Questions tagged [history]

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

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2answers
213 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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4answers
932 views

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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4answers
418 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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7answers
208 views

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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4answers
84 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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5answers
233 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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3answers
247 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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1answer
122 views

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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6answers
183 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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3answers
263 views

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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2answers
62 views

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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1answer
42 views

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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1answer
223 views

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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3answers
87 views

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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2answers
101 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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2answers
167 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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2answers
365 views

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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3answers
414 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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1answer
159 views

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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2answers
349 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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2answers
702 views

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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3answers
155 views

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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53 views

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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6answers
318 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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1answer
54 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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4answers
598 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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3answers
301 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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3answers
250 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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1answer
160 views

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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6answers
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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2answers
115 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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3answers
871 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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2answers
356 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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1answer
106 views

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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1answer
58 views

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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1answer
142 views

What is the relationship between dana and tax?

Is dana (or has it ever been) considered taxable in some countries?
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4answers
8k views

Should Buddhists in India celebrate diwali (New moon of November)?

On the occasion of diwali I've to ask, should Indian Buddhists celebrate diwali? Because recently I've read dark history behind diwali: That Tathagata Gautama Buddha had entrusted the team with the ...
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2answers
168 views

How did Buddhism and Hinduism differ in their approaches to sex work

I'm writing a paper on religion and the different attitudes and approaches to prostitution and I can't quite find anything that indicates the major differences in how Buddhism and Hinduism regards sex ...
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3answers
446 views

What are Gandhari Charm and Manika Charm told by Buddha?

In the Kevatta Sutta, Buddha is explaining to Kevatta why he doesn't use miraculous powers for his teaching. And while telling about psychic power he tells: Then the person without faith, ...
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1answer
176 views

When were Buddhist suttas written?

When were Buddhist suttas written? Does anybody know any source with a compiled list of suttas and their approximate date of writing?
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2answers
94 views

The Story of Buddha

Recently I am fascinated by the accounts of Gautama Buddha and of Buddhism, after having read The Story of Buddha within the book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I am led to want ...
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2answers
72 views

Buddhism in Kerala, India?

I want to know if Buddhism was practised in Kerala, India around 500CE. When did it lose popularity and why?
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1answer
45 views

Any reconstructions of earliest mentioned classification of canon?

Monks, there is the case where some worthless men study the Dhamma: dialogues, narratives of mixed prose and verse, explanations, verses, spontaneous exclamations, quotations, birth stories, ...
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6answers
8k views

Is it true that Lord Buddha was born in Sri Lanka?

I've heard there's a rumor saying that lord Buddha was born in Sri Lanka and ancient "Dambadiwa" is not India but Sri Lanka. There's a "sal" tree in Sri Lanka which matches to the exact tree that we ...
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1answer
1k views

Which is a good book to read about history of Buddhism?

I'd like to read about the history of Buddhism. Which book or books would you recommend?
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2answers
244 views

What are timeframe were pali canons, included commentaries, done, especially Mahavihara-Theravada?

My conclusion from tipitaka and commentaries: Most of Tipitaka canons and commentaries, except Kathāvatthu the forth of abhidhamma, began before 1st saṅgāyanā, but catagorize at 1st saṅgāyanā (see: ...
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2answers
158 views

In what timeframe was Jataka tales added to Kuddaka Nikaya?

I am trying to see whether the presence of certain characters and stories in the Jataka tales can be taken as a proof for them (stories and characters) being known in that form in the time of the ...
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4answers
508 views

How to memorize suttas?

I was watching a video about the oral tradition in relation to how the suttas was first communicated and conveyed to monastics and lay people. I was wondering what techniques buddhist monastics and ...
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2answers
311 views

What was the reason behind the fall of Buddhism in India? [duplicate]

Buddhism was originated from India.It spread all accross the world, many countries are called as Buddhist countries. Lord Buddha was the most scientific, serene, logical and kind person of the world,...
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0answers
805 views

Did the Buddha really have snails on his head? [duplicate]

For a long time I was told that when the Buddha touched the ground and became enlightened that his hair went up and formed a ball on his head and that that is what we see on the statues. But recently ...