This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Of course it's clear he taught the nature of suffering and how to end suffering. But what i'm getting at is different peoples interpretations of his teachings that has resulted in many different forms of Buddhism all over asia. Was the philosophy of Siddharta ever supposed to become a religion? I'm certain it wasn't. I believe Siddharta was trying to get us to practice independent spirituality. But I feel what we see today in Buddhist countries wasn't what he had in mind. In most countries and cultures the teachings have mixed with older religions and beliefs to make bastardised versions of the core teachings. Zen Buddhism, Japanese Buddhism are so heavily influenced by Shintoism and Taoism are they even valid and effective methods to enlightenment? And it's the same everywhere you go. You go to Thailand and they have people selling acged birds on the street. The idea is you buy one and set it free and thus you generate good karma...Isn't that just 'sold out' Buddhism!? It's also important to remember Siddharta taught everyone to not worship him as a god. But then you can enter a wat anywhere from Tibet to Vietnam and there you'll have it; a big gold and diamond statue of the the man himself! You'll probably see people bowing to it too... It's just through all of this I get the impression 95% of people totally misunderstood the teachings. I have much much more to discuss but that'll have to wait for now...So please add your thoughts on this.