Buddhism originated in India, based on the teachings, of Siddhartha Gautama, later known as Gautama Buddha. A Buddha is one who is said to be awake to the truth of life.
Over the centuries his teachings spread from Nepal to Central Asia, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, and now Europe and North and South America. Theravada Buddhism is most common in South Asia; Mahayana further north. Buddhism exists in many different strands today, but all schools and sects share basic ideas. About seven percent of the people of the world are Buddhist.
While many people see Buddhism as a religion, others see it as a philosophy, and others as a way of finding reality.