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Buddhism is not one religion and philosophy but two.

First there is the conservative Southern or Hinayana or Theravada branch, which places great emphasis on meditation, and sees the goal of existence as to escape from this world of suffering into eternal, quiescent Nirvana.

Quite different to this is the more liberal and progressive Mahayana or Northern branch, which has a much broader religious and metaphysical development.  The goal here is not to escape this world for nirvana, but rather, having achieved Enlightenment, one returns as a Bodhisattva to the world for the sake of other beings.

The Buddhist system of self-transformation through stilling the mind is among the most potent around.  And I feel that as people let go of old superstitions and useless dogmas this will become more and more acknowledged.  Not an old "fundamentalistic" Buddhism but a syncrestic non-dogmatic Buddhism.  Perhaps it may not be too absurd to suggest that just as Christianity was the religion (or meme) of the last two millenia, Buddhism looks like being the religion (or meme) of the next two.

Buddhist topics

Theravada Buddhism
Mahayana Buddhism
Madyamika Buddhism
Yogachara/Vijnanavada) Buddhism
Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism)
Buddha - A Hero's Journey to Nirvana
the Bodhisattva
the Buddha Nature
The Buddhist doctrine of "self"
The Life of Buddha in Legend and Art
The Wheel of Life - Aesthetics of Suffering and Salvation
Medicine Buddha and the Karma of Healing
The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism - A Study in Spiritual Evolution
Buddhist Meditation
Buddhist Cosmology - the 31 planes of existence
The Nature of the Soul and Salvation in Christianity and Buddhism

Web links Links - Buddhism Web links

Web links Buddhism IS - open Buddhist discussion community forum that does not restrict itself to one school, tradition or sect of Buddhism.

Web links Access to Insight - comprehensive open source site on Theravada Buddhism

Wikipedia Buddhism portal - Wikipedia - some of Wikipedia portals are pretty sparse, but this looks like a more comprehensive one.

Web links E-Sangha Buddhism Portal - Buddhism portal that contains free e-books, discussion forum, free e-cards and an extensive collections of links for followers of Mahayana

online Journal of Buddhist Ethics

archived images Art Gallery of Buddhist Artwork - archive of images that you can download - mirror (Australia)

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 27 October 1998, last modified 15 January 2009