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Buddhism

Buddhism is a religion that is spread all around the world in many cultures. Thought it has originated in India at around the 6th century C. E., it spread to the countries of Central Asia, including China, Tibet, and Mongolia (Rhys, 2005).

The Gregorian calendar was introduced in the XVI century and numbered the years since the birth of Christ, and Buddhism originated many years before Christ. There are three types of Buddhism. The first is Theravada, which is considered to be the oldest Buddhist school. It is conservative, and its practices are based entirely on the Pali Canon. It was primarily transmitted orally during the early centuries but its teachings were finally written down in Sri Lanka in the first century BCE. The religion claims that a person is awoken from a deep sleep filled with ignorance when he/she finally sees the true nature of reality.

The next is Mahayana. The 5th century CE was the year when Mahayana began spreading in India. This was the time the Guptas dynasty was in power (Rhys, 2005). Mahayana schools are known to incorporate all the Mahayana Sutras in their teachings and some of these Sutras are considered to be the manifestation of Buddha himself. Mahayana Buddhism is widely practiced in Korea, Japan, China, and parts of Russia. Here the Buddha is not viewed as human but as a projection of something endless (Conze, 2006).

Finally, there is Vajrayana Buddhism. This form is a major type of Buddhism in Tibet. It was, however, eliminated in China and in Japan, only elements of the tradition survived. Vajrayana Buddhism incorporates the tantric practice in its traditions, and many scholars do not seem to agree on when it emerged. The esoteric teachings of Tibet tell that Buddha taught tantrum. These teachings, however, seem to lack credibility because they were passed orally. Many researchers, however, seem to agree that most of its practices stem from the 9th to 12th century as a part of the Tibetan Buddhism.

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