|Buddhism developed in India, and is based
on many of the core concepts of Hinduism. Buddhists believe in an endless
cycle of reincarnation, or samsara, which is similar to beliefs of Hinduism.
However, Buddhists do not believe that deities are responsible for the
phenomenon. In addition, the caste system is rejected by Buddhists who
believe instead that one is reincarnated until they can achieve nirvana,
best described as spiritual enlightenment.
Buddha: Hindu for “enlightened one."
Siddhartha Gautama: (563?-483?BCE), Indian philosopher and the founder of Buddhism. Siddhartha was born into the Brahmin caste, and by all account led a luxurious lifestyle. However, he was troubled by the human misery that he saw around him everyday. Upon reflection, he deduced that desire was the root caused of all suffering. Also known as the Buddha.
Nirvana: In Buddhism, spiritual enlightenment.
Dharma: The act of fulfilling one's duty in life. Associated with Hinduism and Buddhism.
Four Noble Truths: Siddhartha's Gautama philosophy of the nature of human suffering and its relation to desire is articulated by four statements
Wheel of Life: important symbol of Buddhism. It represents the endless cycle of life through reincarnation.
Dalai Lama: The spiritual leader of the Tibetan sect of Buddhism, and is considered to be the reincarnation of the bodhisattva, or "Buddha-to-be."