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Ancient India (Buddhism) (9-23-14)
-Buddhism was founded in India, but mainly spread to East and Southeast Asia. Today, few people in
India are Buddhist.
-Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha GAUTAMA, who came to be called the BUDDHA (“Enlightened
One”).
-The Buddha taught that anyone could achieve NIRVANA (release from the cycle of rebirth and death
and all its suffering).
-Buddha REJECTED Hinduism’s CASTE SYSTEM!
-Buddhists also believe in reincarnation. Their name for “Moksha” (release from the cycle of death and
rebirth) is called NIRVANA.
-To find inner peace and happiness, Buddha taught that people should not desire things (like money and
power).
-Buddha taught the way to achieve NIRVANA is by understanding the FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS (why there is
suffering in the world) and following the EIGHTFOLD PATH (how to lead a good life).
-Theravada Buddhism- The older type of Buddhism. Practiced in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand &
Cambodia (Southeast Asia). Buddhism is a philosophy and the followers see Buddha as a teacher (not a
god).
-Mahayana Buddhism- Practiced mainly in China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan (East Asia). Buddhism is a
religion and followers see Buddha as a god.
-Stupa: A shrine that houses Buddhist relics.
-Pagodas are usually Buddhist temples or shrines.