Buddhism

By: Lauren Burroughs

Origin

Northern India


How did it spread?

Buddhism was originally spread throughout India by Siddhartha Gautama walking to places and teaching about his findings and beliefs. His teachings spread to different countries and cultures. Each place has their on variation of Buddhist traditions. Buddhist monks played a large role In the spread of Buddhism. Buddhist missionaries took the Buddhist idea outside of Asia and into neighboring places to the west.


Where is it most influential?

Southeast Asia


Number of followers worldwide

The estimated number is around 350 million.


Monotheistic or polytheistic?

Buddhism can be argued that it has no god or gods that are worshiped. It can also be argued that it is monotheistic, as people worship Buddha as their god.


Major deities

http://www.iloveulove.com/spirituality/buddhist/buddhistdeities.htmTibetan Buddhist have many Buddha deities.

These include:

  • Akashagarbha
  • Akshobya
  • Amitaba
  • Amitayus
  • Amogasiddhi
  • Avalokitesvara
  • Chakrasamvara
  • Dorje Drolo
  • Ekajati
  • Gampopa
  • Geysar of Ling
  • Green Tara

Founder

Siddhartha Gautama founded Buddhism in the late part of the 6th century, B.C.


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Holy writings

The Buddhist book is called the Tipitaka.


Organization of Religious leaders

Throughout the Buddhist population and diversities there is one "Buddha" for each age in time. Across all regions and monasteries there is a head mink which is usually older and more experienced.


Beliefs

Buddhist main goal is to break out of the cycle of rebirth and death. They believe that by following the 4 noble truths and eight fold path you can achieve lasting peace, or Nirvana.they believe that suffering comes from our worldly desires, and that the only way to get away from suffering is to get rid of the desires.


Sects

Over time Buddhism as separated into many different sects including:


  • Tibetan
  • Theravada
  • Mahayana
  • Zen and Pure Land are two that can be argued to be a part of Mahayana