After Gautama Buddha's born or Buddhism were already there in the world when Gautama Buddha was born? who was the first Buddhism follower?

4 Answers 4


Exact Origin year of Buddhism is debated. Some says it began after the death of the buddha while some others believe it started from the BODHI DAY. There are also views stating that it started with the his first teaching to his 5 followers.

When king Suddhodhana came to know about his son`s mortification desires, he sent around 300 men to go with Gautama(Later Buddha) and attend to his needs. But Gautama declined and took only five of them. https://archive.org/details/lifeofbuddhaearl00rock

Also, the argument that his Father is sent men to accompany Gautama is debated but the claim of 5 men accompanying Gautama is verified from almost every source. These 5 men were the first men to which Buddha gave his teachings after the Enlightenment. The names of these are claimed to be as follows:-

1) Kaundinya 2) Assaji 3) Bhaddiya 4) Vappa 5) Mahanama

Together they were known as Pancavaggiya ( The Group of Five ) or Pancaka Bhadravargiya ( The Group of Five Fortunate Ones ).

Kaundinya is said to be the first disciple of Lord Buddha. Kaundinya is the one who predicted that Siddhartha would become Lord Buddha and Kaundinya was the first disciple of Buddha to become arahant.


  • Exactly, actually I heard the same thing more often. So from my researches I think Bodhi Day will be the correct answer, but still debatable. So however, Buddhism started after Buddha's birth only, I hope at least we can come to that conclusion. am I right? Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 8:59
  • Rather than the founder of a new religion, Siddhartha Gautama was the founder and leader of a sect of wanderer ascetics (Sramanas), one of many sects that existed at that time all over India. This sect came to be known as Sangha to distinguish it from other similar communities.Gautama lived during a time of profound social changes in India. The authority of the Vedic religion was being challenged by new philosophical views.After Siddhartha Gautama passed away, the community he founded slowly evolved into a religion-like movement and the teachings of Siddhartha became the basis of Buddhism.
    – Himanshu
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 9:32
  • Hmm agreed. Your answer convinced me a bit. So from my point of view I'm gonna make your answer as the correct answer. Note: thoughts may differ readers, so please don't blame on me if you have agreed with some other things :) Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 9:44

According to tradition, Gautama Buddha was not the first Buddha. There were previous Samma Sambuddhas before him who taught the same teachings (called Dhamma). Also according to tradition, a new Samma Sambuddha does not appear until the teachings of the previous one has been completely lost and forgotten. According to The Buddhist Society page here:

Once upon a time, many thousands of years ago, there was a Brahmin ascetic named Sumedha living in the Himalayan foothills. He was well advanced in his ascetic and meditation practices. It was the time of the previous Buddha Dipankara. When he heard that the Buddha was to visit the lowlands, he made his way down from his hermitage in order to meet the Buddha.

He helped the people in making preparations for welcoming Buddha Dipankara. When he met the Buddha, the ascetic Sumedha was very impressed and thought, ’May I be able one day to attain Enlightenment like this Buddha, and help the people by teaching the Dhamma’. Buddha Dipankara read the mind of Ascetic Sumedha, and announced to those gathered there, ‘ This ascetic will one day become Enlightened as a Samma Sambuddha named Gotama Buddha’.

A brief history of Gautama Buddha's life can be found here.

The Buddha also described his noble search for enlightenment in the Ariyapariyesana Sutta, including the shramanic (ascetic) teachers he studied under, before his enlightenment, but wasn't satisfied by their teachings. The first disciples were a group of five monks (according to this sutta):

"Then the thought occurred to me, 'To whom should I teach the Dhamma first? Who will quickly understand this Dhamma?' Then the thought occurred to me, 'They were very helpful to me, the group of five monks who attended to me when I was resolute in exertion. What if I were to teach them the Dhamma first?' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Where are the group of five monks staying now?' And with the divine eye, purified & surpassing the human, I saw that they were staying near Varanasi in the Deer Park at Isipatana.

According to accesstoinsight.org's page on the Chronology of Theravada Buddhism:

Year 1 of the Buddhist Era calendar is the year of the Buddha's Parinibbana (death and final release), which occurred in the Buddha's eightieth year (480 BCE according to the "historical" timeline; 544 BCE by tradition).

On this year, the following happened:

Parinibbana (Skt: Parinirvana; death and final release) of the Buddha, at Kusinara (now Kusinagar, India) (age 80).

