About the EBU
Where does Buddhism come from? How old is it?
Buddhism started with the Buddha. The word ‘Buddha’ is not a name but a title, which means ‘one who is awake’ — in the sense of having ‘woken up’ to Reality.
The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, also often spelt Siddhattha Gotama.
Siddhartha was born some 2,500 years ago and is held to have realised Buddhahood (Enlightenment) while meditating under a tree at a place since known as Bodh Gaya (India).
What does Buddhism teach? Is it a religion?
Because Buddhism does not include the worship of a creator god, some people do not see it as a religion in the traditional Western sense. Buddhism has characteristics found in religion, philosophy and science alike, yet cannot be reduced to any of these.
“It’s not the clothes you wear, the ceremonies you perform, or the meditation you do.
It’s whether you agree with the four fundamental discoveries the Buddha made under the Bodhi tree, and if you do, you can call yourself a Buddhist.“
Is Buddhism new to Europe?
The EBU was founded in 1975 to connect existing European Buddhist organisations, the earliest of which date to the end of the 19th century. However, the influence of Buddhism and Europe upon each other goes back much further.
Buddhism began in the 5th century BCE. Over the centuries since, there have been many interactions between Buddhism and European culture.