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Buddhism is a religion started in India, founded by Gautama Buddha. The religion of Buddhism is based on finding peace with yourself and others in order to reach Nirvana, which Buddhists believe is the liberation from the rebirth cycle. Buddhism has become a major religion especially in Asia. Many Buddhists live in China, Japan, Tibet, Nepal and India. The world population of Buddhists in the 2010s is around 535 million.[1]

Karma[edit | edit source]

Like other Dharmic religions, Buddhism follows belief in Karma, the idea that your actions will determine your fate. For example, those with really bad Karma will go to one of the 16 Naraka's, which are considered to be the Buddhist equivalent of hell, although Naraka is temporary.

Four Noble Truths[edit | edit source]

The Buddha's first and most important teachings are the Four Noble Truths.

  1. Life often—in fact almost always—involves suffering.
  2. The reason for this suffering is that we want things.
  3. The way to cure suffering is to stop the wanting.
  4. The way to stop wanting is to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, which focuses not on changing things around us, but instead it focuses on changing our own mind on how we view things.

Noble Eightfold Path[edit | edit source]

The Buddha told people to follow a special way of life called the Noble Eightfold Path if they want to understand the Four Noble Truths. These are:

  1. Know and understand the Four Noble Truths
  2. Turn your mind away from the world and towards the Dharma
  3. Tell the truth, don't gossip, and don't talk badly about others
  4. Don't commit evil acts, like killing, stealing, or living an unclean life
  5. Earn your money in a way that doesn't harm anyone
  6. Make your mind more good and less evil
  7. Remember the Dharma and apply it all the time
  8. Practice meditation as a way of understanding reality

Five Precepts[edit | edit source]

Buddhists are encouraged to follow five precepts, or rules, that say what not to do. The Buddha taught that killing, stealing, having sex in a harmful way, and lying are not signs of skill.

These are the Five precepts:

  1. I will not hurt a person or animal that is alive.
  2. I will not take something if it was not given to me.
  3. I will not engage in sexual misconduct.
  4. I will not lie or say things that hurt people.
  5. I will not take intoxicants, like alcohol or drugs, causing heedlessness.

If a person wants to be a monk or nun, he or she will follow other precepts as well.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Harvey, Peter (2013). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 5. ISBN 9780521676748.
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