Who started the religion of Buddhism?
Here is a write up on the history of Buddhism. Read on to find more on Buddhism religion history and origin.History of Buddhism
The history of Buddhism religion dates back to the year 580 BC, which started with the birth of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. Born in the Lumbini, Southern Nepal, Siddhartha left his home at a young age of 29 years, in search of enlightenment. After going through a life of self-denial, discipline and meditation, he attained enlightenment, which resulted in the alleviation of all his pain and suffering. He then set on a journey of teaching people the path to enlightenment that would liberate them from the cycle of life and death.
Gradually, Buddhism spread to numerous countries of the world, which resulted in development of the religion. The original Indian foundation was expanded by the inclusion of Hellenistic as well as Central Asian, East Asian, and Southeast Asian cultural elements. The history of Buddhism also witnessed the development of numerous movements and divisions, such as Theravada, Mahayana, etc.
The First Council
The first council of Buddhism Sangha was organized a few months after Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. It was held in Rajagaha, with the aim of developing an agreement on his teachings. However, the teachings of Buddha were not written down even then.
The Second Council
The second council took place around 100 years after the Mahaparinirvana of Lord Buddha. The aim of the council, held at Vesali, was to settle a conflict over the nature of the arahant (or Buddhist saint) and monastic discipline, which had arisen between Mahasanghika majority (Great Assembly) of eastern India and Sthavira minority (the Elders) of the west.
The Era of Asoka the Great
Asoka, the first Buddhist Emperor, was the ruler of the Magadhan empire. Initially a ruler obsessed with the aim of expanding his empire, he changed after witnessing the brutal carnage at the battle of Kalinga. This event led him towards Buddhism and he built his empire into a Buddhist state, a first of its kind. He laid the foundation of numerous stupas and spread the teachings of Lord Buddha throughout the world.
The Third Council
The third council of Buddhism Sangha was held under Emperor Asoka, in Pataliputra. The reason for the council was deterioration in the standards of the monks. The consequence of the council was exclusion of numerous bogus monks from the Sangha.
Spread of Buddhism in Sri Lanka
Emperor Asoka sent his son, Mahindra, to Sri Lanka to spread Buddhism in the state. He succeeded in converting the King of Sri Lanka to Buddhism and soon, Buddhism became the state religion of the country.
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