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Buddhist Timeline

The history of Buddhism at a glance.

c. 485 BCE

Birth of the Buddha

c. 450 BCE

The Buddha's enlightenment and first sermon

c. 405 BCE

Death of the Buddha

c. 400 BCE

First Buddhist Council

c. 400 BCE

Monks spread Buddhism in northern India

c. 350 BCE

Second Buddhist Council

322 BCE

Buddhist empire under Chandragupta Maurya

c. 300 BCE

Notable Buddhist community founded at Nagpur

c. 300 BCE

Buddhism arrives in SE Asia

c. 263 BCE

Emperor Asoka converts to Buddhism

c. 260 BCE

Asoka declares Buddhism the official religion of the Mauryan Empire

250 BCE

Third Buddhist Council overseen by Asoka; Great Schism; Theravada Buddhism defined

247 BCE

Emperor Asoka's son Mahinda converts king of Sri Lanka to Buddhism

c. 220 BCE

Lo Yang monastery becomes Buddhist center

c. 200 BCE

Buddhist cave dwellings built at Bhaja

189 BCE

Chinese refugees bring Buddhism to Vietnam

c. 185 BCE

Beginning of Sunga Empire; Buddhism suppressed

c. 100 BCE

Fourth Buddhist Council; compiliation of Mahavibhasa

25 BCE

Buddhist scriptures first written down

17 BCE

Schism among Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka

17 BCE

Tripitaka (Theravada Buddhist Canon) completed in Sri Lanka

-1th

Indian Buddhists settle in Southeast Asia

68

Buddhist White Horse Temple constructed

78

Emperor Ming sends Buddhist monks to India to acquire scriptures

c. 90

Buddhist statues created in Gandhara

c. 100

Mahayana Buddhism develops in southern India

c. 100

Theravada Buddhism has been established in sourthern Burma

c. 127

Kanishka, a Buddhist, becomes king of the Kushans who control the Silk Road

c. 147

An Shigo translates Buddhist texts from Sanskrit to Chinese

c. 260

Chinese Buddhists begin making pilgrimages to sites associated with the Buddha

296

Earliest surviving Chinese Buddhist text, the Zhu Fo Yao Ji Jing

4th

Rise of Vajrayana Buddhism

347

First translation of Buddhist texts into Chinese

c. 350

Dunhuang becomes Buddhist center

350

Buddhist philosophy and art flourish under Gupta dynasty in India

c. 366

A vision inspires a Chinese monk to build the Caves of a Thousand Buddhas

372

Buddhism arrives in Korea

372

Chinese monks bring Buddhism to Korea

399

Chinese Buddhist monk Faxian sets out from China to India along the Silk Road

c. 400

There are about 2 million Buddhists and 30,000 monasteries in China

c. 425

Buddhism arrives in Sumatra

485

Monks from Gandhara bring Buddhism to Fusang, which may be Japan

495

Shaolin Buddhist temple established

6th

Burma adopts Theravada Buddhism

517

Emperor Wudi converts to Buddhism

527

Korea accepts Buddhism

530

Taoist T'an-luan converts to Buddhism; becomes leader of the Ching'tu school

c. 540

Buddhism is losing influence in India

552

Buddhism enters Japan from Korea

c. 570

Zhiyi classifies the teachings of Chinese Buddhism

572

Prince Shotoku sponsors Buddhism in Japan

c. 580

Buddhist missionaries introduce flower arranging to Japan

606

Harsha rules northern India, converts to Mahayana Buddhism

607

Japanese rules obtain Buddhist scriptures from China

629

Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang creates important records of Buddhism in India after its decline

645

Buddhism arrives in Tibet

c. 650

Pure Land Buddhism taught by Shan-tao

c. 650

Death of King Songsten Gampo of Tibet, whose wives establish Buddhism in Tibet

c. 670

Birth of Gyogi, a monk who will help Buddhism gain popularity in Japan

710

Nara becomes the capital of Japan; Buddhism gains influence

713

Construction begins on the Giant Buddha of Leshan

752

Great Buddha statue erected

c. 804

Tendai and Shingon Buddhism founded

c. 840

King Langdarma persecutes Buddhists in Tibet

843

Persecution of Buddhists under Emperor Wuzong

845

Confucianism made the state ideology of Japan; Buddhism and Christianity are banned

c. 900

Jain temples created alongside Hindu and Buddhist ones at Ellora

971

Song dynasty commissions the printing of the entire Buddhist canon using 130,000 carved woodblocks

