The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Buddhism and Buddhists
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Buddhism is the English name for the religion based on the teachings of the Buddha. The name was first penned in 1801 by an Englishman writing about Sri Lanka, and for some decades afterwards was spelled either Bouddhism or Booddhism. The Buddha always called his philosophy of life The Noble Ones’ Teachings (Ariyadhamma) or Truth and Training (Dhamma vinaya) and asked his disciples to refer to themselves as Offspring of the Sākyan, i.e. the Buddha (Sākyaputta, M.I,1; S.I,192). Someone once asked Ānanda what sort of monk he was and he replied: ‘I am a Sākyaputta monk.’ (A.V,196). Sometimes the first Buddhists were known by others simply as Gotama’ s disciples (Gotama sāvaka, Dhp.296). Buddhism is the fourth largest religion after [[Wikipedia:Christianity|Christianity]], Islam and Hinduism and there are about 500 million Buddhists in the world.