Buddhism is a religion which teaches that the way to end suffering is by overcoming desires. As in 2010,there are around four-hundred eighty-eight million Buddhists. Although most Buddhists are concentrated in East Asia, people living in Africa, Europe, North America, and South America also practice Buddhism.
Buddhism began with a man named Shakyamuni, also known as the Buddha, who was born between 563 BCE to 483 BCE in Nepal. In Buddhist history, Shakyamuni was born into a royal clan, but he abandoned his royal power and wealth in pursuit of truth and enlightenment.
The life transforming experience for the young Shakyamuni was his encounters with human suffering, disease, and death that occurred on a sojourn. At age twenty-nine, Shakyamuni renounced his royal heritage and set out on a quest for truth and enlightenment which he attained at age thirty-seven after intense meditation at Bodhgaya, a village in North India. After reaching enlightment, Shakyamuni went a journey to teach others for nearly forty years. Shakyamuni's teaching, or dharma, of the human behavior and clear guidance in achieving release from suffering spread all across northern India. The teachings were especially effective because it provided an alternative to the rigid social and ritual structures in north India at that time.
The earliest available teachings of the Buddha are found in Pali literature and belongs to the School of the Theravadins, or which many called orthodox school of Buddhism. The teaching of the Buddha according to this school is plain which revolves around the idea to "abstain from all kinds of evil, to accumulate all that is good and to purify our mind."
The most basic teachings of Buddha are known as "Four Noble Truths" which include: The normal condition of this world is misery or suffering. Suffering stirs from desire or attachment to this world that is in its essence impermanent. The end of suffering can be attained by ending attachment to this world. Ending attachment can be done by following the eightfold path of right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
Buddhism was beneficial to many countries' society. For example, Buddhism offered a better...