Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha. The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end suffering, achieve nirvana, and escape what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth.

Basic Beliefs:

Summarizing the essence of Buddhism in themselves are The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. They consist of:

  1. The Noble Truth of Suffering (Dukkha)
  2. The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering (Samudaya)
  3. The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering (Nirodha)
  4. The Noble Truth that leads to the Extinction of Suffering (Magga)

The Five Precepts of Buddhism, in general, consist of five abstentions:

  1. To refrain from taking life (non-violence towards sentient life forms)
  2. To refrain from taking that which is not given (not committing theft)
  3. To refrain from sensual (including sexual) misconduct
  4. To refrain from lying (speaking truth always)
  5. To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness (specifically, drugs and alcohol)