Unlike the Buddhism in Civilization IV, this religion has no technological requirements to be unlocked and neither unique buildings nor a unique missionary unit. However, the Pagoda religious building may be said to be close in spirit to Buddhism, although there is no gameplay relation of any kind between the two. Like all other religions, Buddhism can be founded directly after using a Great Prophet's Found Religion ability and only one civilization can be the founder of this religion.
Buddhism is the preferred religion of the following civilizations:
Followed by more than 350 million people throughout the world today, Buddhism is based on the teachings of revered spiritual leader Siddhartha Gotama, known as the "Supreme Buddha," meaning "the enlightened one." As the central figure of Buddhism, Buddha was not recognized as a god, nor did he presume to claim a connection to God. Rather, Buddha taught his followers a path to enlightenment based on his own life experience, a distinction that differentiates Buddhism from many of the world's major religions.
Buddhism's primary tenets, the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, lay out the means by which one can achieve Nirvana, or peace from unending suffering. In their simplest form, the Four Noble Truths tell us that life is suffering, that suffering arises from our attachment to desires, that suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases, and that freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the eightfold path. As the name implies, there are eight aspects to the Eightfold Path, each describing the practice required to fully understand the Four Noble Truths.
In the present-day, there are three major schools of Buddhism. The largest, Theravada and Mahayana, are known as sutric schools, and they believe that the primary means of attaining enlightenment is through the careful study of Buddha's teachings. The third, Vajrayana, is a tantric school, meaning they believe they can accelerate the process of enlightenment through the use of yoga, mantras, and other rituals.
The religion icon of Buddhism is the dharmacakra (or the wheel of dharma), representing the dharma, the Buddha's teaching of the path to Nirvana, since the period of Indian Buddhism. In Civilization IV, the icon for Buddhism was a statue of Buddha meditating.