1. With over 520 million followers as of 2019, Buddhism is the world's 4th-largest religion.
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  2. In Buddhism, Karma is the force that drives the cycle of suffering and rebirth for each being.
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  3. The word 'Buddha' is a title, which means 'one who is awake', in the sense of having ‘woken up to reality'.
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  4. The 3 tallest statues in the world are of Buddha.
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  5. 7 million Buddhists are found outside of Asia.
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  6. Unlike many religions, Buddhism has no single central text that is universally referred to by all traditions.
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  7. Some Buddhist monks in Japan used to practice self-mummification by adhering to a special diet, then sealing themselves alive into burial chambers.
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  8. There is a pilgrimage site in Sri Lanka that is holy to four religions for a "sacred footprint": Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Christianity.
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  9. In Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Lao, the Buddhist New Year is celebrated for three days.
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  10. The Swastika is recognized as a symbol of auspiciousness in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
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  11. In Japan, homosexual relations among Buddhist samurai and clergy were actually quite common.
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  12. In Buddhism, suicide is seen as throwing away the precious opportunity to generate positive karma.
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  13. Buddhist monks are not allowed to kill any animal, for any reason, even pests and vermin.
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  14. China is the country with the largest population of Buddhists, approximately 244 million or 18.2% of its total population.
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  15. Buddhism sees humans as part of nature, not as separate from it.
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  16. Some Chinese farmers use plastic molds to sculpt pears into the likeness of Buddhas.
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  17. The current Dalai Lama was selected for the role when he was 2 years old, and formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama when he was 4.
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  18. Unlike other religions, the Dalai Lama urges spiritual seekers not to convert to Tibetan Buddhism, but to remain with their own religions.
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  19. As a teenager, Steve Jobs traveled to India to seek enlightenment and returned as a Buddhist.
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  20. Lamas in ancient Tibet were boiled in butter before being embalmed.
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  21. The historical Buddha was not obese. The "chubby Buddha" or "laughing Buddha" is a 10th-century Chinese folk hero by the name of Budai.
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  22. The Thanboddhay Pagoda in Myanmar has 582,357 Buddha statues.
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Updated on 2019-12-03
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