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While Buddhism considers the liberation from Saṃsāra as the ultimate spiritual goal, in traditional practice, the primary focus of a vast majority of lay Buddhists has been to seek and accumulate merit through good deeds, donations to monks and various Buddhist rituals in order to gain better rebirths rather than nirvana.
While the Noble Eightfold Path is best-known in the west, a wide variety of practices and stages have been used and described in the Buddhist traditions.
He famously sat in meditation under a Ficus religiosa tree now called the Bodhi Tree in the town of Bodh Gaya in the Gangetic plains region of South Asia.
He gained insight into the workings of karma and his former lives, and attained enlightenment, certainty about the Middle Way (Skt.
In Buddhism, dukkha is one of the three marks of existence, along with impermanence and anattā (non-self).
Craving includes kama-tanha, craving for sense-pleasures; bhava-tanha, craving to continue the cycle of life and death, including rebirth; and vibhava-tanha, craving to not experience the world and painful feelings.
In the Buddhist traditions, life aspects affected by the law of karma in past and current births of a being include the form of rebirth, realm of rebirth, social class, character and major circumstances of a lifetime.
A person accumulates merit not only through intentions and ethical living, but also is able to gain merit from others by exchanging goods and services, such as through dāna (charity to monks or nuns).
In Theravada, the ultimate goal is the cessation of kleshas (destructive mental states including ignorance, attachment, and aversion) and the attainment of the sublime state of Nirvana, achieved by practising the Noble Eightfold Path (also known as the Middle Way), thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth.
Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, supposedly born Siddhārtha Gautama, and also known as the Tathagata ("thus-gone") and Sakyamuni ("sage of the Sakyas").
The details of Buddha's life are mentioned in many Early Buddhist Texts but are inconsistent, and his social background and life details are difficult to prove, the precise dates uncertain.
and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies.
Buddhism originated in Ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, from where it spread through much of Asia, whereafter it declined in India during the Middle Ages.