Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama who was born in Northern India around 560BC. He was born into a privileged lifestyle as he was a prince. Due to this fact his father sought to protect Siddhartha from all the hardships life would throw at him. His father prevented his son from going outside the palace walls so that he would never see sadness or suffering. One day when Siddhartha finally disobeyed his father and went outside the palace walls he saw four things that changed his life completely, which led to his search for Nibbana and ultimately caused the creation of Buddhism.
Siddhartha saw:
  • An old man
  • A sick man
  • A deceased man
  • A holy man who had given up all of life's pleasures

Core beliefs

The Four Noble Truths
The Noble Eightfold Path
The Ten Precepts

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Major Texts

The Pali Canon
The Pali Canon contains the written teachings of the Buddha. It is divided into three sections, also known as baskets. These are:
1) Sutra- The sayings of the Buddha
2) Vinya- The discipline of the Brotherhood (Sangha)
3) Abidharma- Set creeds based on the essential teachings of the Buddha.



  • Regular worship

  • Initiation

  • Marriage

Click on this link to find out about marriage ceremonies and practices in Buddhism:

  • Funeral

Mahayana Buddhists are more ritually oriented than the Theravadhins. Each month during a full moon they hold special festivals for the deceased. During these festivals a candle is lighted in honor of a loved one who has passed into the afterlife. The candle is placed onto a paper boat which is then floated through the water in order to guide the souls to their resting place. A stupa is a burial mound where important people's ashes are laid to rest. Buddhists believe in cremation as Siddhartha Gautama was cremated after he died.

Go to the following site to learn more about buddhist funerals:


The Lotus flower


The 8 spoke wheel (Dharma Wheel)

Place of Worship

Monastries- At the shrine or under a bodhi tree.