Buddhism was atheistic in nature and accompanied by cosmic rise and fall. It never questioned on the existence of God but they believe that there is nothing like supernatural of different form man except in their greater happiness and power.
Here, we are sharing summary of Buddhism that will help the aspirant to learn- what is Buddhism, teaching of Buddha, how it spread and its contribution on the Indian culture.
1. He was born in Lumbi near Kavilvastu which is now in Nepal.
2. He belongs to the Sakya clan. Suddodhana was his father and Mayadevi was mother.
3. Prajapati Gautami was his foster mother who brought him up after his mother’s death.
4. He married to Yasodhara at the age of 16. Rahul was his son.
5. Three incidents compelled him away from worldly life. I.e. an Old Man; a Diseased Man; a Corpse; and an Ascetic.
6. He left home in search of ‘Truth’ at the age of twenty nine but his seven years of wandering hadn’t given fruitful result.
7. At the age of 35, he got enlightenment under a ‘Bodhi Tree’ after intense penance which called ‘Nirvana’.
8. He delivered his first sermon at Sarnath.
9. He died at Kushinagar when he was at the age of eighty.
10. Sariputta, Moggallanna, Ananda, Kassapa and Upali was the disciples of Buddha.
11. Prasenjit of Kosala, Bimbisara & Ajatasatru of Magadha accepted the Jainism.
Teaching of Buddha
Buddhism was essentially a congregational religion and the reason for human misery is ignorance- a sort of cosmic ignorance which leads to the delusion of selfhood.
1. Four Noble Truths of Buddha: World is full of suffering; desire causes suffering; desire get ride, suffering will removed; Eightfold path will help to win over desire.
2. Eightfold Path consists of right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
3. Condition of Human in their life depends upon their own deeds. Hence, he advocates law of Karma.
4. He laid great emphasis on the code of practical ethics and the principle of social equality.
Spread of Buddhism
1. Monks (Bhikshus) and Lay worshipers (Upasikas) were two types of disciples of Buddha.
2. Sariputta, Moggallana and Ananda was important monks of Buddhism.
3. Mauryan Emperor Asoka embraced Buddhism after the death of Buddha.
1. First Buddhist Council held at Rajagir immediately after the death of Buddha presided by Mahakasapa for the purpose to maintain the purity of the teaching of Buddha.
2. Second Buddhist Council was held at Vaisali.
3. Third Council was held at Patliputra under the patronage of Asoka and presided by Moggaliputta Tissa. The final version of Tripitakas was completed in this council.
4. Fourth Council was held at Kashmir by Kanishka under the Chairmanship of Vasumitra. Mahayana Buddhism came into existence in this council.
Reason for the decline of Buddhism
1. Revival of Brahmanism and rise of Bhagavatism led to the decline of popularity.
2. Birth of Mahayana started idol worship which was not propagated by Buddha that deteriorated the moral standards of the Buddhism.
3. Invasions of Huns (5th & 6th century) and Turkish (12th century) resultant the mass destructions of monasteries.
Contribution of Buddhism to Indian Culture
1. The concept of Ahimsa which became one of the cherished values of our nation.
2. Architectural concept of stupas, monastaries, chaitayas and viharas was notable. For example- Stupas of Sanchi, Bharhut and Gaya.
3. Promoted education through residential universities like Nalanda, Taxila and Vikramshila.
4. Development of languages like Pali and Prakrit