Buddhism Countries, Sites, History

Buddhism in Japan

Buddhism in contemporary Japan exhibits several distinctive characteristics: In a country that sometimes prides itself on having achieved a secular society, the Buddhist religion often seems marginal to contemporary Japanese culture. Yet surveys reveal that a large majority (roughly 75%) identifies itself as Buddhist. In institutional terms, Japanese Buddhism is simply the sum of its denominations, and being a Buddhist means being a member of...

Buddhism in China

During its long history in China, which spans nearly 20 centuries, Buddhism developed flourishing traditions, exerted far-reaching influence on intellectual and religious life, and left its mark on virtually all aspects of Chinese society and culture. By that time Buddhism had already establish a strong presence within the Central Asian kingdoms that controlled most of the trade along the Silk Road.

Buddhism in Cambodia

Cambodia in the 21st century understands itself as a Theravāda Buddhist nation: While this self-conscious identification as a Theravāda nation is fairly recent, the history and development of Buddhism in the region that constitutes present-day Cambodia extend back nearly two millennia: During this time numerous transformations occurred and Khmer Buddhism today is different from Khmer Buddhism even 2 centuries ago, before the rise of modern...

Buddhism in Vietnam

Although both Theravāda and Mahāyāna Buddhism exist in Vietnam, the kind of Buddhism that is most influential and most widely practiced by the majority of Vietnamese Buddhists is Sinitic Mahāyāna Buddhism. Indian and Chinese scholastic traditions have had little if any impact, while Chinese Chan and Pure Land are the only major schools that provide philosophical and religious foundations for the ideas and practices of...

Buddhism in Laos

The primary sources for the history of Buddhism in Laos are texts, such as palm leaf and mulberry leaf manuscripts, stone and metal inscriptions, traveller’s reports, and printed materials: These sources, which are held in monastic, governmental, and royal archives, provide information on Lao Buddhism from only the 14th century and after, and many have yet to receive scholarly scrutiny. Buddhism helped construct Lao identity....

Buddhism in Thailand

The historical origins of Buddhism in the part of mainland Southeast Asia known today as Thailand are obscure: According to popular Thai tradition, Buddhism was propagated in the region south of present-day Bangkok by the monks Sona and Uttara, who were sent to Suvaṇṇabhūmi (the golden land) by the Mauryan king Aśoka in the 3rd century B.C.E. According to this view, Theravāda Buddhism has dominated...

Buddhism in Myanmar

The modern state of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is geographically the largest and westernmost country of mainland Southeast Asia. The vast majority of the Burmese people, regardless of their ethnic affiliation, subscribe to Theravāda Buddhism as their traditional faith. So pervasive is the influence of this religion on the people of Myanmar that it is often said that to be Burmese is to be...

Buddhism in India

For Buddhists, India is a land of many Buddhas. From time immemorial, Bodhisattvas have been born within India’s borders, have awakened there, and have attained final Nirvāṇa. As the Buddha of our Present Era, Śākyamuni is crucial but not unique: The Dharma he taught has been found and lost countless times over the ages: Historians accept that Śākyamuni lived, taught, and founded a monastic order....

Mongolian Buddhism

Mongolian Buddhism: Ogodei’s second son, Godan Khan (1206 – 1251), invaded Tibet several times and in 1244 brought 3 prominent Tibetan Sakya lamas as guests (or hostages) to his court in Liangzhou (modern Gansu province): They were Sakya Paṇḍita, 1182-1251), head of the Sakya School, and his 2 nephews. Buddhism - specifically Tibetan Buddhism - began to have a significant impact on Mongolian concepts of...

Buddhism in Nepal

Like most of the Himalayan region, the valley called Nepal was a frontier zone until the modern state’s creation in 1769. The area absorbed and interpreted Indic cultural influences from the south and, later, from the Tibetan region to the north. This article will discuss the history of the early Indic traditions in the Kathmandu valley, the Tibetan Buddhist lineages, the Newar-supported Mahāyāna traditions, and...

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