History | Buddhism

Buddhism: History

Buddhist tradition holds that the man who would become the Buddha was born in a small village near what is now the border between Nepal and India in the middle of the 6h century B.C.E. He was born into a Kṣatriya family, part of the Śākya clan, and was given the name Siddhārtha (he whose goal will be accomplished) Gautama. It was clear that he

The Age of Buddha | Early Buddhism 1

The Buddha was born in the sixth century B.C. It was an age of spiritual restlessness and society was moving away fast from its old religious moorings.Criticism of Vedic practices had started earlier, in fact, for even the Upaniṣads belittled the efficacy of sacrificial rites and laid emphasis on knowledge of Reality as the best path of attaining a blessed hereafter.

Buddhist Councils

Whether the early Councils were truly historical events has long been a matter of contention in Buddhist communities: While most Asian Buddhists believe that the first Council was a historical event, its historicity is questioned by virtually all Buddhist scholars: They argue that while it was not unlikely that a small group of Buddha’s intimate disciples gathered after his death, a Council in the grand

The Great Buddhist Councils

The 1st Great Buddhist Council was convened just 3 months after the Great Demise of the Buddha. An immoral Bhikkhu named Subhadda who had joined the Sangha (monkhood) in his old age, made derogatory remarks to the effect that monks were now free to do as they like. That prompted the Venerable Kassapa, the third chief Disciple of the Buddha, to convene a Council of

Pilgrimage | History & Practices

We cannot say with assurance when pilgrimage first became a part of Buddhist tradition. However, the fact that the canonical collections of several early Buddhist schools include a Sūtra in which Gautama Buddha himself exhorts his followers to visit sites associated with his life indicates the centrality that pilgrimage came to have in the early centuries of the Buddhist movement. This passage occurs in the

Mainstream Buddhist Schools

Mainstream Buddhist Schools By several centuries after the death of the Buddha, the itinerant mendicants following his way had formed settled communities and had changed irrevocably their received methods of both teaching and praxis: Most sources agree that the first schism in early Buddhist community occurred with the separation of the Mahāsaṁghika School, or “those of the great community,” from those referred to as Sthāviras,

Buddha-Carita | Aśvaghoṣa

The Buddha-carita (Buddha’s Life) is a complete biography of Buddha Śākyamuni, from his birth until after his death, when his relics were distributed. The text was composed by Aśvaghoṣa (early second century C.E.), the main author of Kāvya literature (poetic prose or ornate poetry) before Kālidāsa (late fourth–early fifth century C.E.). The author, Aśvaghoṣa, was a Brāhman from Sāketa in Central India who converted to