Note: This text has been ripped from Wiki for demo purposes only...... The intellectual right issues are now being investigatted.
Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices considered by most to be a religionand is based on the teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as "The Buddha" (the Awakened One), who was born in what is today Nepal. He lived and taught in the northeastern region of the Indian subcontinent and likely died around 400 BCE.
Buddhists recognize him as an awakened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering by understanding the true nature of phenomena, thereby escaping the cycle of suffering and rebirth (saṃsāra), that is, achieving Nirvana. Among the methods various schools of Buddhism apply towards this goal are: ethical conduct and altruistic behaviour, devotional practices, ceremonies and the invocation of bodhisattvas, renunciation of worldly matters, meditation, physical exercises, study, and the cultivation of wisdom.
Buddhism is broadly recognized as being composed of two major branches:
While Buddhism remains most popular within these regions of Asia, both branches are now found throughout the world.
Buddhist schools disagree on what the historical teachings of Gautama Buddha were, so much so that some scholars claim Buddhism does not have a clearly definable common core. Significant disagreement also exists over the importance and canonicity of various scriptures.
Various sources put the number of Buddhists in the world between 230 million and 500 million. While formal conversion or membership varies between communities, basic lay adherence is often defined in terms of a traditional formula in which the practitioner takes refuge in The Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the Teaching of the Buddha), and the Sangha (the Community of Buddhists).