There are an estimated 300 million Buddhists around the world. The origin of the word refers to “budhi” or “to awaken.”
Fact 1. Buddhism has its origins about 2,500 years ago when a prince called Siddhartha Gautama was awakened or enlightened at the age of 35.
Fact 2. The fact that many Buddhist countries rank low on material wealth is because Buddhism preaches that wealth is immaterial to happiness and is temporary.
Fact 3. Buddhism is tolerant of other religions and is not concerned with the labeling of religions. There is no form of conversion in Buddhism, and no wars have been fought by Buddhists.
Fact 4. The basic, Buddhist principles can be summed up by four noble truths and the eight noble paths. The first noble truth is that life is suffering. The second truth says that the cause of suffering is due to craving and aversion. The third truth says that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained. The fourth truth speaks of following the eight noble paths as the way to attain happiness. The eight noble paths refer to being moral, being aware of our actions, and developing wisdom for oneself while developing compassion for others.
Fact 5. Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world.
Fact 6. The countries where Buddhism is practiced widely include: China, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia.
Fact 7. There is no specific time to go to a Buddhist temple, but a full moon is considered an auspicious day.
Fact 8. A Buddhist place of worship is called a Vihara and is a place for education as well as prayers.
Fact 9. The main edicts of Buddhism are not to hurt living things, not to take advantage of what does not exist, the correct usage of one’s senses, to speak kindly, and not to take alcohol or drugs.
Fact 10. Food is given to Buddhists monks as they do not own any material wealth, and Buddhists feel that the giving of food to monks will help in reaching the pinnacle of happiness that is Nirvana.