Buddhism promoted education and inspired literature, art, architecture and changes in Indian society. It rejected ritualism and the dominance of priests and encouraged equality.
Some cities became centers for Buddhist learning, and many beautiful Buddhist temples and paintings are still admired today. Missionaries eventually brought Buddhism to most of Asia. They also spread Indian culture and helped increase trade. Eventually Buddhism spread to China, Korea and Japan, giving large parts of Asia similar cultures. Today, Buddhism is even popular in Europe and the United States. Buddhist meditation classes help many people relax and reduce their stress after a hard day.Learn More
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.Full Answer >
Buddhism began in the 7th century B.C., when Buddha Shakyamuni began teaching the path to enlightenment after he himself was enlightened under a Bodhi tree while living in the forest after renouncing his role as prince. Buddha began spreading the four noble truths. These truths were the first spokes in the first turn of the wheel of Dharma.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
It is believed that the religion of Buddhism first originated in India in the first century B.C. Buddhism is traced to the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who was an enlightened teacher during this time. He is commonly referred to as the Buddha.Full Answer >