Buddhism is the fourth largest religion of the world after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Although it originated in India, it has been adopted in countries like Tibet, China, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia. Buddhism was founded in India by prince Siddhartha Gautam, who was born about 550 B.C in Northern India. Siddhartha lived in wealth and pleasantness but he found suffering and sickness among the people in his kingdom. He left his home and wandered around to find the meaning of life. One day he sat under a bodhi tree and got the enlightenment. From that time on he was called Buddha. Buddhism has many concepts like Hinduism, karma and reincarnation. Buddha suggested that life is full of sufferings and one must act in a way to escape from them. He has four basic principles to achieve that are:
All life is sorrow and suffering
Human suffers due to desire or selfcenteredness
Desire can be ended by following the eight fold path - right belief, intention, speech, action, work, effort, thinking, and meditation.
A person who follows this path gets rid of desire and hatred and achieves spiritual peace (Nirvana). This would lead to end of Karma cycle or rebirth of soul.
Buddism reached its peak in India during the time of King Ashok in about 320 B.B but started declining under Gupta dynasty. Indian Buddhism, in time, restored many of the Hindu beliefs and gods. By 1100 A.D, Hinduism again became the major religion of India.