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An Eastern religion which began in India by Siddhartha Gautama (563-480 B.C.). Buddhism teaches that suffering and existence are inseparably united and salvation is merely being set free from suffering only through realizing oneself as a part of this inseparable connection. This knowledge brings one away from himself and the senses to the final state of illumination called "nirvana."
Gautama became "the Buddah" ie. "the enlightened one." There have been many other Buddah's in history but he set a unique precedence for others to follow. For one to achieve "nirvana" he had to fully comprehend the teachings "dhamma" (rather than the person) of Gautama Buddah. The essence of that teaching is summarized in four statements known as the Four Noble Truths:
- Everything is suffering.
- Suffering comes from the desire for existence.
- Suffering is eliminated when desire for existence is eliminated.
- Desire for existence is eliminated by following the eightfold path
The eightfold path is basically the path of a good ethical life from actions to speech and even the very motives in the pursuit of religious truth.