Questions tagged [history]

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

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1answer
74 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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1answer
137 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 ...
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1answer
256 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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3answers
253 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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1answer
138 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 ...
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5answers
727 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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4answers
85 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
166 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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2answers
611 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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2answers
72 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
44 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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1answer
126 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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3answers
311 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
170 views

How did Buddhism and Hinduism differ in their approaches to sex work

I'm writing a paper on religion and the different attitudes and approaches to prostitution and I can't quite find anything that indicates the major differences in how Buddhism and Hinduism regards sex ...
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2answers
94 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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2answers
139 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
180 views

When were Buddhist suttas written?

When were Buddhist suttas written? Does anybody know any source with a compiled list of suttas and their approximate date of writing?
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1answer
165 views

Historical writings on the importance and efficacy of burning joss paper?

I was walking through a Taipei grocery/department store a few years ago and saw shelves with packs of "paper money" or joss paper to be used for burning. For the bank-note varieties were three choices;...
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1answer
478 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
359 views

How many Tibetan monks practiced meditation in “old Tibet”?

One aspect of the notion of "Buddhist Modernism" is that in modern history (ancient times aside) even the Theravada monkhood, let alone the laity, did not generally meditate, until the Burmese/Thai ...
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2answers
378 views

Understanding beginningless

I often see the word beginning-less in Buddhist readings and on this site but how do I try to understand this concept being the ignorant human being I am? Is it just a metaphorical way to describe a ...
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1answer
108 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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2answers
296 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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6answers
1k 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 ...
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6answers
448 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
270 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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7answers
237 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
1k 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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5answers
508 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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5answers
238 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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3answers
907 views

How does Buddhism see Required Military Service?

I live in the United States, where although unlikely, a draft could happen. There are also many other countries that require military service in some capacity. I know Buddhism generally opposes ...
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1answer
163 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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6answers
340 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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2answers
118 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
60 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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3answers
475 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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2answers
189 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
161 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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1answer
117 views

Dharmaskandha and Śāripūtrābhidharma Satipatthana contains a section of shortcomings. What are the shortcomings?

According to Satipatthana Mula (By Sujato Bhikkhu edited by Piya Tan) Dharmaskandha and Śāripūtrābhidharma versions of the Satipatthana contains a section of shortcomings. What are the shortcomings ...
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1answer
486 views

Can Pranayama Be Derived from Anapana?

Pranayama seam to have some similarities with Anapana. What is the relationship between the two. Was this derived from Anapana? What is it's historic development?
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1answer
46 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
263 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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2answers
383 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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2answers
117 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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1answer
72 views

What does Śāripūtrābhidharma Satipatthana sources mention about food? Does other Theravada source have such references?

According to Satipatthana Mula (By Sujato Bhikkhu edited by Piya Tan) Śāripūtrābhidharma versions of the Satipatthana contains a reference to food. What exactly does it say about food and does ...
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1answer
163 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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1answer
145 views

What is the relationship between dana and tax?

Is dana (or has it ever been) considered taxable in some countries?
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4answers
161 views

How should Buddhism be introduced to a country?

What has historical precedent to teach and what is your opinion?
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2answers
358 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
171 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 ...