Questions tagged [history]

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

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7answers
180 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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3answers
161 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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4answers
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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
182 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
119 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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2answers
303 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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6answers
168 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
911 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
158 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
197 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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8answers
14k 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
276 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
144 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
89 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
5k 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
44 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
366 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
41 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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7answers
744 views

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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1answer
116 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
86 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
342 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
99 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
242 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
457 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
131 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
226 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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6answers
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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6k 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
253 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
457 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
136 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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1answer
56 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
50 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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4answers
16k views

Are the Chakras present in the original Buddha's teachings?

I know it is very common these days to associate Chakras with Buddhist meditation, but I couldn't find anything that supports that in the suttas. (I haven't read all suttas) Did the Buddha himself ...
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4answers
322 views

Is there a tradition or practice involving fasting in Buddhism or Buddhist countries?

Many religions have period or specific practice including fasting. I'm aware of the eating prescriptions of monks, but are there traditions or practices involving fasting for Lay-people? If not in ...
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6answers
225 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
52 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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3answers
194 views

Did Buddhism ever go through a period of relatively high violence?

Catholicism/Christianity had the dark ages and the inquisition in which 'heretics' were prosecuted with violence. One could claim that Islam is currently in a period of high violence. Did Buddhism ...
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1answer
154 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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4answers
2k views

What is the oldest text/sutra of the Mahayana tradition?

I'm often interested in the history of Buddhist texts and, being a Theravadan, I'm not very familiar with the Mahayana texts. Please help to educate me in this manner.
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5k 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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703 views

Did the Buddha ever talk about his family?

When Siddhārtha Gautama left his home to become an ascetic, he left a wife, son, father and step mother. His achievement of enlightenment and subsequent teachings of the 4 Noble Truths and 8 Fold ...
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2answers
108 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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1answer
93 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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3answers
239 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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4answers
467 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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6answers
924 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 ...