Questions tagged [history]

For questions about Buddhism in the past, and how it has developed since then.

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Baby Buddha Bathing

Vesak Day is coming, some monastery offering a baby bathing during the event. What is the story behind about this? Is it appropriate?
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Does there exist a formalized date system for Tibetan Buddhism?

I am a software engineer and currently thinking about dates/times. In programming, all dates are in the Gregorian calendar system, and things start to break down when you get to dealing with CE/BCE. ...
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Why is Buddhism popular in Eastern Asia compared to South Asia where it originated? [duplicate]

Buddhism originated in India but from what I understand it's not very big in India and instead more popular in Eastern Asia in countries like Japan, Vietnam, China etc.
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1 answer
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Have any historical texts identified whether a reincarnated soul's true identity can be identified?

If reincarnation were true, in that a soul takes on different human bodies across several different lives during that soul's existence, have philosophers, theologists, scholars or any scriptures ever ...
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Historical works to know why Buddhism diminished from India [duplicate]

I am interested in knowing how buddhism diminished in India. 1 year back, I read this book: https://books.google.co.in/books/about/History_Of_Hindu_Imperialism.html?id=51dWPgAACAAJ&redir_esc=y But ...
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Where does it say in the Three Baskets that Buddha used to be a prince?

I recall reading suttas wherein the Buddha references his past life, however I do not recall him mentioning that he was a prince. What is the source for this claim?
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4 votes
7 answers
546 views

Why aren't there omnicidal Buddhists?

So, I'm not a Buddhist, but my understanding is that in Buddhist thought, existence is the root of suffering, and Buddhists seek to end suffering by attaining a state of spiritual enlightenment that, ...
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1 vote
3 answers
132 views

How reliable is that the Buddha actually spoke about supernatural powers?

In some sutras from the Pāli Canon the Buddha speaks about supernatural powers (Eg here, psychic powers, telepathy, clearaudience, etc). Buddhist masters and teachers nowadays don’t talk about these ...
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2 answers
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What is the historical basis for the buddhas examples of "wrong livelihood"?

One of the recurring themes in the teachings of the buddha is the noble eightfold path; the basis for achieving nibbana. Oftentimes the components of it are presented as their "wrong" ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Who was Anuruddha's father?

In the Pali commentaries, there is a contradiction regarding the name of Thera Anuruddha's father. Somewhere he is said to be the son of Sukkodana, and somewhere of Amitodana. Both Sukkodana and ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Did the Buddha invent any words?

A person told me that the Buddha coined certain words as part of his teachings. I don't remember which words, but perhaps "samadhi" was one of them. Is there any evidence the Buddha invented ...
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Was Devadaha a Sakyan town and were the Buddha's maternal relatives Sakyans?

In the literature we generally read that the Koliya clan, a neighbouring clan of the Sakyans, had two capitals - Devadaha and Ramagama. Moreover, the Buddha's mother Mayadevi and foster mother ...
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4 answers
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How should Buddhism be introduced to a country?

What has historical precedent to teach and what is your opinion?
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1 answer
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Does Baphuon temple really converted to a Buddhist temple?

When I was watching some youtube video I heard Baphuon was converted into Buddhist temple. But It's hard for me to believe it. My question is why Buddhists would have to convert other religious places ...
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1 answer
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What is the origin or history of the concept of 'Buddha Sasana"?

There is some information here at wikipedia I am curious to know if that came from Buddha himself or mentioned in any suttas. The 'sasana' concepts restricts appearence of solitary buddhas or ...
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3 votes
2 answers
231 views

Scriptural evidence for the role and compatibility of polytheism within Buddhism?

First of all, I would like to clarify that I am extremely new to Buddhism, Hinduism and Indian philosophy in general. I do not particularly consider myself an adherent of any of these traditions. I am ...
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4 answers
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What is known about enlightenment before the lifetime of the Buddha? Are there any claims that he was the first?

