(CNN)Here's a look at Buddhism, the major religion of many countries in Asia.
Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) grew up in a wealthy family. He decided to follow a path of self-denial, but did not find truth until he sat down under a tree, now known as the Bo tree. There he was "enlightened" and obtained the knowledge he had been looking for.
According to legend, Buddha sat under the Bo tree for 49 days and was tempted by demons. He discovered four noble truths and the Eightfold Path to Nirvana, or ultimate bliss.
The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism: 1) suffering as a characteristic of existence, 2) the cause of suffering is craving and attachment, 3) the ceasing of suffering, called Nirvana, and 4) the path to Nirvana, made up of eight steps, sometimes called the Eightfold Path.
The Eightfold Path to Nirvana is to be "right" in all these areas: concentration, views, speech, resolve, action, livelihood, effort and mindfulness.
There are two major schools of Buddhism: Mahayana and Theravada or Hinayana. There is a third school, the Vajrayana, but it only has a small following.
Dozens of different sects of Buddhism are derived from these schools, all having different characteristics, but sharing the basic beliefs.
Buddhists believe in reincarnation and that one must stop the cycle of rebirth as a suffering, selfish individual, and must attain Nirvana, which is the highest point and the end of the self.
Karma is the belief that good deeds/behavior will be visited back on individuals as well as bad deeds/behavior. This is the basis for living a good, moral life.
The Pali Tipitaka is the earliest collection of sacred Buddhist writings; used mostly in the Theravada school. Translated, it means the "Three Baskets."