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Buddhism Facts:

Early life of Buddha:

Original Name Siddhartha

Birth place Lumbinivana

Period 563 BC

Father Suddhodana : Chief of Sakya clan > Capital Kapilavasthu

Mother Maya died 7 days after his birth

Mothers Sister > Mahaprajapati Gotami Step Mother

Wife Yasodhara

Son Rahul

Age of 29 wandering ascetic in search

of truth, left family and kingdom

Great Renunciation or ahabhinishkraman

Idea of renunciation Seeing 4 persons in 4 different

stages old man, very sick man, corpse , ascetic

6 continuous years homeless ascetic

Reached Gaya Enlightenment under pipal tree

Became Buddha at Gaya Bodh Gaya >> Sambodhi,

tree bodhi tree

Mara king of spirits and demons disturbed in


Sujata farmers daughter > rice milk at Bodh Gaya

Deer park at Sarnath 1st sermon Dharmachakra


Preached his gospel to princes and peasants

Period of 45 yrs toured Eastern India

Before death @ Pavapuri Chanda bad mushrooms & pork

Age of 80 Mahaparinirvana @ Kushinagara sal tree 483


The Last teaching heard by

Subhadra and Ananda

Teachings of Buddha:

Earliest source Sutta Pitaka in Pali

Acc. to Buddhism existence of a being is like a wheel of causes and effects

Ignorance gives rise to desire; desire to karma; and karma leads to the impulse to be
born again and again to satisfy desire which is the source of suffering

If suffering is to be destroyed : Primary cause ignorance must be destroyed

Can be achieved by the realization that the world is impermanent

Three Jewels of Buddhism Tri Ratnas

4 Noble Truths of Buddhism (Atya satyas)

Ashtanga Marga (8 Fold path) of Buddhism:

Famous Monks at the time of Buddha:

Ananda constant companion of Buddha and most devoted disciple

Anurddha master of right mindfulness

Mahakassapa president of Buddhist council held at Rajagriha

Moggallana he had greatest super natural powers

Sariputta possessed the profound insight into the dhamma

Upali master of Vinaya

Famous Buddhist Scholars:

Ashvagosha contemporary of Kanishka, poet, dramatist, musician

Nagarjuna friend and contemporary of Satavahana kings

Assanga and Vasubandhu > Abhidaramakosa encyclopedia of Buddhism brothers

Buddhagosha pali scholar Visuddhimaga > post- tripitaka literature

Dinnaga founder of Buddhist logicDharmakirti philosophical thinker and


Division in Buddhism Mahayana and Hinayana

Dissensions in Buddhism:

Key Points of
Hinayana Buddhism:

Oldest school Sthaviravada (Theravada in Pali)

Sanskrit sarvastivada or doctrine which maintains the existence of all things ,

physical as well as mental

From sarvastivada or vaibhasika branched off another school Sautantrika >> more
critical in outlook

Pali language of masses used by Hinayana Buddhists

Ashoka patronised Hinayanism

Mahayana Buddhism or Greater Vehicle:

Heavenliness of Buddha

Salvation of all through the grace and help of Buddha and Bodhisattvas

Idol worship

Nirvana is not a negative cessation of misery but a positive state of bliss

Key Points of Mahayana Buddhism:

Chief philosophical schools Madhyamika, Yogachara

Madhyamika Nagarjuna >> midway between uncompromising realism of

Hinayanism and idealism of Yogacharya

Yogacharya Maitreyanatha >> rejected the realism of Hinayanism and maintained

absolute idealism

Sanskrit was used by Mahayana Buddhists

Kanishka patronised Mahayanism later Harsha supported it

Vajrayana Buddhism or Vehicle of Thunder Bolt:

5 Great Events and their Symbols:

History of the Sangha:

First Council Rajagriha >> teachings collected, classified, adjusted as authoritative

canonicaltexts : 2 pitakas Vinaya and Sutta by Upali
Ruler Ajathasatru Presided by Mahakassapa
Purpose Maintain purity of buddha teachings
Second Council Vaishali R Kalasoka P- sabakami difference of opinion among monks
@ vaisali, 100 yrs after Mahaparinirvana >> schism in sangha
sthavaravadins or theravadins andmahasanghikas
Purpose End the controversy between monks and their opponents
Third council Ashoka > 256 yrs after parinirvana Pataliputra Chaimanship of
Moggaliputta Tissa >> classifies buddhist texts and added Abhidhamma pitaka
establishment ofsthaviravadins final compilation of Tripitakas sending missionaries to
diff parts of world :Purpose settle the dispute arising out of the rival claim of authority
Fourth council Kanishka at Kundalavan in Kashmir > presided by vasumithra, assisted
by Ashvagosha composition of 3 large commentaries > vibhashas division of Mahayana
and Hinayana codification of sarvastivadin doctrines as Mahavibhasa conduct of
deliberation ofsanskrit instead of pali spread of buddhism to other parts of world
Causes for the spread of Buddhism:

Causes for the downfall of Buddhism:

Buddhism stands on 3 Pillars: The Buddha (Founder), The Dhamma (His Teachings)and
The Sangha (Order of Buddhist monks and nuns)