I am a non-Buddhist who is curious about Buddhism. In modern times, Eckhart Tolle reports spontaneous awakening as a result of a sudden realisation that came out of intense suffering. As far as I am ...
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2 votes
8 answers
920 views

How is possible that monks memorised 10.000 sutras?

According to Wikipedia, in the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali canon there are 10.000 sutras. According to tradition, Ananda recited by heart all 10.000 sutras after the death of Gautama and they have been ...
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7 answers
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Why didn't the Buddha write a book outlining his teaching?

Perhaps with the exception of Laozi, most sages, founders of religion, & great thinkers from virtuous tradition do not leave us books authored directly by them. In most cases what we have is books ...
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2 votes
4 answers
89 views

The Buddha and the Cycle of Life

What is the source of the cycle of life/death in the scripture , Does it have references in the Pali canon? Is the cycle itself introduced with Buddhism or came from other sources?
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1 vote
5 answers
256 views

Why Buddhists generally uses OM?

In wikipedia i read: The Chandogya Upanishad is ... one of the oldest Upanishads of Hinduism. [It] opens with the recommendation that "let a man meditate on Om". It calls the syllable Om ...
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1 vote
3 answers
351 views

Was the Abhidhamma taught by the Buddha?

According to the Theravada tradition, the Abhidhamma was taught by the Buddha. From "The Abhidhamma in Practice" by N.K.G. Mendis: Theravaada tradition holds that the Buddha conceived the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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bKa’gyur , words of the Buddha?

According to accredited scholars like L.Brown, the bka’gyur is a collection of the translation of the pronouncements. Are the bk’gyur the words of the Buddha transcribed?
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3 votes
6 answers
213 views

The Oldest Traditional Buddhist Lineage?

In Hinduism the traditional master-disciple relationship in the transmission is very important, which means that a student can go and learn from a teacher whose initiatory lineage goes back directly ...
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3 answers
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Buddhism and Mathematics

Have there been any Buddhist texts addressing geometry, calculation or abstract algebra? I recently read a composite biography of several mathematicians through history. While some had schizophrenia, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What did the Buddha mean by the four types of reasoning in his advice to the Kalamas?

In AN 3:65, while advising the Kalamas on how to choose among a variety of contradictory belief systems, the Buddha mentions ten inadequate criteria for truth: Come, Kalamas. Do not go by oral ...
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1 answer
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Help to identify origin/history of a statuette of the Buddha?

Can anyone help me identify this please? I can not find one the same, and would love a bit of history on him. Small buddha bought on eBay -- stated "possibly from China", he was not sure I'm ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When and why did the color orange (and yellow and 'red') become associated with Buddhism?

Buddhist religious figures often wear orange robes. And I think that orange is, also, associated with Buddhist religious buildings -- and other religious "stuff" (although this may be simply a ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Difference between "mythology" and historical "facts"?

In this video, a monk tried to draw a distinction between "mythology" and "history facts" ... Ajahn Sujato - Buddhist Mythology - The Sacred and the Profane - Part 3 ... saying that "Mythology" just ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
107 views

Clarification on a different notion of Prince Rahula's parentage said to be in Mahayana buddhism

If we refer to Buddhist literature there are several versions of the same story. It differs between the branches Theravada and Mahayana and even within one branch the interpretation varies. Recently ...
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1 vote
2 answers
202 views

What were the source documents of the PTS Sutta Pitaka?

The Pali Text Society published editions of the Pali Tipitaka, starting in about 1890. I assume it was copied (transcribed) from one or more written sources, not from memory, is that so? From what ...
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Why did Marco Polo say the Buddhist religion originated in Sielan? [closed]

Read page 295 here. Also refer to the editorial note on p.289 “this is the well known island of Ceylon, both direction and distance are extremely correct”. A Summary. Until 1890 the world knew ...
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4 votes
3 answers
528 views

Did Ledi Sayadaw teach that Vipassanā should be practised by observing bodily sensations with equanimity?

A very short summary of the Vipassanā technique taught by S.N. Goenka would be: "observe your bodily sensations with equanimity". The role of physical bodily sensations is the key aspect of the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why did Buddhism nearly become extinct in Sri Lanka?

