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Buddhism Taoism and Confucianism Buddhism a major world religion founded in northeastern India and based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama who is known as the Buddha or Enlightened One Siddhartha Gautama the Buddha was born in 563 BC in Kapilavastu near the present Indian-Nepal border the son of the ruler of a petty kingdom The young prince was raised in sheltered luxury until at the age of 29 he renounced earthly attachments and embarked on a quest for peace and enlightenment At first he adopted a life of radical asceticism but eventually he adopted a middle path between a life of indulgence and that of self-denial Having attained the enlightenment for which he had been searching the Buddha began to preach wandering from place to place gathering a body of disciples and organizing them into a monastic community known as the sangha The Buddha left no written body of thought His beliefs were codified by later followers At the core of the buddhas enlightenment was the realization of t he Four Noble Truths 1 Life is suffering 2 All suffering is caused by ignorance of the nature of reality and the craving attachment and grasping that result 3 Suffering can be ended by overcoming ignorance and attachment 4 The path to the suppression of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path which consists of right views right intention right speech right action right livelihood right effort right-mindedness and right contemplation Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of life Buddhist practices such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness kindness and wisdom The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path - a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood Soon after his Enlightenment the Buddha had a vision in
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