Chronology of Buddhism
6th Century B.C.E. to 15th Century C.E.
6th Century B.C.E.
Life of Siddhartha Guatama, the historical Buddha: conventional dates: 566-486 B.C.E. (According to more recent research, revised dates are: 490-410 BCE).
5th Century B.C.E.
First Buddhist Council at Rajagaha (486) after the Parinirvana*, under the patronage of King Ajatasattu.
The Buddhist Canon as it exist today was settled at this Council and preserved as an oral tradition.
4th Century B.C.E.
Second Buddhist Council at Vesali (386) about 100 year after the Parinirvana.
First schism of the Sangha occurs in which the Mahasanghika school parts ways with the Sthaviravadins and the Theravadins.
Non-canonical Buddhist Council at Pataliputra (367)
3rd Century B.C.E.
Reign of Indian Emperor Asoka (272-231) who converts and establishes the Buddha's Dharma on a national level for the first time.
Third Buddhist Council at Pataliputra (250) under the patronage of Emperor Asoka about 200 years after the Parinirvana.
The modern Pali Tipitaka now essentially complete.
Asoka's son and missionary Mahinda established Buddhism in
Beginnings of Mahayana Buddhism (20O).
Composition of Prajnaparamita literature.
Historical record has it that two
Buddhist missionaries from
Entire scriptural canon of
Milinda-paρha or Questions of King Milinda to Venerble Nagasena.
1st Century C.E.*
King Kaniska (78-101) convened the
Fourth Buddhist Council at Jalandhar or in
Buddhism established in Cambodia 100 C.E and in Vietnam 150 C.E.
Composition of Lotus Sutra and other Mahayana Buddhist texts.
2nd Century C.E.
The Age of Indian Buddhist philosopher Nargarjuna
(150) founder of the
3rd Century C.E.
Expansion of Buddhism to
The Yogacara (meditation) school was founded by Maitreyanatha (3rd century).
Buddhist influence in
4th Century C.E.
Asanga (310-390) and his brother Vasubandhu (420-500) prominent teachers of the Yogacara
Development of Vajrayana Buddhism in
Translation of Buddhist texts into Chinese by Kumarajiva (344-413) and Hui-yόan (334-416).
Buddhist monastic university founded at
Buddhaghosa composes the Visuddhimagga and major commentaries in
Buddhism established in
Chinese pilgrim Fa-Hsien visits
Sri lankan Theravadin
nuns introduce full ordination lineage into
Mahayana Buddhism was introduced into Java,
Bodhidharma founder of Ch'an (Zen) arrives in
Sui Dynasty in Chinese History (589-617) beginning of Golden Age of Chinese Buddhism.
Development of T'ien-tai, Hua-yen,
Buddhism flourishing in
Jataka Tales translated into Persian by King Khusru (531-579).
Construction of Potala Palace, Jokang and Ramoche temples to house Buddha images (641-650)
Harsa-vardhana ruler of a large empire
Chinese pilgrim Hsuan-Tsang (602-664)
Academic schools (Jφjitsu, Kusha, Sanron, Hossφ, Ritsu, and Kegon) proliferate in
Great debate between Tibetan and Chinese Buddhist schools.
Ch'an declared heretical in
Nyingma School of Tibet Buddhism established.
Jataka Tales translated into Syrian and Arabic under title: Kalilag and Damnag.
Khmer kings build Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious monument.
Great Buddhist persecution in
Biography of Buddha translated into Greek by Saint John of Damascus and distributed in Christianity as "Balaam" and "Josaphat".
First complete printing of Chinese Buddhist Canon (983), known as
Islam replaces Buddhism in
Conversion of King Anawrahta of Pagan (
Atisha (982-1054) arrives in
Marpa (1012-1097) begins Kargyu School of Tibetan Buddhism.
Milarepa (1040-1123) becomes greatest poet and most popular saint in Tibetan Buddhism.
The bhikkhu and bhikkhuni
(monk and nun) communities at
Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism established.
Revival of Theravada Buddhism in
Theravada Buddhism established in
Hφnen (1133-1212) founded the Pure Land School of Japanese Buddhism.
Eisai (1141-1215) founds the Rinzai Zen School of Japanese Buddhism.
In 1193 the Moslems attacked and conquered
Shinran (1173-1263 ) founds True Pure Land School of Japanese Buddhism.
Dogen (1200-1253) founds Soto Zen School of Japanese Buddhism.
Nichiren (1222-1282) founds
Mongols converted to Vajrayana Buddhism.
Theravada Buddhism spreads to
Some Buddhist texts still being translated into Arabic, in
Bu-ston collects and edits Tibetan Buddhist Canon.
Rulers of the north (Chieng-mai) and
Theravada Buddhism adopted in
Tsong-kha-pa (1357-1419) Tibetan Buddhist reformer and founder of Dge-lugs-pa (or Gelugpa, or 'Yellow Hat') order.
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