Bhuddims is one of the major religions of the world.
It was founded in India about 500 BC by a teacher called Buddha. At various times, Buddhism has been a dominant religious, cultural, and social force in most of Asia, Especially in India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Tibet. In each area,Buddhism has combined with elements of other religions such as Hinduism and Shinto.
All Buddhists have faith in (1) Buddha; (2) his teachings, called the dharma; and (3) the religious community he founded called the sangha.
Buddha was born about 503 BC in southern Nepal. His real name was Diddhartha Gautama. He was a member of a rich and powerful royal family. At the age of about 20, Gautama became overwhelmed with the conviction that life was filled with suffering and unhappiness. This conviction led him to abandon his wife and infant son and to seek religious enlightenment as a wandering monk.
After traveling throughout northeastern India for about six yeas, Gautama experienced enlightenment. He believed he had discovered why life was filled with suffering and how man could escape from this unhappy existence. After others learned of his discovery, they called him Buddha, which means Enlightened One.
Buddha preached that existence was a continuing cycle of death and rebirth. Each person's position and well-being in life was determined by his behavior in his previous lives. For example, good deeds may lead to rebirth as a wise and wealthy man or as a being in heaven. Evil deeds may lead to rebirth as a poor and sickly man or even to rebirth in hell.
Buddha also taught that as long as an individual remains within the cycle of death and rebirth, he can never be completely free from pain and suffering. Buddha said man could break out of the cycle by eliminating any attachment to worldly things. By ridding himself of such attachment, man would gain a kind of perfect peace and happiness that Buddha called nirvana. According to Buddha, those who are willing and able to follow the Middle Way and the Noble Eightfold Path will conquer their attachment to worldly things and thus achieve nirvana.
After Buddha's death, his followers collected the traditions that had developed around the charma. The oldest of the many Buddhist schools compiled a scripture called the "Tripitika". This word means "Three Baskets". The first part, the 'Basket of Discipline", deals with the rules for regulating the order of Buddhist monks. The second part, the 'Basket of Discourses", consists largely of sermons. The third part, the "Basket of the Higher Dharma", contains later and more systematic discussion of doctrine.