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The egalitarian non-discriminatory nature of Buddhism has made it a popular religion resulting in the establishment of communities called Sanghas.
Buddhism holds that the key to overcoming suffering is the dissolution of desire and that this can be achieved through the eight-fold path.
Through the patronage of kings and the efforts of traveling Buddhist merchants Buddhism spread from India to Central and East Asia.
Nalanda University was one of foremost centers of Buddhist scholarship while Indian emperor Ashoka's embrace of Buddhism helped spread its message.