Promise of Paradise: Early Chinese Buddhist Sculpture

Buddhism is founded on the religious principles and practices expounded by Siddhartha Gautama (circa 563–483 BCE), a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent. Through a long period of meditation he cultivated a mind free of ignorance, greed, and hatred. Thus enlightened and freed from the cycle of rebirth, he became known as the Buddha, the “awakened one” in Sanskrit, and Shakyamuni, literally Sage of the Shakyas, after his clan group. Missionaries conveyed his teachings from India across Central Asia to northwest China by 100 CE, where the faith ultimately prospered.