The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
will be held on 6-8 February, 2020 in Perth, Western Australia.

Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
Some of the Buddhist Illustrations created by Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
FREE for everyone to use

We would also appreciate your feedback on Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia. Please write feedback here
Here you can read media articles about the Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia which have been published all over the world.

Articles by alphabetic order
 Ā Ī Ñ Ś Ū Ö Ō
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Buddhism: Chronology and History

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Please consider making little donation to help us expand the encyclopedia    Donate Paypal-logo.jpg    Enjoy your readings here and have a wonderful day  

Pure land of.jpg
5093662 n.jpg
85 eg.jpg
VR 1911.jpg 68.jpg
Buddha-zen-flowers thumb.jpg
DSC 1796 2.JPG
Shitennoj honbo garden06s3200.jpg
Cyraqo1 400.jpg
DSC 2434.JPG

Buddhism in India

Before 2200 BCE:

- Indus Valley Civilization
- refers to people living in the Indus River Valley in India in the third millenium BCE (c. 2500 BCE)
- significant evidence for the worship of goddesses in conjunction with bull or ram figures
- Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro were the principle cities of the region, c. 2500-1250 BCE
- the region was well-organized with evidence of well-developed societies, scholarship, etc.

2200-1500 BCE:

-Indus Valley civilization disappears (due to possible invasion by Aryans arriving c.1500 BCE?)
-Religious oral traditions and hymns began to be collected

1000-500 BCE:

-The Vedas and the religious diversity of Hinduism is rooted in the Indus Valley civilization
-Collection of Expositions, which include Brahmanas and Upanisads, which are also included in the scriptures of Hinduism
-The upanisads are a written composite and philosophical exploration on works orally composed.
-They intend to present the meaning of religious practice and thought up against or in response to the Vedas.
-a few centuries before the life of Buddha, a tradition of Wanderers wanted liberation, and were the early roots of Buddhism.
-Two kinds of Wanderers:

563-483 BCE:

Life of The Buddha, or Siddhartha Gautama, "The Buddha"

Brief chronology of Siddhartha's life:

500-250 BCE

-period of the 4 Councils of Buddhism

--location: Rajagrha
--500 monks gathered to compile Siddhartha's teachings (into a sort of canon), establishing a direction for Buddhism after Siddhartha's death

--location: Vaisali
--questioning of the 10 points
--possible time of the Great Schism according to some sources

--location: Pataliputra
--first true Great Schism of Buddhism, where the Samgha, or Buddhist order/group split into two separate schools, called Mahasamghikas and Sthaviras

--location: Pataliputra
--schism again occurs to separate a third school called sarastivadins
--Asoka(c. 270-230 BCE) was overseer

269-232 BCE

-Asoka is the third monarch of the Mauryan Dynasty in India

Nagarjuna (c.150-250 CE):

-associated with the Madhyamika school of Mahayana Buddhism
-advocate of the Middle Way between asceticism and hedonism in Buddhist practice
-remembered for his teachings on emptiness or sunyata
-confusion about the biography of Nagarjuna persists, as texts are attributed to him over a five hundred year period
-his principle work is Mulamadhyamikakariakas, in which he critically examines other schools of Buddhism of his time period

Asanga (c.315-390 CE):

-founder of the yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism
-emphasized the practice of Yoga or meditation (hence, Yogacara)
-the elder brother of the prominent Buddhist philosopher, Vasubandhu
-known for his treatise on The Seventeen Stages of yoga, as instructed by bodhisattva Maitreya
-also, Asanga's Abhidharmasamuccaya attempts to exlicate the elements of phenomenal existence from the perspective of the Yogacara school

Vasubandhu (forth or fifth century CE):

-converted from Abhidharma Buddhism to Mahayana
-followed his brother Asanga in converting from Abhidhgarma Buddhism to Mahayan Buddhism, in particular, the Yogacara school (eventually the Vijnanavada school for Vasubandhu)
-he is connected historically to three distinct persons, and thus his biography is not clear
-later in life he moves from a concentration on Yoga practice to Buddhist theory
-he was the author of Abhidharmakosa, an encyclopedic work on Buddhist doctrines and philosophy
-Author of Vimsatika (20 verses) and Trimsika (30 verses)

Dignaga (c.480-540 CE:)

