Questions tagged [history]

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

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1answer
61 views

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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9answers
16k views

What was the historical Buddha's ethnicity?

Gautama Buddha is traditionally regarded as having a noble body with 32 signs of a Great Man and one of those signs are deep blue eyes. I came across many online discussions about Buddha's ethnicity ...
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3answers
158 views

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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2answers
54 views

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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8answers
721 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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1answer
48 views

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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3answers
354 views

What are the other Theravada Councils held between the 4th and 6th

The Wikipedia entry on the 5th council says: However, there were a number of other councils held in Ceylon and Thailand between the fourth and sixth ... What are these other councils? Where where ...
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2answers
83 views

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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4answers
166 views

How should Buddhism be introduced to a country?

What has historical precedent to teach and what is your opinion?
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1answer
33 views

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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5answers
740 views

Evidence of Pali Canon's Origin

Are the Buddha's words the source of the Pali Canon? What evidence is there of the Pali Canon's origin? What do scholars say?
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8answers
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Looking for a book that covers the biography of the Buddha's life

Which biography of the Buddha is written in (or translated into) English, and is the most widely read (from a Theravada perspective)?
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5answers
247 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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5answers
6k views

What is the meaning of Rahula?

I am speaking of course of Siddhartha Gautama's son. I was told Rahula means obstacle. Is this true?
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2answers
225 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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3answers
735 views

What was the 1st Buddhist Council about?

I'm interested in the 1st Buddhist Council, i.e. why was it held, where was it held, who attended it and what were the outcome? I'm not looking for an in-depth and detailed answer. More like an ...
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4answers
944 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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6answers
8k views

Was Buddha born of a Virgin?

I was reading a work that claims Buddha "was born of the Virgin Maya". What Buddhist works address the birth of Buddha? Do any support or conflict with a virgin birth for Buddha?
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5answers
1k views

What was the first Buddhist text to be translated into English?

What was the first Buddhist text to be translated into English? When was it translated and by whom? Was it reasonably available to those interested and did it have much of an impact within academic ...
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7answers
265 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
86 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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3answers
291 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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4answers
2k views

Halo on the Buddha

Do the suttas make any mention of a halo around the Buddha's head, or was it a later addition through the cultural influence of other religions? I recall mentions of a golden aura around the Buddha ...
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1answer
129 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
199 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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4answers
968 views

When were women first welcomed into Buddhist orders?

I know that in the early days of Buddhism, it was for men only. To practice, you had to be a monk, and to be a monk, you had to be a man. Perhaps this reflects the attitudes of the time, but today, my ...
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2answers
181 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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3answers
287 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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3answers
319 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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2answers
177 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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2answers
96 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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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
96 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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3answers
531 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
51 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
288 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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5answers
1k views

Did the Buddha discourage antropomorphic representations of himself?

The first anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha appeared centuries after his death (see this related question). Buddhist art then was "aniconic", insofar as the Buddha was only represented ...
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3answers
91 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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3answers
454 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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2answers
106 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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404 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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4answers
676 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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1answer
165 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
268 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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6k views

Why is Buddhism followed mainly outside of India when it originated there?

India is the original land of Buddhism, but it is followed/practiced more outside its country of birth. Are there any reasons for this?
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7k views

Did Buddhism oppose Vedic religion?

At the time of Tathagat Buddha, Hindu religion in its current form did not exist. However, there were Vedic teachings. These teachings were based on blind belief in the authority of the Vedas. There ...
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2answers
391 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
806 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
161 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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61 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 ...