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Buddha and Buddhism

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  1. Introduction
  2. An overview of the Buddhists texts
  3. Some of the famous Buddha statues
  4. Forms of Buddhism
    1. Mahayana
    2. Theravada
  5. Buddhism in Tibet
  6. Buddhism in China and Japan
  7. Monasticism
  8. Life as monk
  9. Buddhists temples
  10. Facts about Buddhism
  11. Conclusion

Buddhism is the faith that has changed the lives of millions of people over the world. It all began in a small kingdom in North East India, in Sarkya. The founder of Buddhism was the Prince Siddhartha Gautama, now called Lord Buddha. Buddha means ?enlightened one'. Siddhartha in his young age began a search for understanding the causes of sufferings. By the end of his life he not only earned the title Buddha but had also earned many followers by then.
History tells us that Siddhartha was born while his mother Maya was on her way to visit her parents. She died soon afterward. Saints then informed his father that he would become a great ruler or a Buddha. The thought that Siddhartha will leave the kingdom and become a holy beggar haunted his father. But eventually Siddhartha left the kingdom to search the true meaning of suffering.

When Siddhartha left the palace, the suffering he saw around him made him decide to become a holy man. He spent the next six years in spiritual learning and depriving himself of food and shelter. This eventually made him too weak for deep reflection, so he began to meditate below a tree and this is where he earned enlightenment. It is believed that when Siddhartha was meditating, a demon named Mara, sent his beautiful daughters to distract him from his chosen path.

[...] At the age of 80, Buddha ate stone food that was accidentally poisoned and died at a Kusinagara, India. Many people came there to pay homage to their Lord for the last time. He was buried and the remaining bones were kept under stone mounds that have since then it became one of the holy places of pilgrimage for Buddhist's. Buddhists believe that a person can be reborn after his death. This phenomenon is called reincarnation. Buddhism exists side by side with other religions. [...]

[...] The ?Eightfold Path' teaches Buddhists that they should be correct in all aspects of life, namely, understanding, thought, speech, actions, means of livelihood, effort, recollection and meditation. Buddhist's also believe in the law of ?karma'. The law states that ?both good and bad actions will see fitting rewards or punishments in both this and next rebirth'. The simplicity followed among Buddhists can also be seen in their rituals and ceremonies. It usually begins with reciting extracts from Buddhist's scriptures followed by offerings to Lord Buddha. [...]

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