Buddhism Anthony Doud, Hanson Yu, Henry Leung
Buddhist Practices Dalai Lama and student Monks performing daily routines Buddhist prayer Buddhist monk meditating
Buddhism in India Dalai Lama teaching in India The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama Statue of Indian Buddhism Statue representation of the Buddha
Buddhism in Tibet Tibetan monastery King Langdarma, remembered for attempting to replace Buddhism with Bon religion Young Buddhist monks in Tibet Religious tradition in Tibet
Buddhism in Southeast Asia Pagoda from Laos in Southeast Asia Art of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia Buddhist statue in Indonesia Buddhism poster informing about Malay Buddhism
Buddhism in East Asia Buddhist statue in China Buddhist pagoda tower in Japan Nichiren, important Buddhist sage in Japan Daruma, “father” of Zen Buddhism in China
Regional Impact- East Asia Political- Buddhism was rejected by Emperor Whuzong in 485 CE. Buddhist monks were seen as tax-evaders and were not held in high regard during the Tang Dynasty of China. The monks were ranked lower than commoners because Whuzong thought the religion as alien. Thus, they had no political power in China. Intellectual Innovations– The Chinese had to constantly translate Buddhist texts from India. Eventually became more proficient at converting Sanskrit to Chinese and developed translation centers. Buddhism in East Asia brought about philosophical teachings and encouraged the acquisition of knowledge through preachings of discipline, patience, and non-violence. Religion- Both Korean and Japanese Buddhism saw rise of schools that had different branches of Buddhism. Buddhism became a top religion in the Far East and became commonly practiced. Buddhism was practiced in accordance to Confucianism because they shared common beliefs, however faced a great deal of opposition in China due to its origins. Arts & Architecture– The Tang Dynasty created the Leshan Stone Buddha, the largest stone Buddha in the world, being inspired by Buddhism. Buddhism brought rise to the pagoda from India, a tall multi-story religious monument in East Asia with similar functions as those back in India. These pagodas were built in the 3rd Century BC. Technology- Buddhism promoted the development of printing technologies, as Buddhist texts were often in high demand. Korea was able to develop an alternate method of printing, called move-able type print, due to the high demand and low number of woodblocks. Buddhism furthered Korea’s printing innovations and eventually allowed them to print their own books and manuals in the 10th Century. Economy- Buddhist texts were demanded from India, thus materials from China such as silk were traded for the texts. Social- Women were given some form of equality through Buddhism, as they were allowed to become monks and equals to men.
Regional Impact-India Political- King Ashoka was an advocate of Buddhism and took it as his own faith. Thus, Buddhism impacted India politically because it influenced the King’s decisions. King Ashoka sent ambassadors across the world to spread Buddhism, using ambassadors to start religious movements. Intellectual Innovation– Buddhism helped develop the earliest form of psychology in India, through vigorous study of the mind. Buddhism also contributed to the spread of philosophies in India. Religion- Buddhism originated in India during the 563 to 483 BCE era. It dominated and spread, eventually becoming the main religion. Impacted India’s religion through heavy influence on other religions in the 13th Century. Hinduism was influenced through their adopted practices, like meditation. Buddhism contributed a standard layout for Viharas, or temples. Arts & Architecture- In the 3rd Century B.C., Buddhist Viharas were rock-cut, meaning cave excavated. This demonstrated a high level of prowess from Buddhist inspiration because extreme care was taken to avoid collapse of the caves. Giant statues of past Buddhas were also prominent, showing Buddhism influenced Indian Art. Technology- Sanskrit was used to write Buddhist Literature in India. Economy- India’s economy was buffered in the 9th century when China needed more Buddhist texts and began to trade for them. Social- The caste system in India was weakened by Buddhism because it promoted equality in society, especially between men and women.
