Buddhism is a universalized religion because it works to appeal towards all people.
Buddhism was founded over 2,500 years ago in the late 6th century by Siddharth Guatama. Buddhism origninated in Lumbini which is located in Southern Nepal.
Indian Emporer Asoka strengthened Buddhism by sending missionaries as far as to Syria. In the 7th Century Buddhism entered Tibet, where it flourished. In the 1st century A.D. Buddhism entered China along trade routes from Central Asia which resulted in a four century period of assimilation. Eventually, schools were made teaching Buddhism in the class rooms such as T'ien-t'ai and Hua-Yen.
Major Branches of Buddhism:
Theravada- Centers around Pali Scripture. Theravada believes they will achieve enlightenment
Mahayano- Developed out of the Theravada tradition. Mahayano focuses on the idea of compassion.
Vajrayana- This is the last of the three ancient forms. They believe that the physical has an effect on the spiritual and that the spiritual has an effect on the physical
Lotus flower- Represents purity and enlightenment.
Endless knot- Representing eternal harmony.
Golden Fish pair- Representing conjugal happiness and freedom.
Victory Banner- Representing a victorious battle.
Wheel of Dharma - Representing knowledge.
Treasure Vase- Representing inexhaustible treasure and wealth.
Parasol- Representing the crown, and protection from the elements.
Conch shell- Representing the thoughts of the Buddha.
Major beliefs are the Four Major Truths which are: Life is full of suffering, suffering is caused by desire, eliminate suffering by eliminating desire, elimate desire by following the Eightfold Path.
Sacred Text: Sutras and Suttas which is believed to be the actual words of Buddha
Buddhist worship in temples sitting on the floor with no shoes on. Monks chant prayers or religious text.
Sacred places include Lumbini Grove, which is where Buddha was born. Bodh Gaya, the place of Enlightenment. Sarnatha is the place of Buddha first sermon. Lastly, Kusinara which is the place Buddha died.