Buddhism and dating
It is unclear to what extent these groups at the periphery of the social order of the Ganges basin were incorporated into the caste system, but the Buddha’s family is said to have belonged to the warrior (Kshatriya) caste.
The central Ganges basin was organized into some 16 city-states, ruled by kings, often at war with each other.
According to Buddhist doctrine, the universe is the product of karma, the law of the cause and effect of actions, according to which virtuous actions create pleasure in the future and nonvirtuous actions create pain.
The beings of the universe are reborn without beginning in six realms: as gods, demigods, humans, animals, ghosts, and hell beings.
, Lumbini, near Kapilavastu, Shakya republic, Kosala kingdom [now in Nepal]—died, Kusinara, Malla republic, Magadha kingdom [now Kasia, India]), the founder of Buddhism, one of the major religions and philosophical systems of southern and eastern Asia and of the world.
is one of the many epithets of a teacher who lived in northern India sometime between the 6th and the 4th century before the Common Era.
According to some traditions he is the 7th buddha; according to another he is the 25th; according to yet another he is the 4th.
The next buddha, named Maitreya, will appear after Shakyamuni’s teachings and relics have disappeared from the world.
A person who has set out on the long journey to discover the path to freedom from suffering, and then to teach it to others, is called a bodhisattva.
The actions of these beings create not only their individual experiences but the domains in which they dwell.
The cycle of rebirth, called samsara (literally “wandering”), is regarded as a domain of suffering, and the ultimate goal of Buddhist practice is to escape from that suffering.
In Japan, which does not use a lunar calendar, the Buddha’s birth is celebrated on April 8.
The celebration there has merged with a native Shintō ceremony into the flower festival known as Hanamatsuri.Some of these taught forms of meditation, Yoga, and asceticism and set forth philosophical views, focusing often on the nature of the person and the question of whether human actions (karma) have future effects.