1023

Pure Land Buddhism begins in Japan

1042

Indian Buddhist teacher Atisa is invited to preach in Tibet; beginning of second period of growth of Tibetan Buddhism

1044

King Anawratha of Bagan converts Burma to Theravada Buddhism; begins building temples

1057

Burmese victories in Northern Thailand strengthen Buddhism there

1100

Persecution of Buddhists under Song emperor Huizong

1123

Death of Milaraspa, the miracle-working Tibetan Buddhist monk and poet

c. 1150

Golden age of Buddhist art in Burma

1181

King Jayavarman VII, a Buddhist, becomes king of Khmer Empire; builds Bayon Temple in Angkor

1190

Bagan returns to Theravada Buddhist rule after period of anarchy

1197

Buddhist university at Nalanda sacked by Muslims

1215

Tantric Buddhism introduced to China via a period of Mongol rule

c. 1220

Zen Buddhism introduced to Japan from China by monk Eisai

c. 1238

The new Thai kingdom of Sukhothai makes Theravada Buddhism the state religion

1283

Tradition of seeking reincarnations of leaders begins among Tibetan Black Hat Buddhists

1295

Mongol leader Ghazan Khan converts to Islam; the empire formerly supported Tantric Buddhism

c. 1350

Cambodia adopts Theravada Buddhism

1384

King Lu Thai is ordained a Buddhist monk

1409

Tsong-kha-pa founds the first of three major Buddhist monasteries in Tibet

1484

Shogun Yoshimasa introduces the tea ceremony, which is heavily influenced by Zen Buddhism

1488

Jodo Shinshu Buddhists kill a feudal landowner, beginning a period of violence with ruling classes

1629

Translation of Buddhist texts into Mongolian

1725

Isida Baigan founds the Shingaku religion, based on Shinto, Buddhist and Confucian elements

1785

Temple of the Emerald Buddha built in Bangkok

1796

White Lotus Rebellion, inspired by the imminent return of the Buddha, against Qing Dynasty

1819

Buddhist caves at Ajanta rediscovered by British soldiers

c. 1860

Revival of Buddhism along with growing nationalism in Sri Lanka

1871

Fifth Buddhist Council

1879

King of Burma commissions new edition of Pali Canon; has it engraved on 729 stelae at a Buddhist monaster

1882

Jade Buddha Temple founded, inspired by two jade Buddha statues imported from Burma

1899

Gordon Douglas becomes the first westerner to be ordained in Theravada Buddhism

1900

Shintoism reinstated in Japan as part of an effort to limit Buddhist influence

1930

Soka Gakkai, based in Nichiren Buddhism, founded in Japan

1949

Buddhists regain some control of the site of the Buddha's Enlightenment at Mahabodhi Temple

1956

Hindu leader B.R. Ambedkar converts to Buddhism along with 350,000 followers, creating the Neo-Buddhist movement

1963

Buddhist monk Thich Quang Durc burns himself to death to protest government oppression of Buddhism

1966

World Buddhist Sangha Council attempts to improve unity between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism

1975

Communists under Pol Pot attempt to wipe out Buddhism in Cambodia, destroying temples and murdering monks

1992

Giant statue of the Buddha constructed on an island in Hyderabad, India

2001

Destruction of 6th-century standing Buddha statues at Bamiyan by Taliban regime

2006

First World Buddhist Forum

2007

Buddhist monks and nuns lead protests against military rule in Burma

Article Info

Title Buddhist Timeline
URL www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/timeline
Short URLrlft.co/3356
Published
UpdatedNovember 22, 2016
MLA Citation“Buddhist Timeline.” ReligionFacts.com. 22 Nov. 2016. Web. Accessed 5 Dec. 2016. <www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/timeline>

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