Buddhism in India

Buddhism came up in later Vedic age (around 5 circa B.C.) with simplified way of life. It is originated from the Indian Subcontinent and has now spread to large parts of Southeast Asia. It is the world's Fourth largest religion after Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. 

Founder : Siddhartha, who came to know as Gautam Buddha.


Buddha's Life (563 BC to 483 BC) :

• He was born in circa 563 BCE.
• Belong to Sakya Kingdom (Kshatriya Clan).
• Father : King Suddhodana
• Mother : Queen Maya
• Wife : Yashodhara
• Son : Rahul
• Birth Place : Lumbini, Nepal
• Great Renunciation : at the age of 29
• Enlightenment : Under Pipal Tree at Uruvella (Bodhgaya) on banks of river Niranjana (Falgu).
• First Sermon : at Sarnath 
• Death : at Kushinagar at age of 80.

Three Jewels of Buddhism (TRIRATNA) :
I. Buddha
II. Dhamma
III. Sangha

Symbolic Events of Buddha's Life :

Great Events of Budhha's LifeSymbolsPlace
🔸Jati (Birth)Lotus & Bull Lumbini, Nepal
🔸Mahabhinishkramana (Great Renunciation)Horse ___
🔸Nirvana/Sambodhi (Enlightenment)Bodhi TreeBodhgaya, Bihar
🔸Dharmachakra Parivarthana (First Sermon)WheelSarnath, UP
🔸Mahaparinirvana (Death)StupaKushinagar, UP
🔸Avakranti (Conception or Descent)White Elephant____

Causes of Origin :

• Due to increasing complexity of life in that period.
• Complex Vedic rituals, Superstitious beliefs, mantras confused people.
• The teaching of Upanishads were difficult to understood by common people.
• The prevalent of rigid caste-system in India generated tensions in society.
• Supremacy of Brahmina caused unrest in society.
• Practice of killing cows became hindrance to new agri economy.
• Teaching in Sanskrit language.

Concepts and Philosophy of Buddhism :

🔶 Four Noble Truth :

1. World is full of Misery  (Sabbam Dukkam)
2. Desire is a root cause of Sorrow (Pratitya Samputpada)
3. Desire can be conquered (DukhaNirodha)
4. Desire can be conquered by following Astangika Marg

🔶 Noble Eightfold Path (ASTANGIKA MARG) :

1. Right Thought
2. Right Speech
3. Right Action
4. Right Livelihood
5. Right Effort
6. Right Mindfulness
7. Right Meditation
8. Right Understanding

According to Buddha, the Middle Path (Madhyam Marg) or Path of Golden Mean describe the character of the Noble Eightfold Path that leads to liberation.

🔶 Five Teachings of Buddha (PANCHSHILA) :

1. No killing respect for Life (No Violence)
2. Abstention from theft (No Stealing)
3. Abstention from Sexual misconduct (No Sexual Misconduct)
4. Abstention from falsehood (No Lying)
5. Abstention from intoxication (No Intoxication)

Note : Buddhism rejects the authenticity of Vedas. It also rejects the concept of existence of Soul (Atman) unlike Jainism.

🔶 Three Pitakas (TRIPITAKA) :

1. Vinaya Pitaka : It consists of rules and regulations to the monastic life of the monks and nuns.

2. Sutta Pitaka : It consists of the main teaching or Dhamma of Buddha.

3. Abhidamma Pitaka : It is a philosophical analysis and systematisation of the teaching and the scholarly activity of the monks.

All of these (three Pitakas) have been written in Pali Languages.

Also Read : Jainism in India

Four Buddhist Councils : 

*Table can visible on Desktop Version...
CouncilPlaceChairmanPatron King Outcome
Around 483 BC
Sattpani cave at Rajgir Mahakashyapa Ajatasatru• Compilation of Sutta Pitaka and Vinay Pitaka by Ananda and Upali.
383 BC
At Vaishali SabbakamiKalashoka• Mainly due to the 10 disputed points under Vinay Pitaka
250 BC
At PatliputraMoggaliputta Tissa Ashoka• Compilation of Abhidamma Pitaka took place.
72 AD
At Kundavalana, KashmirVasumitra Kanishka• The division of Buddhism into Hinyana & Mahayana.
• Asvaghosha (the deputy of Vasumitra) participated in this Council.

Schools of Buddhism :

The Schools are Mahayana, Hinyana, Theravada, Vajrayana & Zen.

Mahayana & Hinyana are major schools of Buddhism.

🔺 Hinyana Buddhism : 

• Hinyana means the lesser vehicle.
• The followers of the original teaching of the Buddha. 
• It is an orthodox school.
• Buddha was an intellectual, not a god.
• The followers did not believe in idol and image worship of Buddha.
• The ultimate under Hinayana is "NIRVANA" (State of Supreme Bliss).
• Language - Pali language.
• Emperor Ashoka patronised Hinyana sect.
• Presently, Original form of Hinayana school almost not exist.

🔺 Mahayana Buddhism :

• Mahayana means the Greater Vehicle.
• The school is more liberal believes in the heavenliness of Buddha.
• The ultimate goal under Mahayana is "Spiritual Upliftment".
• The Mahayana followers believe in idol or image worship of Buddha.
• The concept of Bodhisattva is the result of Mahayana Buddhism.
• The followers believe in universal liberation from suffering of all being.
• The Mahayana scholars predominantly used Sanskrit as a language.
• Emperor Kanishka of Kushan dynasty is said to be the founder of Mahayana.
• Presently, Majority of the Buddhist followers in the world belong to Mahayana.
• Followers Countries - India, Nepal, Bangladesh,China, Bhutan, Tibet, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia, etc.

UNESCO's Heritage Sites in India related to Buddhism :

1. Archeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar.
2. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Body Gaya, Bihar
3. Buddhist Monuments at Sancho, MP
4. Ajanta Caves Aurangabad, Maharashtra


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