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Q: where did buddhism originate from and how did it spread
A: Buddhism started in India with a prince named Siddhartha. Once, he glimpsed suffering on the street. He saw a poor, old, hungry man. This had convinced him to give up his position as prince and search for the truth; that is, a way to end suffering. [ Of course, his mother and father disapproved. His mother had a dream of a white elephant, meaning that he would someday wander, but they didn't
want him to. Eventually, he did have his way and he left his mother, father, and family (yeah, I know. Very irresponsible) so that he could find it. He went many ways, but finally arrived at his truth by meditating under a bo tree. It motivated him to make up the Four Noble Truths, which prettu much outline how to end suffering. The Four Noble Truths are: All life is suffering, the reason for suffering is desire, the only way to end suffering is to end desire, and the only way to end desire is to follow the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path pretty much says things like right thought, right speech, right behavior, etc. Buddhism started in India, and was quite successful there. It started around the 500s B.C., and was adopted by Asoka the philosopher king in the 200s B.C. during his rule of the Maurya empire. Unfortunately, Buddhism had declined in India for a number of reasons. The first was the rise of the Gupta Empire. This empire had promoted cultural flowering, but had also promotedHimdu texts such as the Upanishads, and eventually, their promotion of Himduism had led to the decline of Himduism. Also, it didn't quite sit well with the public. Women didn't favor it because Hinduism had more clearly given them a role in the home, whereas Buddhism for women at the time did not give them a clearly defined role anywhere. Buddhism had ended with the Mughal empire, started by King Aurangzeb, an Arab who had a low tolerance for other religions as a Muslim. So, Buddhism was prettu much stamped out in India. Though there are, now, a few Buddhists in India, not many of them are there. Later on, in the 200s A.D. and onward, it had spread to China. There's a Chinese woodblock print copy of the Diamond Sutra written in 868 A.D. in China, so it stayed there for a long while. ]
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