Regional Impact- Tibet Political- Dalai Lama is the leader of Tibet, also a reincarnate of high priest. The upper class consists of a Buddhist council, that helps govern Tibet. Intellectual Innovation- Tibetan Buddhism used debate and meditation to enhance and acquire knowledge. Also practiced were understandings of reality. Tenet System was used to teach philosophies. Was also the college the Four Schools of Tibet because it taught the most complex philosophies. Religion- Buddhism replaced the ancient religion of Bon in 550 CE, and forever influenced the Tibetan religion because the country became infused. Arts & Architecture– Tibetan Art is sacred due to Buddhist influence. Statues of Buddhist deities are constructed to counteract negative emotions, showing a strong influence of Buddhism. Tibetan Architecture is also strongly influenced by Buddhism, shown by the Buddhist Wheels that line every building. Technology- Tibetans use Buddhist influenced prayer wheels called Mani. These Mani are giant wheels often inscribed with spiritual blessings and prayers. They are spun clockwise, in accordance to the sun and so that the blessings may be read. Economy- Tibet’s economy is build partly on tourism; tourists come to see the Buddhist temples as an attraction. Social- Upper class consisted of a council which ruled with the Dalai Lama. Lower class mainly consisted of followers of Buddhism.
Regional Impact- Southeast Asia Political- The Kings in many of the regions were deemed protectors of the Buddhist religion. In Thailand, a government group called a sangha maintains order within the Buddhist temples. Intellectual Innovation– Sri Lankan influence of Buddhism in Thailand changed the language in which the texts were written in. Religion- The main form of Buddhism in Southeast Asia is Theravadin. Theravadin Buddhism is fairly prevalent in the region, as 95% of the population follows this Buddhism. Arts & Architecutre– Thailand is known for its Buddhist temples, or Stupas. These were usually tall and golden, and dominated Thai architecture. Technology- Buddhism did not influence Southeast Asian technology. Economy- Buddhist texts were frequently exported as part of Southeast Asia’s economy. Social- In Vietnam, Buddhism intermingled with society as it was very similar to Taoism, Vietnamese Religion, and Chinese spirituality. Thai Society has a sangha, a government run ministry that watches over Buddhist temples and monks.
Chronology 566-486 BCE- Life of Siddhartha Guatama, the historical Buddha. 486 BCE- The first Buddhist Council assembles at Rajagaha. Here, the Buddhist Canon, a sacred Buddhist text, is established. 350 BCE- The second Buddhist Council assembles at Versali. 272-231 BCE- The reign of Indian emperor Asoka who establishes the Buddha’s Dharma on a national level for the first time. 250 BCE- Third Buddhist Council assembles, which results in the Great Schism (the Mahasanghika school parts ways with the Theravadins) 247 BCE- Mahinda, Asoka’s son, introduces Buddhism to Sri Lanka. 100 BCE- Theravada Buddhist Canon is completed in Sri Lanka. 300 CE- Expansion of Buddhism to Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia. 300 CE- Yogacara (meditation) school is founded. 300-400 CE- Asanga and his brother Vasubandhu spread and teach the Yogacara school of Buddhism. 350-650 CE- The Gupta Dynasty controls India; Buddhist art and philosophy flourish. 372 CE- Buddhism enters Korea. 520 CE- Budhidharma, the founder of Zen, arrives in China. 526 CE- Viniaya school of Buddhism is established in Korea. 527 CE- Korea officially accepts Buddhism.
Chronolgy Cont. 538 CE- Buddhism enters Japan. 589-617 CE- Sui Dynasty rules in China, and so begins the Golden Age of Chinese Buddhism. 650 CE- Buddhism is established in Tibet. 792-794 CE- The Great Samye Debate decides that Mahayana Buddhism should be practiced in Tibet. 836 CE- King Langdharma persecutes Buddhists of Tibet. 845 CE- Emperor of China suppresses Buddhism. 1000 CE- Decline of Mahayana Buddhism begins. 1231-1259 CE- Mongols invade Korea and destroy Buddhist scriptures. 1253 CE- Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongols, accepts Tibetan Buddhism. 1360 CE- Theravada Buddhism is established as the state religion of Thailand. 1400 CE- Theravada Buddhism practiced in Cambodia. 1578 CE- Sonam Gyatso is named the first Dalai Lama by Altan Khan, leader of the Mongols. Dalai Lama lineage begins. 1617-1682 CE- Beginning of rule of Tibet by Dalai Lamas 1700 CE- After regaining independence, Korean Buddhism revives.
