Buddhism

The Buddha:
· The Buddha also known as Sakyamuni or Tathagata.
· Born in 563 BC on the Vaishakha Poornima Day at Lumbini (near Kapilavastu) in Nepal.
· His father Suddhodana was the Saka ruler.
· His mother (Mahamaya, of Kosala dynastry) died after 7 days of his birth. Brought up by stepmother Gautami.
· Married at 16 to Yoshodhara. Enjoyed the married life for 13years and had a son named Rahula.
· After seeing an old man, a sick man, a corpse and an ascetic, he decided to become a wanderer.
· Left his palace at 29 in search of truth (also called ‘Mahabhinishkramana’ or The Great Renunication) and wandered for 6 years.
· Attained ‘Enlightenment’ at 35 at Gaya in Magadha (Bihar) under the Pipal tree.
· Delivered the first sermon at Sarnath where his five disciples had settled. His first sermon is called ‘Dharmachakrapracartan’ or ‘Turning of the Wheel of Law’.
· Attained Mahaparinirvana at Kushinagar (identical with village Kasia in Deoria district of UP) in 483 BC at the age of 80 in the Malla republic.

Buddhist Councils:
· First Council: At Rajgriha, in 483 BC under the Chairmanship of Mehakassaapa (king was Ajatshatru). Divided the teachings of Buddha into two Pitakas-Vinaya Pitaka and Sutta Pitaka.
· Second Council: At Vaishali, in 383 BC under Sabakami (King was Kalasoka).Followers divided into Sthavirmadins and Mahasanghikas.
· Third Council: At Pataliputra, in 250 BC under Mogaliputta Tissa (King was Ashoka) In this, the third part of the Tripitaka was coded in the Pali language.
· Fourth council: At Kashmir (Kundalvan), in 72 AD under Vasumitra (King was Kanishka, Vice-Chairman was Ashwaghosha). Divided Buddhism into Mahayana and Hinayana sects.

Buddist Literature: In Pali language.
Vinaya Pitaka: Rules of discipline in the Buddhist monasteries.
Sutta Pitaka: Largest, contains collection of Buddha’s sermons.
Abhidhamma Pitaka: Explanation of the philosophical principles of the Buddhist religion

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