The teachings of Lord Buddha and the inner experience and the realization of these teachings comprises of the religion of Buddhism. Buddhism commenced in Northeastern India and is inspired by the teachings of Lord Gautama Buddha. Being the main religion of many Asian countries, Buddhism is one of the oldest religions of the world stretching over a span of about 2,500 years and is followed by 350 million Buddhists worldwide. The religion of Buddhism is all about suffering and the vital need to get rid of it. The principle concept of Buddhism is ‘Nirvana’, the most enlightened and the blissful state that one can achieve throughout his life. The sacred book of Buddhism is ‘Tripitaka’.

The main difference of Buddhism with the other religions lies in the fact that it is not focused on the relationship between humanity and God. Buddhists do not believe in a personal creator God. There are three symbols in the religion of Buddhism, which includes the wheel of life and the lotus flower. The ‘wheel of life’ in Buddhism symbolizes the cycle of life, death and rebirth. The ‘lotus flower’ symbolizes that of purity and divine birth. The statues of Buddha also include a lot of symbols which shows that Buddha was an enlightened soul.

The religion of Buddhism is categorized into many types due to the change of emphasis from country to country

regarding the customs and culture but the essence of the teaching (i.e. the ‘dhamma’ or the ‘truth’) remains the same. The Theravada Buddhism is the school of Buddhism found in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Another school of Buddhism known as Mahayana Buddhism is found in parts China, Korea and some parts of Vietnam and Japan. The countries following the tenets of Vajrayana Buddhism are Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim and Mongolia while the Jodo Shin Buddhism or Pure land Buddhism is followed mainly in India and some parts of Japan.

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