Buddhism is a religion that emerged from India and spread throughout Asia to Central Asia, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan. Buddhism encodes the philosophy based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama who became renowned as Buddha. Buddhism is the path of rigorous practice leading to spiritual evolution, which guarantees an insight of the true nature of life. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are simple: nothing is fixed or permanent, actions have consequences, change is possible. Buddhists practice meditations to achieve insight of the fundamental operations of human psychology and causal process of the world. Buddhism aims at instilling the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom in its practitioners. Spiritual evolution leads to enlightenment and this in turn will lead to Nirvana.

Buddhism has more than 350 million followers and an increasing number of them are Westerners. Though there are different forms of Buddhism, all traditions are characterised by non-violence, lack of dogma, tolerance of differences, and by the practice of meditation.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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