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How did Buddhism spread?

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Buddhism was founded in Northern India by the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama , circa 563-483 BCE). At the age of 29, he left his wife, children and political involvement's in order to seek truth; this was an accepted practice at the time for some men to leave their family and lead the life of an ascetic. He studied Brahminism, but ultimately rejected it. In 535 BCE, he reached enlightenment and assumed the title Buddha (one who has awakened).

Buddhists who were the very first propagators of religion, spread their faith by travelling over the world. That religion entered all countries famed in those days as civilised. The monks who ventured into those lands were tortured. Hundreds were killed by imperial decree. But soon, good fortune smiled on Buddhism. Buddhism taught that violence has to be eschewed.

Southern Buddhism became established in Europe early in last century. The Zen Buddhist tradition of Eastern Buddhism has also made inroads, particularly in North America. Canadian Buddhists totalled 163,415 in the 1991 census.

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