Change Over Time Buddhism began with the nirvana of Siddhartha Guatama (the Buddha). Within a mere 250 years, the religion experiences a Great Schism, and is split into two sects (Mahayana and Theravada). The religion originated in India, and by 650 CE, the religion spreads to Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Korea, and Japan From 800 CE to 1000 CE, the leaders of China and Tibet persecute the Buddhists of their state. This leads to an overall decline of Mahayana Buddhism. In 1360 CE, Theravadan Buddhism, (Tibetan Buddhism) is established as another major sect of Buddhism. Buddhism now has 3 major sects (Mahayana, Theravada, and Tibetan Buddhism) From 1360-1500 CE, Theravadan Buddhism spreads throughout South Asia. In 1578 CE, Sonam Gyatso is named the first Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama soon becomes the political and religious leader of Tibet, and the Dalai Lama becomes a leader of all Buddhist sects. By 1800 CE, Theravadan Buddhism is practiced mostly in south Asia (Tibet, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos), and Mahayana Buddhism is practiced mostly in east Asian countries (China, Korea, Japan)
Comparisons In Tibet, the Dalai Lama is the prominent leader, but in regions in East Asiathe government still has more say on religion. In Southeast Asia, the most prominent type of Buddhism is Theravada Buddhism, while East Asia is Mahayana Buddhism. Vajrayana Buddhism is mostly found in Japan, Tibet, Nepal, and Mongolia. East Asia and India had similar Buddhist monasteries called Pagodas. Like Tibet’s Buddhist leadership, Southeast Asian countries have sangha in their government groups that maintain order within the Buddhist temples. Buddhism in East Asia and India both influenced the writing technologies of these regions. In East Asia, printing was made important due to the popularity of Buddhist scripts. In India, Sanskrit became more widely used due to the number of Buddhist scripts. In the regions of India, East Asia, and Tibet, Buddhism played major role in the intellectual innovations. It sparked interest in psychology and raised questions about reality in all of these regions. Meditations and yoga became more popular as Buddhist teachings spread and people became more interested in psychology. In East Asia, Buddhism was mixed with Confucianism, Taoism, and Shinto traditions as opposed to the major branches of Buddhism found in other places. In Tibet, East Asia, and Southeast Asia, Buddhism as become one of the most prominent religions. In all of these regions, Buddhism was more popular with the lower class because it gave them hope and a feeling of spiritual relief. In East Asia and India, women’s rights were increased from the spread of Buddhism. In China, women gained the opportunity to become monks and therefore becoming equals with men. In India, the caste system was weakened and equality between men and women was promoted. Buddhism is still the main religion in Tibet, but it has slowly been replaced by Hinduism in India. In the regions of India, Tibet, and Southeast Asia, Buddhism was a huge benefit to the economy. In India, China began trading Buddhist texts with India, strengthening trade relations and helping India’s economy for the future. In Tibet, a major economic resource is tourism, and most of the tourists go to Tibet to see the Buddhist traditions and buildings. In Southeast Asia, Buddhist texts were constantly traded as part of the economy. Unlike the other regions, Buddhism in India is infused with Hinduism. In Japan, the Buddhist monks are allowed to marry, which was a major difference unique from all of the other regions.
Role the Religion Plays Today Buddhism is slowly gaining followers everywhere around the world today. Buddhism has followers that range from 200-350 million people, making it the 4th largest religion. In South Asia, Theravada Buddhism is the most practiced, encompassing roughly 120 million people. However, in East Asian countries, such as China, Japan, and Korea, 180 million people practice Mahayana Buddhism and use Chinese texts, as opposed to Sanskrit. Currently, Buddhism has seen a growing number of adherents in the Western world. Buddhist texts have grown popular worldwide and thus are being translated into different languages.