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Buddhist History And Overview, Buddhism And The Family

Buddhism, one of the world's major religious traditions, originated, as did Jainism, in northeastern India in the sixth century B.C.E. Both religious movements arose in response to discontent with the prevailing religion of Hinduism. Buddhism derives its name from its founder, Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha. Buddha is not a name, but an earned title meaning Enlightened or Awakened One. Following the Buddha's death, Buddhism developed into two major traditions, Theravada and Mahayana. Over the next several centuries, Buddhism spread throughout Southeast and Central Asia and Japan. During the late nineteenth century, it was introduced into Europe and North America through immigration, missionary activity, and a growing interest among Westerners in Eastern religions.

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