Some key facts about Buddhism include:
Followers of Buddhism don’t acknowledge a supreme god or deity. They instead focus on achieving enlightenment—a state of inner peace and wisdom. When followers reach this spiritual echelon, they’re said to have experienced nirvana.
The religion’s founder, Buddha, is considered an extraordinary man, but not a god. The word Buddha means “enlightened.”
The path to enlightenment is attained by utilizing morality, meditation and wisdom. Buddhists often meditate because they believe it helps awaken truth.
There are many philosophies and interpretations within Buddhism, making it a tolerant and evolving religion.
Some scholars don’t recognize Buddhism as an organized religion, but rather, a “way of life” or a “spiritual tradition.”
Buddhism encourages its people to avoid self-indulgence but also self-denial.
Buddha’s most important teachings, known as The Four Noble Truths, are essential to understanding the religion.
Buddhists embrace the concepts of karma (the law of cause and effect) and reincarnation (the continuous cycle of rebirth).
Followers of Buddhism can worship in temples or in their own homes.
Buddhist monks, or bhikkhus, follow a strict code of conduct, which includes celibacy.
Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as “The Buddha,” lived during the 5th century B.C. Gautama was born into a wealthy family as a prince in present-day Nepal.
Although he had an easy life, Gautama was moved by suffering in the world. He decided to give up his lavish lifestyle and endure poverty.
When this didn’t fulfill him, he promoted the idea of the “Middle Way,” which means existing between two extremes. Thus, he sought a life without social indulgences but also without deprivation.
After six years of searching, Buddhists believe Gautama found enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree. He spent the rest of his life teaching others about how to achieve this spiritual state.