An offshoot of Brahminism/Vedism taught by the Indian Prince Gautama Siddhartha, which declared that there was no permanent self (Atman) and that liberation from suffering was to be found not by worshipping gods but by escaping from the cycle of birth and death. According to Gautama Buddha, suffering and rebirth are caused by attachment to things which are devoid of independent existence and thus impermanent.
While generally classified as a religion, Buddhism is probably more accurately described as a spiritual path. However, many Buddhist sects contain strong religious elements.
Buddha himself told his disciples that understanding in Buddhism should be established through personal insight rather than faith or revelation.
Some modern Buddhists, especially in the West, do not accept the ideas of karma and rebirth (after death) at face value.
Sokka Gakkai believers who chant for personal gain and belief-free Western Zen practitioners are Buddhists.
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