Major Religions & Spiritual Beliefs
BUDDHISM, BUDDHIST HISTORYBuddhism, Buddhist History as a Philosophy and World Religion
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Sanskrit; in Pali, Siddhattha Gotama), who lived between approximately 563 and 483 BCE. Originating in India, Buddhism gradually spread throughout Asia to Central Asia, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, as well as the East Asian countries of China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan.
Buddhism teaches followers to perform good and wholesome actions, to avoid bad and harmful actions, and to purify and train the mind. The aim of these practices is to awaken the practitioner to the realization of anatta (the absence of a permanent or substantial self) and achieve enlightenment. Enlightenment leads to Nirvana (Sanskrit: "extinguishment").
Buddhist morality is underpinned by the principles of harmlessness and moderation. Mental training focuses on moral discipline (sila), meditative concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (praj˝a).
While Buddhism does not deny the existence of supernatural beings (indeed, many are discussed in Buddhist scripture), it does not ascribe power for creation, salvation or judgement to them. Like humans, they are regarded as having the power to affect worldly events, and so some Buddhist schools associate with them via ritual.