Finally I could visit few Buddhist shrines,few months back.It is a irony that it is not in India but in Japan - one of the oldest in that country.
Filled with hope Kisa set off from one household to another.Soon she realized that such a family where death has not taken place doesn't exist anywhere.After few hours she laid the body of the baby to rest and returned to Buddha empty handed but at peace.Buddha consoled and told her "Plants grows in spring, flower in summer and die in winter.Similarly suffering is a part of life and death comes to all of us".
Even after 2700 years, I think it is quality of deep philosophy that people like Steve Jobs found solace with Buddhism along with Hinduism. Philosophy related to Buddha is much older than those in the west which is commenced in Greece much later.
He came to north India and started mixing with people in different walks of life but mostly of Hindu sages.He preferred the typical Indian ascetic life.It was at Bodh Gaya in Bihar that he is believed to have attained enlightenment.He was 35 then.Until he died at his 80 years , he preached and practiced his teachings in India.The teachings went well with the people and Buddhism spread in India and surrounding countries,Near East and Far East.It is the 4th largest religion in the current world after,Christianity,Islam, and Hinduism.
Subsequently Buddhism has spread to many countries-almost 15 countries. As far as I know it branches mainly to 3-Theravada(Sri Lanka,Burma etc),Mahayana (Japan,China,Korea etc) and Vajrayana(Tibet).There are quite a number of sub sects under each of the main classifications.
The Golden Pavilion temple
This temple dedicated to Buddha is set in a very picturesque natural surroundings. Situated at Kyoto,Japan it allows all sorts of people for a visit.In fact Buddhist shrines are open to all, a fact I learned while in Japan.Until then I was of the impression that only Christian churches can be visited by anyone.This temple belongs to Zen Buddhist faction which is maintained in the middle of a large pond with eye catching-spell bound- natural scenes around. Zen Buddhism, it is to be noted, emphasizes more into the value of meditation rather than ritual worship and study of scriptures. Each nook and corner of this large estate is naturally set for that purpose.
Buddhists believe in reincarnation.'Karma' is the force that drives the cycle of suffering and rebirth of each being. One can stop cycle of rebirth only if he or she attain 'nirvana' or ultimate bliss.It has to be noted that Buddha never claimed to be a God.He was a human being.Buddhists see him as an ideal human being and a guide who can lead towards enlightenment.It has no central text either like other religions but base on meditation. This is what Buddhism is in a nut shell, as I understand.