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Buddhism originated from the teaching of Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhism is a philosophy and a religion, and it is common in the Indian subcontinent. Translated, Buddha means ‘the Enlightened One’. However, people in other parts of the world also practice Buddhism. Siddhartha Gautama was teaching in between 566 to 480 BC all around India. His father was Gautama, the warrior king. Buddha rejected his title as a prince after deciding to find the truth about things and phenomena around him (enlightenment).

The Four Noble Truths are the teachings that form the basis of Buddhism. These truths are: the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering and the truth about the path that leads to the end of suffering. In Buddhism, the primary cause of suffering is ignorance and desire. Desire involves seeking of pleasure in material things, worldly desires, and immorality. Such cravings cannot be satisfied ever. It is only through the concentration of mind and inner vision that a person’s mind is developed and thus able to apprehend the genuine  nature of things. Followers of Buddha also believe in Karma, which refers to the good or the evil that a person endures during their life. Immoralities such as killing, stealing and lying eventually bring sorrows. Lastly, there is the cycle of rebirth. Persons with positive karma are reborn in positive conditions while those with negative karma are born in negative ones.

Buddhists practice meditation and yoga. They also recite mantras. These are sacred sounds, which are believed to have magical powers. Buddhists also have symbolic hand gestures called Mudras. They also use prayer wheels, which are cylindrical cases that are carved with scrolls containing the mantras. They believe that spinning the wheels is equivalent to reciting the mantras.

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