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Gautanma , the founder of Buddhism, was born about 563b.c. in a small kingdom in the northern India.( Today the place where he was born is part of the kingdom of Nepal) .He was a prince by birth who, according to tradition, led a sheltered life during his youth. When he first saw sickness, poverty, and death, he was deeply shocked. Gautama began to brood about the nature and purpose of life. Unable to find satisfactory answers, he decided to leave his home and family and search for the truth. After many years of wandering, studying and thinking, the answer that Gautama had been seeking came to him through intuition. With this knowledge he became the Buddha, the “Enlightened One”.
           The Buddha’s “Enlightenment” began with acceptance of the fact that life is misery and pain. Moreover, according to Buddhist thought, man is reborn continuously; that is, at death a person’s soul is reborn in a new body. Therefore, he is condemned to endless misery. Man’s unhappiness results from his desires and yearning. People want things they can not have and they become attached to things they must sooner or later lose. To find peace, men must end these desires and attachments, something that is difficult to do. In most cases, Buddha taught, men will have gone through many rebirth, or reincarnations before attaining the goal. The final reward will be the achievement of nirvana, a state in which man is freed from the cycle of rebirth and becomes one with the universe. The Buddha also urged believers to practice behavior both in thoughts and deeds. He devoted his life to spreading the truth he had found, and won many faithful disciples.

Buddhism took hold in China        

Buddhism spread throughout India and then into Central Asia, where many converts were won. During the Age of Disunity, merchants and missionaries brought the new religious over the caravan routes into China. Some Chinese converts, eager to learn more about their new faith, made pilgrimages into India during the sixth and seventh century’s a.d. After studying at Buddhist centers for many years, the converts return to China. They translated the Buddhist scriptures into Chinese and founded monasteries to preserve and carry on the Buddha’s gospel.
           Countless Chinese accepted the Indian faith. Its teachings of moral behavior and mercy towards fellow men had a powerful appeal. So did its promise of eventual peace, for life to most of the Chinese people mean a daily struggle for survival. Buddhism also enriched Chinese culture Buddhist monasteries and pagodas were built throughout the empire. Many of them were adorned with exquisite statues of the Buddha in wood, stone, and bronze. Painters portrayed the Buddha and his saints and illustrated inspiring events of their lives. Buddhist themes also appeared in literature and poetry.



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