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Buddhism


One is not a Noble One who injures living beings. One is called a Noble One because one is harmless towards all living beings.
-- Dhammapada

Buddhist Texts:
Holy Dhammapada
The Dhammapada (Pali, translated: The path of Dharma. Also Prakrit/Sanskrit Dharmapada) is a Buddhist religious scripture, containing 423 verses in 26 categories. According to tradition, these are the answers to questions posed to Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, most of them deal with ethics. Part of the Tipitaka, the Dhammapada is considered to be one of the most important pieces of Theravada literature.
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhammapada
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Holy Saddharma Pundarika
The Lotus Sutra or Sutra on the White Lotus of the Sublime Dharma (Sanskrit: Saddharmapundarika-sutra) is one of the most popular and influential Mahayana sutras in East Asia and the basis on which the Tiantai and Nichiren sects of Buddhism were established. Like all Buddhist texts, it was written several hundred years after the death of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Sutra
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Holy Mahayana Texts
Mahayana sutras are a very broad genre of Buddhist scriptures that were originally put in writing starting in the first century BCE. They form the basis of the various Mahayana schools. Mahayana Buddhists believe that these texts, with the exception of those with an explicitly Chinese provenance, are an authentic account of teachings given during the Buddha's lifetime.
Intro taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahayana_sutra
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Holy Digha Nikaya
The Sutta Pitaka, the second division of the Tipitaka, consists of more than 10,000 suttas, or discourses, delivered by the Buddha and his close disciples during and shortly after the Buddha's forty-five year teaching career, as well as many additional verses by other members of the Sangha. Over eight hundred sutta translations are available. The Digha Nikaya, or "Collection of Long Discourses" (Pali digha = "long") is the first division of the Sutta Pitaka, and consists of thirty-four suttas, grouped into three vaggas, or divisions.
Intro taken from http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/digha/
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Holy Sutta Nipata
In the contents of the Suttanipāta we have an important contribution to the right understanding of Primitive Buddhism, for we see here a picture not of life in monasteries, but of the life of hermits in its first stage. We have before us not the systematizing of the later Buddhist church, but the first germs of a system, the fundamental ideas of which come out with sufficient clearness. From the Atthakavagga especially it is evident where Buddha takes his stand in opposition to Philosophy (ditthi = darsana).
Intro taken from http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe10/sbe1032.htm
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About Buddhism:

Religion and philosophy founded in North Eastern India in the 5th century BC based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha.

One of the major world religions, Buddhism takes as its goal the escape from suffering and the cycle of rebirth and the attainment of nirvana, and it emphasizes meditation and the observance of moral precepts. The Buddha's teachings were transmitted orally by his disciples; during his lifetime he established the Buddhist monastic order (sangha). He adopted some ideas from the Hinduism of his time, notably the doctrine of karma, but also rejected many of its doctrines and all of its gods.

Buddhism's main teachings are summarized in the Four Noble Truths, of which the fourth is the Eightfold Path. Buddhism's two major branches, Mahayana and Theravada, have developed distinctive practices.

In India, the emperor Ashoka promoted Buddhism during the 3rd century BC, but it declined in succeeding centuries and was nearly extinct there by the 13th century It spread south and flourished in Sri Lanka and S.E. Asia, as well as moving through Central Asia and Tibet (see Tibetan Buddhism) to China, Korea, and Japan (see Pure Land Buddhism and Zen).

Today the various traditions of Buddhism together have about 400 million followers.
Taken from http://education.yahoo.com/search/be?p=buddhism
Important Persons:

Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha was a spiritual teacher believed to have lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE on the Indian subcontinent, in the Gangetic Plains area of modern Nepal and northern India.

Born as Siddhartha Gautama (Sanskrit: "descendant of Gautama whose aims are achieved / who achieves aims effectively") he became "the Buddha" after embarking on a quest for spiritual meaning. He is universally recognised by Buddhists as the Supreme Buddha (literally Enlightened One or Awakened One) of our age. He is also commonly known as Shakyamuni or Sakyamuni ("sage of the Shakya clan") and as the Tathagata ("thus-come-one").

Gautama is the key figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules were summarized after his death and memorized by the sangha. Passed down by oral tradition, the Tripitaka was committed to writing about four hundred years later.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha
Buddhism Symbol:

The Eight-Spoked Dharma Wheel or 'Dharmachakra' (Sanskrit) symbolises the Buddha's turning the Wheel of Truth or Law (dharma = truth/law, chakra = wheel).

It refers to the story that shortly after the Buddha achieved enlightenment, Brahma came down from heaven and requested the Buddha to teach by offering him a Dharmachakra. The Buddha is known as the Wheel-Turner: he who sets a new cycle of teachings in motion and in consequence changes the course of destiny.

The Dharmachakra has eight spokes, symbolising the Eight-fold Noble Path. The 3 swirling segments in centre represent the Buddha, Dharma (the teachings) and Sangha (the spiritual community). The wheel can also be divided into three parts, each representing an aspect of Buddhist practice; the hub (discipline), the spokes (wisdom), and the rim (concentration).
Taken from http://buddhism.kalachakranet.org/general_symbols_buddhism.html




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