Founded in India 2,500 years ago, Buddhism remains the dominant world religion in the East and is becoming increasingly popular in the West. Over its long history, Buddhism has grown into a variety of forms, ranging from an emphasis on religious rituals and the worship of deities, to a complete rejection of both rituals and deities in favor of pure meditation. Yet all forms of Buddhism share respect for the teachings of the Buddha.

When it comes to Buddhism, many people have questions like: What does Buddhism teach about people and the universe? Do Buddhists believe in God? Are they atheists? What of a spiritual realm and an afterlife? What are Buddhism's values, traditions, and ethics? Who are its leaders and what are its followers like? What is Buddhism's history? And what are the symbols of Buddhism and what do they mean?

The table of contents below will direct you to various topics on the Buddhist religion, from beliefs to practices to important literature to symbols. (Note: Category headings go to the home page for that subject.)

Buddhist Beliefs, Practices, Symbols, and More

New and Featured Articles: The Buddhist View on Homosexuality, The Tibetan Book of the Dead

Most-Viewed Buddhism Pages

Buddhism Facts / Buddhism Beliefs / Buddhism Symbols

Lotus Flower in Buddhism

Zen Buddhism

Comparison Chart: Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism

Buddhism Basics

Buddhist Practices

Get to know Buddhism with our one-page introduction
to its history, beliefs, practices and sects.

Introductions to Buddhist rituals
such as mantras and meditation.

Buddhist monks

Buddhist Beliefs

Buddhism Fast Facts

What are the basic beliefs of Buddhism?

Is Buddhism really atheistic?

What do Buddhists believe about the afterlife?

A handy table of facts about Buddhism: adherents, locations, important dates, Four Noble Truths, etc.

Buddhist Sects and Schools

Buddhist Symbols

Get to know the differences between
the many different sects of Buddhism,
like Engaged Buddhism.

Also read about Zen Buddhism.

Also see this
Comparison chart of
Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism

The Lotus

The Wheel

Buddha Eyes

Zen circle

Hand Gestures

Buddhism colors

Buddhist Sacred Texts

Buddhism Features

Learn about Buddhist sacred texts such as the Tripitaka and the Mahayana Sutras.

Also learn about the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Feature articles on Buddhism and contemporary life, provided by the University of Chicago's
Department of Religion.

Buddhist Things

Buddhist Deities

An illustrated guide to Buddhist ritual objects,
from the begging bowl.

Also explore Buddha images.

More about the prayer wheel in Buddhism.

Read about mala beads as well.

Profiles and images of spiritual beings in Buddhism, including buddhas such as the Laughing Buddha.

Also read about bodhisattvas like Kuan Yin,
wrathful deities.

Buddhist History

Buddhism Timeline

Guide to the early history of Buddhism, beginning with the life of the Buddha

Also the formation of the Sangha to its interaction with the Hellenistic world.

A detailed
chronology of important events
in the history of Buddhism

Buddhism Glossary

Buddhism Bookstore

What's the difference between
dharma and karma?

Find out on this page and learn more about other important terms in Buddhism.

Learn more about Buddhism with books in several categories hand-selected by ReligionFacts.

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