Founded by Siddhartha Gautama, more commonly know as ‘Buddha,’ meaning ‘The Awakened One.’
Siddhartha taught his beliefs from the mid-6 th to mid-5 th centuries B.C.E.
The skinny Buddha is Sakyamuni Buddha, the historical Buddha. The fat one is not really Buddha at all, but an icon of a Chinese monk who they believe was a reincarnation of Matreiya, the future Buddha. He was known as Budai Luohan.
Populations Populations of Buddhist adherents range from 500 million to 1.5 billion. Discrepancies: More than one Religion is often not recognized China does not have official Religious population records
In the Buddhist countries of southern Asia, there never arose any serious differences on the fundamentals of Buddhism. The teaching of the Buddha according to this school is very plain. He asks us to ‘abstain from all kinds of evil, to accumulate all that is good and to purify our mind’. These can be accomplished by The Three Trainings: the development of ethical conduct, meditation and insight-wisdom.
Mahayana (The Great Vehicle)
The Mahayana is more of an umbrella body for a great variety of schools. According to these schools, to look inward and not to look outwards is the only way to achieve enlightenment, which to the human mind is ultimately the same as Buddhahood. They are connected only externally with the world.
The fully enlightened Buddha, the Buddha of our time. Historically, the founder of Buddhism, but to Buddhists he is considered the person who rediscovered the teachings after they had died out.
Kwan Yin is the most important female figure in many Buddhist traditions. She is the goddess of compassion. In Buddhism gods are impermanent higher beings who are still subject to rebirth, they are not absolute power deities or creators, as in the western use of the term God.
Was the first chief male disciple of the Buddha. He was known for his caring, humility, patience, and especially his wisdom. He learned the higher teachings from the Buddha and was foremost in explaining it.
Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
Currently the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet (1935- ) is the religious, spiritual, and political leader of Tibet, currently in exile, living primarily in McLeod Ganj, India. He was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 1989 and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.