Buddhism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, who lived between approximately 563 and 483 BC. Originating in India, Buddhism gradually spread throughout Asia to Central Asia, Tibet, Southeast Asia, as well as the East Asian countries of China, Mongolia and Japan.
Buddhism teaches followers to perform good and wholesome actions, to avoid bad and harmful actions, and to purify and train the mind. The aim of these practices is to awaken the practitioner to the realization of true reality and the achievement of Nirvana.
The primacy of Buddhism is the Pure Realm on Earth. For a time, it clashed with the Blue Jade Sect that was supported by the Mongol and Ming Empires. When Pure Realm investigators recovered the long lost Casket of Sighs, which contains the corporeal body of the Bodaisattva, support for the Blue Jade Sect quickly melted away and the Buddhist faith was united once again.
Buddhist morality is underpinned by the principles of harmlessness and moderation:
- Sila mental training focuses on moral discipline.
- Samadhi meditative concentration.
- Prajñā wisdom.
The Three Jewels of Buddhism are:
- A lotus flower within a circle.
- A diamond rod, or vajra.
- A trident, or trisula, with three branches, representing the threefold jewels of Buddhism:
The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths:
- Dukkha All worldly life is unsatisfactory, disjointed, containing suffering.
- Samudaya There is a cause of suffering, which is attachment or desire rooted in ignorance.
- Nirodha There is an end of suffering, which is Nirvana.
- Marga There is a path that leads out of suffering, known as the Noble Eightfold Path:
- Right Understanding
- Right Thought
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration