Any group of people living within the Islamic state and
under its protection, but which has its own religion and
laws, its own institutions and customsfor example, the
Muslims, the Jews, the Christians. Also the totality of
the Islamic state.
The Muslim institution of wealth sharing which pre-
scribes that two and one-half percent of ones total
wealth be distributed to the needy.
To the extreme northeast of India, stretching along the southern slope of
the Himalayas and then southward again on the plain, lies Nepal. Here in
Nepal can be found the ruined sites of cities, temples, and ancient monu-
ments associated with one of the great figures in religious historyGautama
Buddha. Buddha is a Sanskrit word that means to become enlightened.
Buddha is the title given to Siddhartha Gautama, the teacher, founder, and
leader of the Buddhist religion.
Siddhartha Gautama was born around 563 B.C., at Kapilavastu, a town
now in Nepal. His family belonged to the Kshatriya caste, the second highest
caste (hereditary social order) in Indian society. Although born into a well-
to-do and influential family he revolted against the caste system of the
Hindus. He gave up his palace and inheritance to search for the truth which
could overcome the sorrow he felt was inherent within human existence. He
began his search by practicing yoga, a system which demanded severe living
and rigid exercises to control the mind and body. He tried fasting and living
as a hermit in the forest. After 6 years, he was almost ready to give up his
search in despair. As he sat under a certain sacred fig tree, frequently called
the bohdi or bo tree, what he considered to be the truth that he had been
seeking so long came to him. His search for truth or enlightenment was
After Gautamas death (483 B.C.), his teachings spread rapidly until
Buddhism became the faith of the majority of the people in India. Around
200 B.C. Buddhist missionaries established Buddhism in Ceylon (the present
Sri Lanka). At about the same time, it extended into Thailand and
Cambodia, which were influenced culturally by India. By A.D. 100,
Buddhism had spread into China. It became established in Korea around
A.D. 300, in Japan around A.D. 500, and in Tibet around A.D. 600. The
1900s have seen a revival and restatement of Buddhist doctrines.
Buddhism is the predominant religion of Burma, Sri Lanka, Japan, and
Southeast Asia. Outside Asia, Buddhists are present in North America
(approximately 200,000 members) and Europe (approximately 18,000).
Buddhism throughout the world has more than 300 million adherents.