Questions tagged [history]

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

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2answers
68 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
43 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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5answers
7k 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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1answer
876 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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6k views

Is there evidence of a Buddhist influence on Greek Stoicism?

Stoic philosophy seems to share a lot with Buddhist wisdom. Since Zeno of Citium (generally credited as the founder of Stoicism) is said to have lived a couple hundred years after Siddhartha Gautama, ...
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2answers
292 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
582 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 ...
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1answer
4k views

Who were the first followers of the Buddha?

I've read that the Buddha's mother Maya became the first Buddhist. Who were the first followers of the Buddha other than his mother?
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1answer
649 views

Buddhism in ancient Arabic regions

In the age of king "Asoka", the expansion of Buddhism reached Arabic countries. Does anybody know what those countries are called now? Can anyone provide details about what happened to those places / ...
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3answers
466 views

Who is the adi buddha?

In many web sites they are saying that there is another buddha and he is the incarnation of lord vishnu and he existed before lord buddha existed.My Question Were there two buddhas ? Was he an ...
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6answers
417 views

Downfall of the Buddhist religion?

I feel that Buddhism is not what it used to be (the original teachings of Lord Buddha). It has got corrupted and what is left mostly relates terminology and worldly-matter and excuses. For-example: ...
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1answer
65 views

Is there any historical evidence or sayings that Buddha went to America and Africa continent for some discourses or teachings

Is there any historical evidence or sayings that Buddha went to America and Africa continent for some discourses or teachings? In their writings, local languages or any painting, drawing?
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3answers
190 views

How to survive Buddhism ? Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha

I'm observing around me, family and in society. I want to know while Dr. B.R Ambedkar gave the way to peace to Dalit(Backward people) . I could see still my family into ritual other than Buddhism. And ...
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1answer
154 views

What's the role/relevance of drugs when Arada taught Buddha?

I quote Andrei from here: Apparently, Buddha's first teacher, Arada Kalama, taught Shukla Dhyana through visualizing oneself in the center of progressively empty context (village --> empty field -->...
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5answers
341 views
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6k views

What's the origin of 108 being a sacred number?

The number 108 is a sacred number in Buddhism, but in other religions as well (Hinduism, Jainism). What exactly is the origin of 108 being a sacred number in Buddhism? Is there anything about it in ...
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4answers
1k views

Which are considered to be the oldest suttas?

Though I've seen dating of mahayana suttas here and there in passing with some analysis, I understand the pali canon has suttas of many ages. For example, one collection I've often heard to contain ...
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110 views

Who was the buddhist figure who forbade writing what he said, and whose disciples instead wore paper robes?

There's an enlightened buddhist figure I remember reading about a year or two ago, but I am failing completely to search him up. I would like to find his name and story again, could you help me ...
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265 views

What Changes have Happened to the Pali Canon?

In the 6th council changes have been made to the Disclosure in Establishing Mindfulness in the Middle Length Discourses according to Ven Sujato and Ven Analayo where the section on the 4 Noble Truths ...
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1answer
116 views

History of refuge in the 3 jewels

When was taking refuge in the 3 jewels of Buddha, Dharma & Sangha started? Was it started by the Buddha in his time or was it after him? When I mean taking refuge, I mean for a lay Buddhist and ...
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3answers
2k views

Was Buddhism a rebellion against the Aryans?

I read and learned many areas in Buddhism, for example the Seven Arya Dhana (Saptharyadhana - The Sevenfold Noble Wealth), the Four Noble Truths (Chathurarya Sathya) and the Eightfold Path (arya ...
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3answers
146 views

Has there ever been a systematic persecution of Buddhist heretics?

I was reading about the Cathars, and was really struck by the scale of persecution by Christians of Christian heretics. Obviously there are reasons for that besides not meditating well enough. But in ...
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5answers
595 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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1answer
84 views

What are good resources to study the historic evolution and comparative studies of Abhidhamma

What are good resources and references (ideally online) to learn historic evolution of Abhidhamma. Also comparative studies on different Abhidhamma schools. NB: I am aware of BPU BPhil 3rd Year ...
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7answers
3k views

Did the Buddha ever mention or encounter Jews?

I understand that Siddhartha Gautama Buddha lived at the same time as the ancient Israelites (Jews) and that India knew of Israel and that ancient Israel knew of India and that the two nations traded ...
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2answers
108 views

Earliest occurrences of meditation?

What are the earliest records of people meditating? The Wiki page for History of meditation mentions "prehistory" but provides no details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_meditation The ...
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2answers
243 views

In which language or languages were most of the sutras compiled?

In general, which language or languages were the sutras compiled and was this the same language tha Shakyamuni spoke?
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431 views

How and when did the name “Buddhism” appear?

What is called "Buddhism" is a whole range of different schools, sects, practices etc. that has in common that they are based on the teachings of Siddharta Gautama/the Buddha. But is the name "...
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147 views

Did Japanese Buddhists once use sky burial?

