Buddhism was started by Mahatma Buddha in the 5th century BC. He spread his teachings across India. Although there were many other religions present in India at that time, despite this, people were drawn to Buddhism. Buddhism provided an alternate path to salvation with its ‘Four Noble Truths’ namely:
- The world (Samsara) is full of suffering
- Understanding the cause of suffering
- Cessation of the suffering and
- The path to end the suffering.
The great Mauryan Emperor Ashoka played an instrumental role in the spread and expanse of Buddhism beyond the Indian subcontinent. After that, the religion spread in the European Countries as well. If we talk about the present status of Buddhism places in modern India, millions of Buddhists live at many places in India and most of them follow the Theravada tradition and rest are following Mahayanists. According to the 2011 census, the Buddhist Population is approximately 84 lakhs in India who makes up 0.7% of Indian Population. Buddhism is a vital aspect of India’s socio-cultural heritage. Its teaching always gives the right way of living.