Seven percent of humanity are Buddhists! According to Wikipedia, there are over 520 million Buddhists in the world making it the fourth largest religion in the world. Buddhism originated in India between 6 and 4 BCE and covers an extensive array of beliefs, practices and traditions, all of which stem from the teachings of the Buddha and the interpretation of his words. Since its ancient beginnings, Buddhism is practiced throughout Asia.
There are two primary groups of followers of Buddhism that are divided by two scholars. The first and most ancient is Theravada, which is Pali for The School of the Elders and the second is Mahayana, which is Sanskrit for The Great Vehicle.
Buddhim looks to transcend suffering the cycle of death and rebirth. This can be accomplished by attaining Nirvana or through spontaneously desiring to take up the path of Buddhahood. There are many interpretations and approaches to this path of liberation, but meditation and the cultivation of virtues are very important.
Items that support meditation and a virtuous focus make excellent Buddhist gifts. Statues of buddhas, bodhisattvas and deities or symbols, such as the lotus blossom are excellent, as are incense, incense burners and malas.