History of india before buddhism and the life of buddha

Thubten Chodron Life of the Buddha The details of the Buddha's life are not known for certain, but most scholars are in agreement that he was an actual historical figure who lived in northern India around the 5th century BCE. The events of the Buddha's life are recorded in Buddhist tradition and are a favorite subject of Buddhist art.

History of india before buddhism and the life of buddha

History of india before buddhism and the life of buddha

Normally Buddhist studies courses begin with a study of the life of the Buddha. We are going to begin before the life of the Buddha.

Personally I feel this is quite important as I feel it helps one to understand the life and teachings of the Buddha in their broader historical and conceptual context and to understand and appreciate better the nature of Buddhism and perhaps Indian thought as a whole.

I do not know how many of you have visited India. These two great rivers have separate sources in the Himalayas and they flow separately for a good proportion of their lengths. They unite in the north eastern region of India.

From there they flow on together to the Bay of Bengal. In a way the geography of these two great rivers is a symbol of the origin and development of Indian religion, philosophy and thought because in Indian religion too we have two great rivers which were originally quite distinct and had separate origins and which for a considerable length of time were separate but which at a certain point of time merged and flowed on united right to the present day.

Perhaps as I go into the prebuddhist history of India, we can keep in mind the image of these two rivers originally separate and at a certain point merging and flowing together to the sea.

When we look at the very early history of India, we find that there existed in the 3rd Millennium B. This civilization is as old as those which are called the cradles of human culture, civilizations like those of Egypt and Babylon.

This civilization existed approximately between the year B. It was known as the Indus Valley Civilization or it is sometimes called the Harappa Civilization, and it extended from what is now Western Pakistan, south to a point which is near Bombay and eastward to a point which is in the neighborhood of what is now Simla in the foothills of the Himalayas.

If you see a map of India, you will realize that this is a very considerable extent. Not only was this civilization stable for a thousand years, it was also a very highly developed civilization both materially and spiritually. Materially the civilization was an agrarian one.

They were skilled in irrigation and the planning of towns. In addition, they had a very highly developed spiritual culture. This is clear from the archaeological evidence that has been discovered at Mohenjodaro and Harappa.

There is also evidence of the fact that they were literate.

Buddha’s enlightenment It attracted the attention of many kings, noblemen and merchants, who were influential members of society and took key decisions in changing the course of Indian history. From the time the Buddha emerged on the scene until powerful Hindu kings like the Sungas, the Satvahanas, the Guptas and the Brashivas reestablished Hindu traditions in the native soil in the post Mauryan period, Buddhism gained ascendance in the soil of India.
The foundations of Buddhism It merged with native Taoism and folk religion. Ancient Buddhism taught by Buddha involved reaching Enlightenment through meditation.
His Promise to Take Birth in the Human Realm For many instructors of the art history survey, teaching Asian Art can be intimidating since it falls outside of the parameters of a Western area of expertise. It can be helpful for the instructor as well as the students to find connections between other cultures that have previously been discussed in class.
History of Buddhism - Wikipedia Spreading from India to Central and Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Japan, Buddhism has played a central role in the spiritual, cultural, and… General considerations The clan name of the historical figure referred to as the Buddha whose life is known largely through legend was Gautama in Sanskrit or Gotama in Paliand his given name was Siddhartha Sanskrit: The events of his life set forth in these texts cannot be regarded with confidence as historical, although his historical existence is accepted by scholars.
Further Reading Bodhidharma, woodblock print by YoshitoshiIndian ascetics Skt.

They had developed a script which unfortunately we are not able to decipher. The peaceful life of this civilization was unfortunately interrupted in about the year or B. The invading people were known as the Aryans and this is a term that designated a people of Eastern Europe.


The origin of the Aryans was in the grassy region extending from Poland to Western Russia. The Aryans were very different from the people of the Indus Valley Civilization because they were generally nomadic and pastoral. They did not have a highly developed urban civilization.

The division of northern India into republics and kingdoms continued into the time of Shakyamuni Buddha (– BCE). The major ones were the Vrji Republic, with public assemblies and democratic institutions, and the autocratic kingdoms of Kosala and attheheels.com: Dr. Alexander Berzin. The details of the Buddha's life are not known for certain, but most scholars are in agreement that he was an actual historical figure who lived in northern India around the 5th century BCE. Barbara O'Brien is a journalist and student of Zen Buddhism who writes about religion in America and how it impacts politics and culture. Updated September 04, The life of Siddhartha Gautama, the person we call the Buddha, is shrouded in legend and myth. Although most historians believe there.

They were a warlike expanding pioneer civilization that lived in large part from the spoils and plunder that they gathered from the peoples they conquered in the course of their migration.

The Indus Valley Civilization succumbed very quickly to the military might of the Aryans. What existed in India after the invasion was an Aryan dominated civilization.

History of india before buddhism and the life of buddha

Here we have a brief outline of the facts regarding the early history of India. But let us look at the religious outlook of the people of the Indus Valley Civilization and the Aryan Civilization which is of particular interest to us.

The Indus Valley Civilization had a script which we are unfortunately unable to decipher. But our information regarding the nature of this civilization is from two sources, first from the archaeological discoveries at the sites of Mohenjodaro and Harappa and second from the records of the Aryans who described the religious behaviour and beliefs of the people they conquered.

From the archaeological evidence we find a number of symbols that are of religious significance, that are special to Buddhism: Perhaps most importantly there have been discovered several images of figures sitting in cross-legged postures with their hands resting on their knees, with their eyes narrowed, half-closed quite evidently in postures of meditation.The history of Buddhism spans from the 5th century BCE to the present.

Buddhism arose in the eastern part of Ancient India, in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now in Bihar, India), and is based on the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama.

Mar 01,  · In which John relates a condensed history of India, post-Indus Valley Civilization. John explores Hinduism and the origins of Buddhism. He also gets into the .

Buddhist Art and Architecture Before The Story of India), while a history of Buddhism is addressed in The Big View. Additional information can be found in several Smarthistory links, including sections dedicated to stupas, This event is the most commonly depicted story from the Buddha’s life.

Prior to the establishment of a. Buddhism started as a Hindu influenced religion in attheheels.coms about Buddha's life and original teachings as presented in the first century BC Buddhist scriptures are important for understanding how Chinese Buddhism developed.

Gautama Buddha Gautama Buddha, the historical Buddha, at Bodh Gaya just before his enlightenment, basalt sculpture from Bihar, eastern India, Pala dynasty, early 12th century; in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The history of Indian religion from B.C.

up to or B.C., the time of the Buddha, the history of those years in India is a history of gradual interaction between these .

Fundamentals of Buddhism: Pre-Buddhist Background