-the ascribed founder of Buddhist logic
-early on, affiliated with the vatsiputriya school of Abhidhgarma Buddhism, later the Nayaya school
-studied under the great buddhist philosopher Vasubandhu (Vijnana-vada phiosophy)
-thought to have written more than a hundred treatises on logic
-was the first Buddhist thinker to consider seriously the "validity or invalidity" of knowledge

Paramartha (c.498-569 CE):

-a notable biographer, missionary and translater of the Buddhist tradition
-studied at the famous Universtity of Nalanda
-spent a considerable amount of time "on mission" in china
-while in China he sitinguished himself as a translator of Sanskrit scriptures into chinese (translating the equivalent of 275 volumes in Chinese)
-he was largely responsible for the introduction of Vasubandhu's philosophy to China

Dharmapala (c.530-561 CE):

-associated with the yogacara school of Mahayana Buddhism
-his most influential work is the Parmattha-dipani
-principally responded to the work of an earlier thinker, that of Buddhagosha
-studied at the famous University of Nalanda, later becoming its abbot
-made significant contributions to the Buddhist discussion of "self" and consciousness from a Yogacara school perspective
-a Chinese pilgrim-monk who travelled to India in search of the roots of the Mahayana buddhist tradition (late Sui and early T'ang dynasties)
-great Buddhist scholar and advisor to the emperor of China
-studied extensively both the Abhidhgarma and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, as well as the contemporary, standard Vedic curriculum
-he contributed significanly to the Chinese Buddhist canon as a translator of Indian texts into chinese (this was well funded bye the Chinese government, as he had excellent connections)
-his work in its more pure form lives on in the Hosso school of Japanese Buddhism

Dharmakirti (c.600-660 CE):

-in early life Dharmakirti studied extensively the scholarship of the Vedas and other buddhist phiosophy
-he eventually pursued the study of logic, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Dignaga
-was the student of a direct pupil's of Dignaga
-widely considered a genius of his time, Dharmakirti's theory of knowledge forced numerous revisions within the works of other thinkers and other traditions
-significantly, he challenged the divine infallibility of the Vedas


Buddhism Outside India: Southeast Asia

Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

247 BCE

-One possible view of Buddhism in spread into Ceylon
-Asoka, emperor of India, sends Mahinda to Ceylon on a missionary trip, who introduces Buddhism to Ceylon

250-210 BCE:

-Second possible view of Buddhism is spread into Ceylon
-Devanampiyatissa leads the conversion of the island

3rd Century CE:

-A sect of Vaitulyavada makes an enterance into Ceylon

4th Century CE:


111 BCE:

-Meu-Po, a Buddhist fugitive from China, propogates Mahayana Sutras in Vietnam

2nd Century CE:

-A-Ham, one of the 2 major Vietnamese sects of Buddhism, begins to take shape

3rd Century CE:

-Mahayana and Abhidhgarma missionaries travel through Vietnam

580 CE:

-Vinitaruci spreads second major Vietnamese Buddhist school, called Thien

820 CE:

-Vo-ngon-Thong continues to develop the Thien school of Buddhism

968-980 CE:

-Dinh Bo-Linh spreads a form of Buddhism known as Amidism


1st Century CE:

-Korea's early development is intimately tied to its relations with China (keeping in mind that the process of development is interactive)
-Earliest form of religion in Korea is called Shamanism
-Chinese colonies spring up in Korea
-Buddhism is transmitted to Korea during the Three Kingdoms Period (c.370-670CE)

372-384 CE:

-Monk Shun-tao from china introduces Buddhism to Korea
-Monk Malanada spreads Buddhism farther in 384 CE
-the first Buddhist monastery erected on Korean soil (c.376)
-broad regional reception and acceptance of Buddhism under the Seradian monk Maranani'a (c.384-onward)

528 CE:

-Monk Ichadon was martyred, and therefore this is the "official" date of introduction
-the last of the Three Kingdoms, that of Silla, embraces Buddhism

6th and 7th Centuries CE:

-in conquering the other two kingdoms, that of Koguryo and Paekehe, Silla found it politically advantageous to support the spread of Buddhism
-Korean monks are sent to China to bring back Buddhist teachings
-the scholastic schools of Chinese Buddhism were introduced into Korea
-ideologies were consolidated and new schools were organized
-Pomnany brings Ch'an (in Korean: "Son") school of Budddhism, taught by Tao-hsin, the fourth patriarch of the Chinese Ch'an school, back to Korea

