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Books about Buddhism

Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices variously described as religious, spiritual and philosophical. These are all based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha (Pali/Sanskrit for "The Awakened One"). The term 'Buddhism' is used to descibe the entirety of various traditions that have developed based on these teachings. Early sources indicate that the Buddha himself referred to his teaching as the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Tathagata.

Born in what is today Nepal, the Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern region of the Indian subcontinent and most likely died around 400 BCE in what is now modern India. Adherents recognize the Buddha as an awakened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings escape the cycle of suffering and rebirth. The Buddha's teachings provide instructions on how to understand the true nature of phenomena, end suffering, and achieve nirvana.

Buddhism as traditionally conceived, is a path of salvation attained through insight into the ultimate nature of reality. Buddhists use various methods to liberate themselves and others from the suffering of worldly existence. These include: ethical conduct and altruism; devotional practices; ceremonies; the invocation of bodhisattvas; renunciation; meditation; the cultivation of mindfulness and wisdom; and physical exercises. More »