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Buddhism: Beliefs and Origin

             Buddhism is a religion that not too many people in the United States know very much about, even though it is the fourth largest religion in the world. It has attracted many people including Richard Gere. Buddhism is a religion that has unique beliefs that differ from those of Christians.
             Buddhism is a religion developed by Siddhartha Gautama around 530 BC that is based on meditation. Siddhartha Gautama was an Indian Philosopher born in Kapilavastu, India around 560 BC within a warrior clan. Siddhartha was the "son of the head of the Sakya Warrior caste"(Robinson). Consequently, he was the Sage of the Sakya Warrior clan. He was "born just inside the present-day Nepal"(Robinson). Therefore, the Sakya Warrior Caste was in Nepal in the city of Kapilavasta. He was given the private name of Siddhartha in the Sakya warrior clan. He was also known as Sakyamuni, which means the Sage of the Sakyas (Robinson). Thus, he was to be a leader in the clan if he hadn't left to seek enlightment. Enlightment is when one has escaped from the cycle of death and rebirth, and has been freed from suffering. After he was enlightened, he took the title of Buddha. Buddha simply means the one who has awakened. Awakened is referring to the realization of the solution to escape suffering. .
             Meditation is a way of looking within one's self to begin spiritual examination required for healing suffering (enlightment). "Meditation allows practitioners to achieve a heightened awareness and transcends peace"(Gellman, 127). .
             Therefore, Buddhism is a religion that is based on the healing of suffering through meditation. .
             The Basis of all Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths are the basic expression of all of Sidhartha's teachings. The Four Noble Truths say that suffering is always a part of life, that there is a cause to all the suffering, that the suffering can be lessened, and that the Middle Way, also called the Eightfold Path, is how to go about doing that (Gellman, 375).

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