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Buddha and Buddhism
Buddhism is a philosophy of life expounded by Siddhartha Gautama (in Sanskrit, or Gotama in Pali), the Buddha, who lived and taught in India in the 6th century B.C. The term Buddha, literally meaning "awakened one "or "enlighten one", is a title such as Messiah (the Christ). The Buddha was not a god and his teachings were aimed solely to liberate sentient beings from suffering and from the cycle of existence. The system of the Buddha's teaching includes thought and practice that presents a complete path towards liberation from this bondage is called the vehicle of the Buddha.
Within the Buddha's Vehicle there are three major systems of thought and practice. These are:
Teachers from all schools made their way to the West starting from around 1950. Some preserve their lineages as found in the country of origin, while others have adopted less traditional approaches. But most of the teachers are maintaining the same terminology even though some English names are different due to translators' different backgrounds and lineages.
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