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World religions:

Buddhism is a spiritual tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development and the attainment of a deep insight into the true nature of life.

Buddhism teaches that all life is interconnected, so compassion is natural and important.

Buddhism is 2,500 years old

There are currently 376 million followers worldwide

There are around 151, 816 Buddhists in Britain according to the 2001 census

Buddhism arose as a result of Siddhartha Gautama's quest for Enlightenment in around the 6th Century BCE

There is no belief in a personal God. It is not centred on the relationship between humanity and God

Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent - change is always possible

The two main Buddhist sects are Theravada Buddhism andMahayana Buddhism, but there are many more

Buddhism is a very colourful faith with many festivals throughout the year

Buddhists can worship both at home or at a temple.

"I teach suffering, its origin, cessation and path. That's all I teach", declared the Buddha 2500 years ago.

The Four Noble Truths contain the essence of the Buddha's teachings. It was these four principles that the Buddha came to understand during his meditation under the bodhi tree.

The truth of suffering (Dukkha)

The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya)

The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)

The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)

The Buddha is often compared to a physician. In the first two Noble Truths he diagnosed the problem (suffering) and identified its cause. The third Noble Truth is the realisation that there is a cure.

The fourth Noble Truth, in which the Buddha set out the Eightfold Path, is the prescription, the way to achieve a release from suffering.


Karma is a concept encountered in several Eastern religions, although having different meanings.

Teachings about karma explain that our past actions affect us, either positively or...