During the rains retreat following the Buddha's Parinibbana, the First Council (sangayana) convenes at Rajagaha, India, during which 500 arahant bhikkhus, led by Ven. Mahakassapa, gather to recite the entire body of the Buddha's teachings. The recitation of the Vinaya by Ven. Upali becomes accepted as the Vinaya Pitaka; the recitation of the Dhamma by Ven. Ananda becomes established as the Sutta Pitaka.

We can consider this the beginning of modern Buddhism as we know it. Of course, years later, it would split into various schools and traditions.

My personal opinion is that Buddhism started the day the Buddha accepted the invitation by Brahma Sahampati to teach the world (see Ariyapariyesana Sutta).

  • yeah acceptable, but my question was about Buddhism not about Buddha. Even though there were more Buddha's before Gautama Buddha the religion which is known as Buddhism wasn't in the world right? Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 9:03
  • Updated my answer with the traditional date for Year 1 of the Buddhist Era calendar.
    – ruben2020
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 9:12
  • Your supporting source from Theravada Buddhism right, but there is another Buddhism knows as Mahayana Buddhism. So will it effect the conclusion? I mean will Mahayana has any other different history? Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 9:27
  • All schools of modern Buddhism started from Gautama Buddha, so the history would be the same. Right after the Buddha's passing, the First Council of the Sangha was convened. The first schism happened at the Second Council at around 334 BCE, where Mahasamghika split apart from the Sthavira Nikaya. The former group became the predecessor of Mahayana Buddhism, while the latter became the predecessor of Theravada Buddhism. About 75 - 100 years later, Buddhism spread far and wide after Mauryan Emperor Asoka converted to Buddhism.
    – ruben2020
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 10:35

It's about 150-200 years, that Wester lay people and scholars invented and defined "Buddhism" and the word appears, if remembering right, first in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

If asking about Buddhas teaching, called Buddha- Sāsana, in the origin/traditional countries, it started with the setting in motion the Wheel of Dhamma, short after Buddhas awakining, at least on request of the King od Devas.

The first follower have been some lay people on his way to search for some who are capable to understand the Dhamma, it was before the setting in motion.

On the occation of setting in motion the Dhamma, he accepted (ordained) his first disciples and this was the beginning of his religion he called him self "This Dhamma, this Vinaya", usually called Dhamma-Vinaya (Teaching/Doctrine-Conduct/Discipline).

References to Suttas Names detail: A Sketch of the Buddha's Life gives a good and most relayable short overview of what is general known and approved since this time.

(Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for commercial use or other wordily gains.)

  • So you are saying Buddhism is only 150-200 years older? remember this is 2017 AD. Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 5:36
  • Yes, that what falls under this lable, broad known today, celebrated, uphold and struggled for, is not older as it's lable. Note: that is not meant in regard of Buddhas Religion, his heritage..., see and read answer in detail, Wickram Bagawathinathan. And "Buddhism" will also not last long, as every popular appearence. In reagard of Buddha Sakara (time counting in this Sasana, we writte the year 2561. Add 45 years and @WickramBagawathinathan will have the age of Buddhas teaching and religion according to the tradition of his disciples) Scholars and the world may waste time in arguing years. Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 6:01
  • @WickramBagawathinathan He's saying that the phrase "Buddhism", i.e. the English (and German) word, was coined 200 years ago by Western lay people and scholars.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 8:03

A good book to read. I highly recommend it for you. This is the book help me to get into Buddhism.


He realized that his spiritual aspirations were far higher than those under whom he chose to learn. He realized that there was none capable enough to teach him what he yearned for – the highest Truth. He also realized that the highest Truth is to be found within oneself and ceased to seek external aid.


  • "the Buddha Era is reckoned from the death of the Buddha, which occurred in 543 b.c. (in His 80th year), and not from His birth." so here is the answer, and Buddha born as a hindu am I right? "Gautama was born as a Kshatriya" -Wikipedia, and Kshatriya is the one of the four classes in Hinduism yeah? Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 7:38
  • The Hinduism is a late invention by Westerners. What prevailed in Buddha's time is the Brahmanism.
    – SarathW
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 8:07
  • okay, then how Buddha was born as a Kshatriya? BTW Brahmanism also Hinduism right? May I know who are the people in Hindu Temples? Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 8:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .