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"From meditation is born wisdom":
As a philosophy, a spiritual movement or a religion, Buddhism originates from the teachings of Siddharta Gautama (the Enlightened One), prince, ascetic and preacher. Considered the historical Buddha (about 624-544 BC), son of Queen Maya, his life is recorded in accounts full of legends (jataka: forelives) and tales of miracles.
Preaching the dharma, symbolized by a wheel (dharmachakra) and the "Four Noble Truths" (Dukkha: all is suffering, Samudaya: the origin of suffering, Nirodha: the cessation of suffering, Magga: the path leading to the cessation of suffering), this wisdom is divided into several currents: hinayana (the lesser vehicle) or theravada, the individual path to salvation, mahayana (the greater vehicle), with the ideal of the Compassionate Bodhisattva, and vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism, the esoteric path practiced in the Himalayan region.
Although no longer strongly present in its country of birth, India, Buddhism continues to exert fascination, from enlightenment to nirvana, including the understanding of karma (the cycle of causes and consequences) and samsara (the wheel representing the Cycle of Existence).
Having wielded a tremendous influence in various esthetic disciplines - the art of tea, meditation, the theater, martial arts, calligraphy, ikebana, etc. - Buddhism continues to win followers and respect around the world.
Paris, musée Guimet - musée national des Arts asiatiques
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