935-1392 CE:

-called Koryo Period
-Buddhism reaches its peak importance at this time in Korea
-the Koryo School of Buddhism inspires a reconciliation between the Son and scholastic schools
-the unification of these two schools would occupy numerous religious figures over the next centuries

14th and 15th Centuries CE:

-Yi dynasty in power (c.1392)
-Kings were hostile toward Buddhists

Buddhism In China

Table of Chinese Dynasties

Shang 1766-1125 BCE
Chou 1122-256 BCE
Ch'in 221-206 BCE
Han 206 BCE -220 CE
The Three Kingdoms
Wu 222-280 CE
Wei 220-265 CE
Shu 221-263 CE
Western Chin 265-316 CE
Eastern Chin 317-420 CE
Liu Sung 420-479 CE
Ch'i 479-502 CE
Liang 502-557 CE
Ch'en 557-589 CE
Sui 581-618 CE
T'ang 618-907 CE
Wu-Tai 907-960 CE
Sung North 960-1127 CE
Sung South 1127-1279 CE
Yuan 1280-1368 CE
Ming 1368-1644 CE
Ch'ing 1644-1912 CE

Centuries Before 1st Century BCE:

-Taoism and Confucianism are existing religions in China

1st Century BCE - 1st Century CE:

-Buddhism begins to enter China along trade routes
-Buddhism was often mistaken for a simple form of Taoism
-Mahayana was preferred over Abhidhgarma

61-64 CE:

-Emperor Ming sends embassy to import Buddhism into China

2nd Century CE:

-Emperor Huan mentioned to worship Buddha
-Monks arrived in China to produce texts and translations

200-400 CE:

-Buddhism officially introduced at 219 CE
-Buddhism adapts to China, and to taoist religion, from 220-419 CE
-Sun-Lun school in China-founded by Kumarujiva (343-413) - was a master of translation, translating many influential Mahayana texts into Chinese

420-588 CE:

-Buddhism divides into sects.
-the death of Bodhidharma, first Chinese Ch'an patriarch (c.527 CE)


-Hsuan-i, or hidden significance commentaries are written revelaing the characteristics of each sect
-known as the period of consolidation of Buddhism in China

618-906 CE:

-In 845, Taoist Emperor Wu-tsung sends Buddhism into a decline
-The scholastic sects of Buddhism disappeared during this time-"official" representation of Buddhism
-After the death of Wu-tsung, the popular sects of Buddhism were revived
-A new school called chen-yen was started as well


-printing of the Buddhist canon begins (c.972 CE)
-the popular schools of Chinese Buddhism continued on through this period
-a Buddhist revival occured from 1890-1947, led by T'ai-hsu
-in 1949, Buddhism was suppressed by Communist leaders

-Both Honen and Shinran were Japanese

Chu-she -founded by Paramartha in 6th century CE

-organized by Hsuan-tsang from 596-664 CE
-corresponds to the Indian school Abhiharma

Fa-hsiang -founded by Paramartha

-organized by Hsuan-tsang and K'uei-chi from 632-682 CE
-corresponds to Indian school Yogacara

San-lun -founded by Kumarajiva, who lived from 344-413 CE

-organized by Tao-sheng from 360-434 CE
-corresponds to Indian school Madhyamika

Chen-yen -founded by subhakarsimba

-corresponds to Indian word 'mantra', which means 'true word'
-founded between 618-906 CE

A-pi-to-mo -founded during the Liang Dynasty
She-lun -founded during the Liang Dynasty
San-Lun -founded between 344-413 CE
Lu -founded during the T'ang Dynasty
A-pi-ta-mo -founded in 645
Ch'eng-shih T'ien-t'ai -founder: Hui-ssu (515-576 CE)

-no corresponding Indian school
-organizer: Chih-i (538-597 CE)

Hua-yen -founder: Tu-shun (557-640 CE)

-organizer: Fa-tsang (643-712 CE)
-no corresponding Indian school

Ch'an -founder: Bodhidharma (470-520 CE?)

