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Siddhartha Gautama was born in 566 B.C.E as the son of an Indian warrior-king. He grew up living the extravagant life of a young prince. His father had ordered that he live a life of total seclusion. However, one day he ventured out into the world and saw the inevitable suffering of life. He then left his kingdom to to lead an ascetic life and find a way to end universal suffering. For the next six years, Siddhartha submitted himself to rigorous ascetic practices, but was still never fully satisfied. He was offered a bowl of rice from a young girl, and he accepted it. He then realized that physical austerities were not the means to achieve liberation.Then on, he encouraged people to follow a path of balance rather than extremism. This was called the "Middle Way". He sat under the Bodhi tree and purified his mind and attained enlightenment(Nirvana), thus earning the title Buddha. Then, he became a teacher of his "Middle Way," with the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path.



Four Noble Truths-1)Everything in life is suffering and sorrow.2)The cause of pain are selfish desires.3)The way to end all pain is to end all desires.4)You can overcome your desires and escape suffering by following the Eightfold Path.The Eightfold Path-Right knowledge, right purpose, right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditation.

Samsara and Karma-Karma refers to the good or bad actions a person takes during their lifetime. Samsara is basically the equivalent to reincarnation in Buddhism. In Buddhism, samsara is defines as the repetitive cycle of birth, death, and an intermediate state. Liberation from samsara is possible by following the Buddhist path. There are six realms of samsara, Gods, Asuras, Hungry Ghosts, Hell Beings, Animals, and Humans.

566 B.C.E.- Siddhartha Guatama is born.533 B.C.E.- Siddharta gives up his life of being a prince.528 B.C.E.- Guatma reaches the "GreatEnlightenment".483 B.C.E- Buddha passes away383 B.C.E- Second Buddhist Council declares Buddhism is split into Theravada and Mahayana.

Principles of Buddhism

Spread of Buddhism


Theravada vs. Mahayana

A man named Asoka was the third ruler of the Indian Mauryan Empire. He ruled his empire in a cruel, but efficient, way. Asoka that killed 100,000 captives when he conquered southern India. This haunted him, and led to his conversion of Buddhism. Asoka sent hundreds of Buddhist missionaries to neighboring lands throughout Southeast and Southwest Asia. This spread Buddhism to thousands of people, and it became a major world religion with millions of followers.

Theravada Buddhism(The Teachings of the Elders):Theravadians follow the original teachings of the Buddha exclusively. They never had or will make any changes to the teachings, as that is unnecessary. Mahayana Buddhism(Great Vehicle):The biggest difference of Mahayana Buddhism is its emphasis on the enlightenment of all beings. Mahayana idealizes the bodhisattva, which is an enlightened being who remains in the world to work for the liberation of others.


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