The Second Buddhist Council



star and crescent in Islam
Lotus Flower

See more Symbols of Buddhism

As so often happens, along with the increasing numbers of Buddhism came increasing disagreements. Within 100 years of the Buddha's death, significant disputes arose, primarily in the areas of monastic discipline. To deal with these disputes, a Second Council was convened.

Although it is unclear exactly what happened at this council, we do know that it resulted in a split in the Buddhist community. A large group of monks were either expelled or left by choice because they did not agree with the other group's interpretations of the Buddha's teachings.

The group who stayed called themselves the Elders (Thera in Pali). They felt they were in keeping with the original spirit of the Buddha's teachings. The other group, the Great Community (Mahasanghika in Sanskrit), interpreted Buddha's teachings more liberally, but in a way that they felt was more true to his intentions. These two groups would eventually evolve into Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.

Within 200 years of the Buddha's death, there were 18 schools of Buddhism in India. This is perhaps not surprising, given that the Buddha taught in a slightly different way for each situation, was averse to setting down doctrine and never wrote anything himself. Moreover, Buddhism had now spread to places with different languages and customs, and therefore different perspectives on the dharma.


Recommended for You


More on Buddhism


More Religious Beliefs


World Religions - Main pages


Buddhist fast facts

Buddhist history

Buddhist holidays

Buddhist practices

Buddhist sects

Buddhist symbols

Buddhist texts

 



Bahai beliefs

Christian beliefs

Hindu beliefs

Islamic beliefs

Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs

Jewish beliefs

Mormon beliefs

Taoism beliefs



Bahai

Christianity

Confucianism

Hinduism

Islam

Jehovah's Witnesses

Judaism

Mormonism



Sources
  1. John Bowker, ed., The Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions (Cambridge UP, 2002), p. 80.
  2. "Buddhism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service, 2004. <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9105944>


© 2004-2015 ReligionFacts. All rights reserved. | About Us | How to Cite | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Advertising Info
Site created with Dreamweaver. Web hosting by Blue Host. Menu powered by Milonic.
Religions: Religion Comparison Chart | Bahá'í | Buddhism | Chinese Religion | Christianity | Confucianism | Hinduism | Islam | Jehovah's Witnesses | Judaism | Mormonism | Rastafarianism | Scientology | Shinto | Taoism
Features: Big Religion Chart | Religions A-Z | Religious Symbols Gallery
ReligionFacts provides free, objective information on religion, world religions, comparative religion and religious topics.