"There has been a lot of discussion about whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy, and the question has never been decided one way or the other. In these terms, it is a question that makes sense only to a Westerner.
Only in the West is philosophy just a branch of knowledge like mathematics or botany, and only in the West is the philosopher a person, usually a professor, who goes through particular doctrines during his courses but, once he goes home, lives exactly like his lawyer or his dentist without what he teaches having the slightest influence on the way he lives his life.
Only in the West is religion, for a large majority of believers, a small compartment that only gets opened on particular days, at particular times or in certain predetermined circumstances, and is firmly closed again before actually doing anything. Although there are professors of philosophy in the East, too, a philosopher there is a spiritual master who lives what he teaches, surrounded by disciples who want to follow his example.
His teaching is never based on sheer intellectual curiosity, for its value lies only in its realization. In this light, there seems little point in wondering whether Buddhism is a philosophy or a religion. It is a path, a way of salvation, that which led the Buddha to enlightenment; it is a method, a means of attaining liberation by working intensely on the mind and spirit.
So I think that the simplest possible way to define Buddhism is, first and foremost, to see it as a path. The goal of that path is to attain what can be called ‘perfection’, ultimate knowledge, enlightenment, merging with the absolute, or, technically speaking, the state of Buddhahood."
- Andre Migot, from his book titled "Le Bouddha"