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Buddhism: The Religion of Peace
Religion and Theology
Pages 6 (1506 words)
India was the cradle of Buddhism, from where it spread to other parts of Asia. It is now the predominant religion in Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Taiwan, Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Korea, and Vietnam, and retains a significant position in India.
The life and teachings of Buddhism’s founder, its major books and writings, and the beliefs and practices of its followers are a powerful testimonial to this religion of peace. Siddartha Gautama is the founder of Buddhism. He was born to king Suddhodana Gautama of the Shakya tribe in present-day Nepal in about 563 B.C. (Beck, “Buddha and Buddhism”). Many myths of auspicious portents surround the accounts of his birth at Lumbini. His mother, Mahamaya, died a week after the birth, and her sister Mahaprajapati was his foster-mother. The name Siddartha means, “he who has attained his goals” (Boeree, “The Life of Siddartha Gautama”). A renowned seer, Asita, foretold that the child would become either a great emperor, or a renowned spiritual teacher. In order to shield him from any attraction to a religious calling, Suddhodana ensured that Siddartha grew up in the lap of luxury, surrounded by beauty and health, and insulated from the harsh realities of life. Siddartha grew to be a skilled warrior, and won the hand of princess Yashodhara at the age of sixteen. At this juncture, on a tour of the capital, Kapilavastu, Siddartha was finally exposed to old age, infirmity and death. This engendered in him a passionate urge to discover the key to overcome human suffering. ...
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