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The central beliefs of Buddhism are based on Buddha’s Four Noble Truths the last of which is the Eightfold Noble Path, by which enlightenment may be attained and the individual self annihilated in Nirvana. Buddhism is not dogmatic, but through its long history has developed into many schools (Mahayana, Theravada and Zen) (Ch’en, 1989). With more than 500 million followers in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Japan and elsewhere in the Far East, Buddhism is also currently gaining adherents in the West too. The predominant forms however are Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, the former of which is practiced in China whereas the latter is prevalent in India. Both of these forms are significantly different from the other and the following essay will attempt to compare and contrast Buddhism in India and China.
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