Origins of Buddhism

Buddhism, founded in the late 6th century BC by Buddha Shakyamuni, in northern India.

How and where it spread.

When conversion began there were new believers not only in India, but also in Ceylon, Burma, Nepal, Tibet, central Asia, China, and Japan. These were the main countries where the Middle Path was accepted.

Basic Beliefs

The basic doctrines of early Buddhism, which remain the same for all Buddhism, include the "four noble truths": existence is suffering; suffering has a cause, namely craving and attachment; there is a cessation of suffering, which is nirvana; and there is a path to the cessation of suffering.


The contemporary Buddhist leader is the Dalai Lama. Which is to Buddhism as the Pope is to Catholicism. The main prophet of Buddhism is Buddha himself.
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Past Events

In the 3rd century BC Indian Emperor Asoka establishes Buddha's Dharma on a national level for the first time. In the 3rd century AD Buddhism expanded to Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia. More recently, the Buddhist Society of Great Britain was founded (1907)

Past History

The founder of Buddhism in this world is Buddha Shakyamuni. He was born as a royal prince in 624 BC in a place in northern India but is now part of Nepal. ‘Shakya’ is the name of the royal family into which he was born. His parents gave him the name Siddhartha and there were many wonderful predictions about his future. In his early years he lived as a prince in his royal palace but when he was 29 years old he retired to the forest where he followed a spiritual life of meditation.