Questions tagged [history]

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

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1answer
265 views

What do we know about the historic Padmasambhava?

I had heard Padmasambhava referred to as a semi-mythic figure. Some of his reputed activities would fit a mythic character. However to what extent is he also a historical figure. What do we know about ...
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1answer
142 views

What was the 1st attempt to have a Theravada monastery in the West?

Venerable Nyanatiloka had tried to setup a monastery in the West. Were there previous attempts? How successful were they? Do they still exist? If not, what happened? Following is the link "Plans for ...
3
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1answer
317 views

What was the reason behind Colonel Henry Steel Olcott and Anagarika Dharmapala split

Though the two of the worked together in the early years I have heard there was a split between them later on. When did this split happen? What was the cause? What is the implication and aftermath of ...
3
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1answer
152 views

Were there earlier western monks before Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya (Charles Henry Allan Bennett)

Looking at the Bio of Ven. Nyanatiloka who was regarded as one of the earliest monks. I came across that he had met Bhikkhu Ananda Metteyya (Charles Henry Allan Bennett) who was also a Western monk ...
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2answers
147 views

First Buddhist text translated into a Western language

As a follow-up to another question: What was the first Buddhist text to be translated into a Western language? (That probably means French or Latin, but other options are also possible) When was it ...
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1answer
1k views

Historically, where do the concepts of Karma, Nirvana, Dharma and Samsara come from?

From a historical perspective where do the concepts of Karma, Nirvana, Dharma and Samsara come from? I'm aware that they predated Buddhism but do they come from the Vedas, Shramanic tradition or ...
5
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1answer
518 views

When was the Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism marked as separate religions?

Historically Buddhism, Jainism were just the one of the sects of many sects or philosophical schools in ancient times. When was this separation of religions happened and all other vedic and non-vedic ...
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3answers
3k views

Did Buddhists ever actively participate in a major violent conflict?

The great "religions of peace" like Christianity and Islam had some quite turbulent events that seem in major conflict with their primary commandments, but still in the name of faith - even "within" (...
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2answers
747 views

Relation to Jainism

I've read that Jainism is one of the oldest Indian traditions, that Buddhism somewhat derived from it and that at some time they rivaled (I'm not sure if this was a political thing). Can you explain ...
8
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1answer
323 views

What were Nagarjuna's seminal contributions to Buddhist philosophy?

Nagarjuna's ideas are considered to represent the historical starting point of Mahayana Buddhist philosophy. Can his ideas be considered a clarification of the philosophy presented in the Pali canon? ...
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2answers
423 views

Autobiographies of Buddhist masters

Can you recommend any good autobiographies of Buddhist teachers and monks? I'm currently reading Getting Off, A Portrait of an American Buddhist Monk and I find it very interesting.
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1answer
2k views

Why do Buddhist Stupas have various shapes?

I came across a gallery of Stupas from around the world and it made me wonder why some of them differ in shape considerably. Do they express different aspects of Buddhism or is the source of ...
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1answer
227 views

When did Vasubandhu, the teacher of Dignāga, live?

Vasubandhu is known to be the teacher of Dignāga. When did he live? What are the sources that say so?
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1answer
224 views

Were robes a factor in the spread of Buddhism?

If you look at the countries where Theravada Buddhism has historically taken hold (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar/Burma) they are all in fairly close proximity to each other in the ...
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2answers
736 views

Buddhism in the Middle East

It is said, Buddhist missionaries made it to Alexandria Egypt and else where in the Mediterranean circa 200 BCE. Have any scholars and/or archeologists found any evidence of Buddhism being practiced ...
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2answers
332 views

What is the overall Buddhist taxonomy?

Building from this question, I'd be really interested in seeing an overall view of the Buddhist taxonomical system. I don't mean the actual names "Therevada", "Mahayana" and so on, or "Soto", "Rinzai" ...
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2answers
951 views

What is the role of relics in Buddhism?

I recently learned about an episode of Chinese history when relics associated to the Buddha were relocated to China and Han Yu writes to the Chinese Emperor in a text titled "Memorial Discussing the ...

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