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Buddhism is often listed as the fourth largest religion in the world, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are larger.
Buddhism began in India in the sixth century BCE. Siddhartha Gautama started Buddhism, but Buddhists believe that there were countless Buddhas before him and that there will be many more after him. Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment and was given the title Lord Buddha (one who has awakened)
Buddhism shares with Hinduism belief in karma, dharma, and reincarnation:
Karma is a person’s actions, words and thoughts. These are good, bad or neutral.
Dharma, in Buddhism, refers to two things:
1. The teachings of the Buddha; a person's path to enlightenment.
2. The fundamental principles that order the universe
Reincarnation is the rebirth of a living thing after death into a new body, a human, animal or a supernatural being.
Buddhism is different to Christianity as a ‘God’ is not worshiped and it also does not teach the existence of the human soul.
Buddhism later almost completely died out in India. However, by that time, it had spread to Sri Lanka. From there, it spread across Asia, and later throughout the rest of the world, including South Africa.
|The Buddha image/statue is usually a man in the Lotus position. Because it signifies the tranquil and beautiful mind of the Buddha that grows clean and pure as the lotus petals.|
|WHEEL OF DHARMA: Buddhist wheel of life and reincarnation. The wheel is one of the most important Buddhist symbols, as it represents the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddha was the one who "turned the wheel of the dharma" and thus the wheel symbol is the "wheel of law."|