.2.2 Noble Eightfold Path2.2.3 The Four Immeasurables2.2.4 Middle Way

    2.3 Nature of existence2.3.1 Three Marks of Existence2.3.2 Dependent arising2.3.3 Emptiness

    2.4 Liberation2.4.1 Nirvana2.4.2 Buddhas

    2.4.2.1 According to Theravada2.4.2.2 According to Mahayana

    2.4.3 Buddha eras2.4.4 Bodhisattvas

    3 Practice3.1 Devotion

    3.1.1 Yoga3.1.2 Refuge in the Three Jewels

    3.2 Buddhist ethics3.3 Monastic life3.4 Meditation

    History [show]

    Dharma Concepts [show]

    Practices [show]

    Nirva [show]

    Traditions Canons [show]

    AsturianuAzrbaycanca

    Bahasa BanjarBn-lm-gBasa Banyumasan

    ()Bikol CentralBislama

    Boarisch

    BosanskiBrezhonegCatalCebuanoeskyCorsuCymraegDanskDeutschEesti

    EspaolEsperantoEuskara

    Fiji HindiFroysktFranaisFryskFurlanGaeilgeGidhligGalego

    /Hak-k-ng

    Hawai`i

  • Buddhism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism[08/28/2013 12:11:15 PM]

    3.4.1 Samdhi (meditative cultivation): samatha meditation3.4.1.1 In Theravda

    3.4.2 Praj (Wisdom): vipassana meditation3.4.3 Zen3.4.4 Vajrayana and Tantra

    4 History4.1 Philosophical roots4.2 Indian Buddhism

    4.2.1 Pre-sectarian Buddhism4.2.2 Early Buddhist schools4.2.3 Early Mahayana Buddhism4.2.4 Late Mahayana Buddhism4.2.5 Vajrayana (Esoteric Buddhism)

    4.3 Development of Buddhism4.4 Buddhism today4.5 Late 20th Century Buddhist Movements

    5 Demographics6 Schools and traditions

    6.1 Timeline6.2 Theravada school6.3 Mahayana traditions6.4 Vajrayana traditions

    7 Buddhist texts7.1 Pli Tipitaka7.2 Mahayana sutras

    8 Comparative studies8.1 Is Buddhism a religion?

    9 See also10 Notes11 References12 Bibliography

    12.1 Online13 External links

    Main article: Gautama Buddha

    This narrative draws on the Nidnakath biography of theTheravda sect in Sri Lanka, which is ascribed toBuddhaghoa in the 5th century CE.[15] Earlierbiographies such as the Buddhacarita, the LokottaravdinMahvastu, and the Mahyna / SarvstivdaLalitavistara Stra, give different accounts. Scholars arehesitant to make unqualified claims about the historicalfacts of the Buddha's life. Most accept that he lived, taughtand founded a monastic order, but do not consistentlyaccept all of the details contained in hisbiographies.[16][17]

    According to author Michael Carrithers, while there aregood reasons to doubt the traditional account, "the outlineof the life must be true: birth, maturity, renunciation,

    Life of the Buddha

    Relic depicting Gautama leaving home.The Great Departure, c.12nd century.(Muse Guimet)

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  • Buddhism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism[08/28/2013 12:11:15 PM]

    search, awakening and liberation, teaching, death."[18] Inwriting her biography of the Buddha, Karen Armstrongnoted, "It is obviously difficult, therefore, to write abiography of the Buddha that meets modern criteria,because we have very little information that can beconsidered historically sound... [but] we can be reasonablyconfident Siddhatta Gotama did indeed exist and that hisdisciples preserved the memory of his life and teachings aswell as they could."[19][dubious discuss]

    The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhrtha Gautama was born in a community thatwas on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the northeastern Indian subcontinent inthe 5th century BCE.[20] It was either a small republic, in which case his father was an electedchieftain, or an oligarchy, in which case his father was an oligarch.[20]

    According to the Theravada Tripitaka scriptures[which?] (from Pali,meaning "three baskets"), Gautama was born in Lumbini in modern-dayNepal, around the year 563 BCE, and raised in Kapilavastu.[21][22]

    According to this narrative, shortly after the birth of young princeGautama, an astrologer named Asita visited the young prince's fatherKing uddhodanaand prophesied that Siddhartha would either becomea great king or renounce the material world to become a holy man,depending on whether he saw what life was like outside the palacewalls.

    uddhodana was determined to see his son become a king, so heprevented him from leaving the palace grounds. But at age 29, despitehis father's efforts, Gautama ventured beyond the palace several times.In a series of encountersknown in Buddhist literature as the foursightshe learned of the suffering of ordinary people, encountering anold man, a sick man, a corpse and, finally, an ascetic holy man,apparently content and at peace with the world. These experiences

    prompted Gautama to abandon royal life and take up a spiritual quest.

    Gautama first went