In the Chinese Wikipedia article on sky burial, there's a section saying that sky burial is illegal in Japan: 棄屍嫌疑 在某些地方,天葬的行為,可能觸犯遺棄屍體的罪行。 日本 刑法第190條(死体損壊罪) Google translation: ...
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2answers
373 views

Soul that splits in seven parts

I clearly remember reading somewhere about (some branch of) Buddhism believing that there is a soul and that it splits in seven parts when dying. The article mentioned that four of these parts are ...
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1answer
259 views

What is the Origin and History of Milindapanha?

What is the Origin and History of Milindapanha? When was it 1st written? How did evolve over time? What are the notable changes to it if any? Since when was it in the current form?
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175 views

Iconography in Buddhism - from the Greeks? And why isn't the Buddha bald?

When you read or hear about Gotama leaving his home and family, the story is usually something like "he shaved his face and head and went out to be a wandering monk". But very few depictions of the ...
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422 views

Is there a better term than Hinayana?

I'm aware that using the term Hinayana isn't ideal as it has derogatory undertones - being coined by the Mahayana school to differentiate themselves from what had gone on before. The implication being ...
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3answers
160 views

Was the London Buddhist Society the first Western Sangha?

Christmas Humphreys founded the London Buddhist society in 1924. Would this have been the first sangha in the West? Wikipedia says of it The Buddhist Society of London is one of the oldest Buddhist ...
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1answer
71 views

For what reason did the Dali Lama's traditional daily schedule have washing before meditation?

I often hear that meditation is best at the first part of the day, and it is usually recommended to meditate before eating. Yet it seems odd to me that for the Dali Lama, washing would come first and ...
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3answers
414 views

Was there a period when “Consensus Buddhism”/“Buddhist Romanticism” dominated Buddhism in the West?

Consensus Buddhism is a term invented by David Chapman. To me it seems to be another name for what Thanissaro Bhikkhu calls Buddhist Romanticism. Here are some characteristics of the supposed ...
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3answers
194 views

Were the oldest Buddhists evangelical?

Between the time of the historical Buddha and state support by emperor Ashoka, were Buddhist monks evangelical? In other words, did Buddhism spread through enthusiastic recruitment by the sangha, or ...
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1answer
70 views

Did the Buddha visit modern day Assam?

During his time, did the Buddha visit the northeast state of India known today as Assam? If so, did he give any discourses there? Thanks
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3answers
856 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
480 views

How old was Buddhism/Shinto before Shinto began to adopt aspects of Buddhism

Before Shinto began to adopt aspects of Buddhism i am wondering how old the 2 were as to which of the 2 was the older. by age i am referring to from when they started to become a following and not ...
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1answer
884 views

Why did Mahayana leave out the Pali Canon?

I'm quite familiar with Theravada and Zen but I can't understand the historical reasons for not keeping the original Buddha's teaching as a core. The schools do not contradict each other, so why ...
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419 views

How did Buddha's teachings about samsara differ from earlier Indian tradition?

Even before the Buddha, the wheel of birth and death was a common teaching in India, with the six stages or realms. This is something that has passed down into Buddhism (even today). What did the ...
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3answers
854 views

What is the historical origin of Vajrapani?

I've always found the imagery of Vajrapani (a wrathful Bodhisattva) very evocative. I'm reading a little bit about him and how his form is to do with energy and power in service of the Dharma so he is ...
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2answers
119 views

Did the Buddha form a monastery?

According to Wikipedia's Buddhist monasticism article, the Buddha formed the first monastery. There is no source, 'though. To quote: Buddhist Monasticism is one of the earliest surviving forms of ...
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2answers
1k views

When were the earliest Buddhist writings created

Buddha was born (according to Wikipedia) somewhere around 563 BCE to 480 BCE, and lived 80 years. From what I have understood, no teachings that made it to this day, have been written down when he ...
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1answer
134 views

Was the kamikaze against the Mongol empire considered a supernatural event in Buddhism?

The English language edition's article on the original kamikaze (divine wind) against the Mongol empire (not WWII) refers to Buddhism, though it also mentions Japanese "gods". ...1274 and again in ...
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1answer
1k views

Significance of Bhikkhus uncovering their right shoulder

Often in the suttas one finds Bhikkhus who approach the Buddha reverentially uncover their right shoulder as a mark of respect. What is the significance of this practice? Is it cultural or is there a ...
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4answers
2k views

Why did the Buddha suffer before he died?

I understand that the Buddha became severely ill prior to his death as a result of eating bad food. I also was under the impression that perfectly enlightened beings have obliterated, or rendered ...
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2answers
602 views

What was the chronology of events in the Buddha's life?

This is the sort of question I'd find really useful to get an answer on; I'm looking for a rough chronology of the 45 years of the Buddha's (not the Bodhisatta's) life, year by year. I know there is ...
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2answers
158 views

Is ritual described in the Pali canon?

There are a great many Buddhist rituals which vary across Buddhist schools and traditions. Did the Buddha describe any rituals which were to be done as part of practice in the Pali canon? Or are the ...