Questions tagged [history]

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

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7
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7answers
869 views

Which suttas in the Pali canon are relatively early or late?

Do people (monks and/or scholars) have a sense of how old (or relatively old) each sutta is in the Pali canon: i.e. which suttas are considered "earlier" or "later"? If not for individual suttas, how ...
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6answers
432 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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3answers
586 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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1answer
68 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?
3
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3answers
206 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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5answers
396 views

Was the historical Buddha infallible?

Could he have erred, even as the enlightened one?
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2answers
113 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 ...
4
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1answer
120 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
179 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 ...
7
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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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2answers
331 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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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
166 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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1answer
158 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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2answers
505 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 ...
2
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2answers
277 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 ...
5
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3answers
194 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 ...
3
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1answer
325 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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4answers
489 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 "...
5
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1answer
86 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 ...
3
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1answer
72 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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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
71 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
454 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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5answers
658 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
690 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 / ...
9
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1answer
984 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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2answers
134 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 ...
11
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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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3answers
957 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 ...
3
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1answer
140 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
2k 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 ...
4
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2answers
178 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 ...
3
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1answer
81 views

Where are the references of Vesak in the Pali canon?

It is traditionally believed that the Buddha was born, enlightened and passed away on the date(tithi) of Vesak. Now it does not seem to be very probable that all three major incidents of one's life ...
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1answer
459 views

Social context of Buddhist rituals

I have a couple of questions about Buddhism rituals. Were Buddhism's rituals performed by a certain social class, or for a particular political end? Also what else was happening in the culture at the ...
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2answers
166 views

Did the Buddha work with teachers from other spiritual traditions?

Within the Pali canon the Buddha often vigorously debates with Brahmin priests. However in the Buddha's time there were a lot of other spiritual traditions too. Did the Buddha have more cordial ...
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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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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 ...
5
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7answers
790 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)?
7
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2answers
688 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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2answers
76 views

Did nuns participate in the councils?

Are there any records of this? Though I'm more curious about the first council, I'm generally curious about their participation in any of them.
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1answer
103 views

What is/was the role of agamas in Chinese and Japanese history?

Recently I read/heard someone saying that the agamas are/were dismissed and downplayed in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism throughout history. I understand that Mahayana texts received much attention in ...
5
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1answer
677 views

Do we know in what posture the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree?

I was reading yesterday this blog by a Zen nun and in this post she casually says in the third to last paragraph that we don't know in what posture the Buddha did sit under the Bodhi tree. I found ...
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2answers
169 views

What exactly were the parks that the Buddha spent time in?

Whe I read the Pali Canon the BUddha seems to spend a lot of his time in parks in various locations. Often in the suttas these 'parks' are mentioned in the introduction to the text. For instance the ...
3
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1answer
178 views

What are the famous debates in canonical Buddhist texts?

Debate plays an important part of Buddhism. What are famous debate encounters by the Buddha and also by other Buddhist masters like Dharmakīrti, especially with Hindus(exponents of Brahmavāda-Ātmavāda)...
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1answer
130 views

Lay meditation in Korean Zen

Have there been reform movements in 20th century Korean Buddhism that put more emphasis on meditation practice than traditional Korean Buddhism did, and that, in particular, also encouraged meditation ...
6
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1answer
761 views

Does Kwan Yin hold a place in Theravada Buddhism?

Kwan Yin (a.k.a. Guanyin, Avalokiteśvara) is an important figure in Mahayana Buddhism. But I recently noticed a statue of Kwan Yin on the grounds of a local Theravada monastery. I looked up Kwan Yin ...
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3answers
283 views

Was meditation not practiced for most of the history of Buddhism?

In a recent Buddhist Geeks podcast the presenter Bodhipaksa stated that by the time the Buddhagosa wrote the commentary Visuddhimagga in the 5th Century CE, meditation had been largely abandoned. He ...
3
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1answer
114 views

Was Buddhism the dominant religion of India for one thousand years?

I read in a book by Amartya Sen 'The Argumentative Indian', (link) that Buddhism was the dominant religion of India for about a 1000 years, and that foreigners referred to India as a Buddhist kingdom. ...