I read when the British came to Sri Lanka (Ceylon) during the colonial era, Buddhism was virtually extinct in Sri Lanka and has degenerated into very low forms of superstition. However, because some ...
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3 votes
2 answers
427 views

Why are Mahayana texts in Sanskrit?

Based on the quote below, it seemed that the Buddha did not allow his teachings to be translated to the royal or priestly language of Sanskrit, that was the liturgical language of Brahmanism, the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Ancient texts on Meditation Techniques?

I have read a decent amount on modern meditative practices, but I am curious to read the way in which ancient monks described their techniques. This is not suggesting that modern meditative practices ...
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3 answers
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Which (semi)secret societies influence Buddhism? [closed]

What are the names of the (semi)secret societies — any and/or all of them — that have influenced, are influencing (and, via common consent, may influence in the future) Buddhism?
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1 answer
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Where is this budha from and would love to know any history of maker?

Any information I would be grateful for. I have no idea be am very curious about this any a few other items I purchased recently.
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1 vote
6 answers
405 views

Why are all the Buddhas born in Indian subcontinent only?

From this list of previous Buddhas it looks like all were Indians.( I mean from their names). Ancient Greece or Egypt were also developed enough to have understood the Dhamma. We can consider ...
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0 votes
1 answer
60 views

As Buddhists, what do you make out of the tragedy of Tibet? [closed]

I finished watching two movies on the life of H.H the Dalai Lama (Kundun and Seven years in Tibet) which also highlight the tragedy of Tibet. Historically Tibet can be said as the only country which ...
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3 votes
4 answers
771 views

How do I refute the claim that the Buddha was actually preaching Vedanta?

Some people are obsessed with making a great personality and revolutionary like the Buddha a follower of their own faith by making baseless, historically inaccurate and factually incorrect claims. One ...
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2 votes
3 answers
338 views

Was Gautama Buddha's wife Yesodhara in any way instrumental in Him becoming a Buddha?

Considering the story we know about the life of Buddha as Siddhartha and also considering that Yesodhara was Buddha's partner in His many previous lives, can we say that Yesodhara was somehow ...
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3 votes
3 answers
262 views

Buddhism and Evolution

I heard an atheist ask this question from a christian and found myself lost in this question as well. Plainly and simply the question is this, How does your religion fit into earth's history? His ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What happens to one in a locked in syndrome?

Most theologies give no perspective on persons who are in "locked-in syndrome", minimal conscious states and persistent vegetative syndrome. Due to my own experiences I've pondered and explored but i ...
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2 votes
6 answers
1k views

What are Buddhist perspectives on psychedelic drugs?

I have head psychedelic drugs described as a gateway that can lead people to Buddhism, and to very powerful meditation practice. I have also heard the drugs were frowned upon by ancient Buddhist ...
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1 vote
2 answers
131 views

Why do we still don't know exact birth & date year of the Buddha?

I just want to know: 1)Why do we still don't know exact birth & date year of the Buddha? 2)What are the factors that is limiting in knowing Buddha's birth & death year? 3)Why many people/...
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1 vote
3 answers
1k views

How does Buddhism see Required Military Service?

I live in the United States, where although unlikely, a draft could happen. There are also many other countries that require military service in some capacity. I know Buddhism generally opposes ...
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2 votes
2 answers
432 views

Understanding beginningless

I often see the word beginning-less in Buddhist readings and on this site but how do I try to understand this concept being the ignorant human being I am? Is it just a metaphorical way to describe a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What are the arguments behind the relatively late dating of Khuddaka Nikaya and Abhidhamma Pitaka?

It is generally told that the Khuddaka Nikaya is the latest among the five Nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka. Similary, the Abhidhamma Pitaka is also considered as the latest composition among the three ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Where can I find sources for historical data on Buddhist populations in various regions around the world?

I need some sources regarding the changes in the size of Buddhist populations since the death of Gautama Buddha, e.g. the number of Buddhists in what is modern day India from 410 BC until now, or just ...
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