Where did Buddhism begin?
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Q:

Where did Buddhism begin?

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Quick Answer

Buddhism began in northeast India in the 5th century B.C. It was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, a clan prince who saw suffering in the world and set out on a quest to find a cure. After reaching enlightenment, he began teaching those around him the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.

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Full Answer

In the third century B.C., the Indian emperor Asoka adopted Buddhism and sent out missionaries throughout Asia. Shortly afterward, Buddhism began to decline in India, but it took root in Sri Lanka, where it became the national religion. From there, it spread throughout eastern Asia, notably influencing Tibet, China, Korea and Japan.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did Buddhism become popular in India?

    A:

    Following the death of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, who was born in Nepal near the northern border of India, his followers began to share his teachings by traveling first to India and later along the Silk Road from China to the Mediterranean. An Indian emperor named Ashoka was among the most passionate Buddhists to spread the religion.

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  • Q:

    Who is the leader of Buddhism?

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    The Dalai Lama is widely considered to be the leader of Buddhism. However, some practitioners of the Buddhist faith choose their own spiritual guides and do not recognize him as their leader.

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  • Q:

    Is Buddhism monotheistic or polytheistic?

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    Buddhism preaches the existence of a number of devas, which are god-like, semi-divine beings that live on other planes of existence. However, devas do not perform many of the functions commonly associated with gods in other religions. For this reason, Buddhism is better described as non-theistic rather than polytheistic.

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  • Q:

    Which country did Buddhism originate in?

    A:

    Buddhism is believed to have began in Northern India sometime in the fifth century B.C. The religion was founded by Siddhartha Gautama, who is known as the Buddha, or "Enlightened One." As of 2015, there are approximately 376 million followers of Buddhism throughout the world.

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