The Jewel in the Lotus
Buddhism is an Indian religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (563 BCE – 483 BCE) who later became Buddha, the enlightened one. Its primary precept is that desires cause suffering and only by renouncing desires can one escape the cycle of death and rebirth to attain nirvana.
Though Asia is the stronghold of Buddhism, it is estimated that there are between 230 and 500 million Buddhists the world over, making it the world's fourth-largest religion. The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community). A Buddhist is one who takes refuge in the triple gem.