-Bodhidharma: first Chinese patriarch
-Indian correspondence: dhyana, the word for meditation
-divided into 2 schools that later reunited under the Ming Dynasty

Lin-chi -founded by Lin-chi I-hsuan (867 CE)

-taken to Japan by Eisai (1141-1215 CE)
-known in Japan as Rinzai Zen

Ts'ao-tung -founded by Tung-shan Liang-Chich (807-869 CE) and Ts'ao-shan Pan-chi (840-901 CE)

-taken to Japan by Dogen (1200-1253 CE)
-known in Japan as Soto Zen

Ching-t'u -founder: Hui-yuan (334-416 CE)

-organizer: T'an-luan (476-542 CE)
-2 sects in Japan:

Buddism In Japan

Chronology of Japanese Historical Periods:

Jomon, Yayoi, and Kofun (prehistoric and protohistoric up to 6th century CE)
Taika 645-710
Nara 710-784
Heian 794-1185
Kamakura 1185-1333
Muromachi 1333-1568
Momoyama 1568-1600
Tokugawa 1600-1867
Meiji 1868-1911
Taisho 1912-1925
Showa 1926-1945
Postwar 1945-Present

538 CE:

-official introduction date of Buddhism into Japan
-Korean religious figures visit Japan during the 6th century with envoys spreading Buddhism in order to obtain peace with Japan
-distinguishable beginning for Buddhism in Japan (c.552 CE)
-prince regent Shotoku (died 621) helped with the early development of Japanese Buddhism by writing commentaries of scriptures
-Buddhism is declared the state religion of Japan (c.594 CE)

710-794 CE:

-known as Nara Period
-a new phase in the development of Japanese Buddhism
-Nara Buddhism: a combination of 6 academic schools from China, sprung up during this period
-6 schools of Nara Buddhism:

-Emperor Shomu, Empress Shotoku, and Hosso monk Gyogi, aided in the growth of Buddhism at this time
-the Taiho reforms of 702 CE caused some resistance to Buddhism

794 CE:

-beginning of the Heian Period in Japan
-capital of Japan is changed to Kyoto (794)
-ruler at time is Emperor Kammu
-the "high water mark" of Japanese Buddhism
-2 schools came from China: --1. Tendai (T'ien-T'ai) -- brought by Saicho (767-822 CE)
--2. Shingon (Chen-yen) -- brought by Kukai (774-835 CE)
-esoteric Buddhism (mikkyo)
-these 2 schools did clash along with the success they both found in this time period

1192 CE:

-beginning of Kamakura Period
-power held by a group of Samurai
-new schools of Buddhism begin that are strictly Japanese:

Pure Land (Jodo) Honen (1133-1212 CE) _
True Pure Land (Jodo Shinshu) Shinran (1173-1263) Shinran was a disciple of Honen
Nichiren Nichiren (1222-1282 CE) Sokagakki school founded after 1945 defeat of Japan by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi as Nichiren spinoff
Rinzai Zen (Lin-ch'i) Eisai _
Soto Zen (Ts'ao-tung) Dogen (1200-1253 CE) _

Buddhism In Tibet

Origins of Tibetan Buddhism

-two origins: --1. Indian Buddhism coming from Gupta Dynasty
--2. Native religions of Tibet
-Indian Buddhism was spread to Tibet in 2 ways:
--1. scholars (Santarakshita) of monastic universities bringing it back
--2. wandering Tantric saints introducing it (Padma Sambhava)
----Tantric Buddhism was also influenced by Tantric Hinduism -most of Buddhist transmission occurred during the 8th century CE
-Buddhism declared the state religion of Tibet (791 CE)
-4 main sects, which are lineages of transmission from masters to diciples exist in Tibetan Buddhism
-two major sects include:
--1. rNying-ma - introduced in the 7th and 8th centuries CE
--2. dGe-lugs - introduced by Tsung-kha-pa (1357-1419 CE)
-based upon Bon, Mahayana, and Tantra
-bases itself on the "four baskets":

-four nine vehicles of Buddhism:

Lineage Of The Dalai Lama

Gedun Truppa 1391-1475 CE
Gedun Gyatso 1475-1542
Sonam Gyatso 1543-1588
Yonten Gyatso 1589-1617
Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso 1617-1682
Tsangyang Gyatso 1683-1706
Kesang Gyatso 1708-1757
Jampel Gyatso 1758-1804
Luntok Gyatso 1806-1815
Tsultrim Gyatso 1816-1837
Khendrup Gyatso 1838-1856
Trinley Gyatso 1856-1875
Thupten Gyatso 1876-1933
Tenzin Gyatso 1935-Present