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Buddhism is a religion founded by an ex-Prince Siddhartha Gaumata. Gaumata was

a prince who was brought up in a perfect surrounding. When the prince left the

palace he saw all the poverty. At the age of twenty nine, the prince left his

wife and his infant son to meditate and practice Yoga to find peace and

enlightenment. Gaumata was meditating for a long time when finally while he was

sitting under a Bo tree he had attained the enlightenment he was looking for. It

is for this reason he got the name Buddha, meaning the enlightened one. Buddha

became a traveling teacher and taught everyone his discovery. Buddha did not

write any of his lessons down. He taught about the Four Noble Truths, (1) life

is suffering, (2) all suffering is caused by ignorance, (3) Ending ignorance

will end suffering, and (4) The path to the destruction of suffering is the

Noble Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path consists of (1) Knowledge of the truth,

(2) the intention to resist evil, (3) not saying anything that will hurt someone

else, (4) respecting life, (5) having a job that doesn't injure anyone, (6)

striving free one's mind of evil, (7) controlling one's feelings, and (8)

concentrating properly. Buddha preached that the life was a continuing cycle of

death and rebirth. The well-being of oneself was determined on your behavior in

your previous life. Buddha said that by ridding oneself of worldly things he

would be in nirvana, peace and happiness. After Buddha's death, his followers

collected his teachings that became the dharma.

The sangha is what sometimes referred to as an ideal Buddhist community. All the

people in the community follow all the laws and seek nirvana. The arrangement of

the monks that had a role in the sangha. The monks' arrangement kept the

preserving and the spreading of Buddhism. In many Buddhist countries the monks

had to live in poverty and meditate. The monks wore very long robes. In a sangha

everyone, including the common Buddhists.

The Buddhists have a book called Tripitika, meaning three baskets. The first

part of the book is about the Basket of Discipline, which talks about regulating

the order of Buddhist monks. The second part is the Basket of Discourses, which

talks about the sermons of Buddha. The last part is about the Basket of the

Higher Dharma, which talks about systematic discussions of principle. All

Buddhists have the obligation to pray to Buddha whenever they see a statue of

him. There are different customs in Buddhism. The three places that these

different customs come from are from the Theravadas, the Mahayanas, and the Zens.

The Zens are the group that originated in China. The marriage and death follow

the different customs. The Theravadas have a wedding by going to a monastery,

after the legal wedding. There they give a generous gift to the sangha. They get

a special chant for themselves to have a great future. When someone dies their

body is sent to the monastery and is burned by the monks. Wesak is a Tibetan

holiday. It is celebrated in may to honor the birth, enlightenment and death of

the Buddha. Some people fast, but others are picnicking, dancing, acting and

playing sports. Buddhism sounds like a funny religion, but in fact there are

about 300 million Buddhists in the world.

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