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World Religions: General Research Guide: Buddhism

The guide is designed for students in RELI 1301 and 1301H and for persons with general interest in the major faith traditions of the world.

General Information

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Buddhism originated in Northern India in the 6th or 5th Century BCE and is based on the spiritual vision of Gautama, a young prince who became the first "enlighted one" or Buddha.  There are two schools of Buddhism: Thereavada and Mahayana, which has several offshoots including Tibetan Buddism and Zen. Though predominantly practiced in Asia, Buddhism has worldwide adherents of its beliefs and practice.  Sacred text for Theravada is the Tipitaka or Pali Canon and for Mahayan include various sutras acknowledged to be teaching of the Buddha..

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