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Buddhism

      Gautam Buddha or Siddhartha was born in 563 B.C at Lumbini (a grove of sal tree). Lumbini was very near to sakya capital Kapilavastu. His father Suddodhana was a king of Sakya. Mother Mahamaya was died when he was a child. He was brought up by his step mother prajapathi Gauthami. His wife was yashodhara. His son was Rahul. His horse name as Kantaka and charioteer name was channa. His teacher of meditation was Alarakama. After seeing an old man, a sick man, a dead body, and an asctic Siddhartha realised the hollwness of worldly pleasres and got the idea of renunciation. Then he left home in search of truth at the age of 29. This is called as Mahabhinishkramana or Great Renunciation. Sujatha, a daughter of peasant gave him milk. He attained enlightenment at the age of 35 at Uruvella (Bodha Gaya) under a papal tree near the bank of river niranjan.
     After enlightenment Goutham Budha delivered his first sermon at Saranath near varanasi to his first five disciples. This is incident known as turning the wheel of law or Dharma chakrapravartana. The first nun was Gouthami, his foster mother. Goutham Budha was died at the age of 80 in 483 B.C at kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh. It is called Mahaparinirvanam.
Buddhist Councils: There were four Buddhist councils took place. They are:
The first Buddhist council took place at Rajagruham in the same year of Goutham Buddha death i.e.483 during the period of Ajata Satru under the chairmanship of Mahakassapa. In this council Suttapitaka was settled by Ananda and vinaya pitaka was settled by Upali.
The Second meeting conducted at vaisali in 383 BC during the period of kalashoka under the chairmanship of Sabakami. In this meeting they divided into sthavirvdins and Mahasanghikas.
The third meeting was conducted at Pataliputram in 250 BC during the period of Ashoka under the chairmanship[ of Mogaliputta. In this meeting Rripeetakas were recompiled and Abhidamma pitaka was added.
The fourth meeting was conducted during the period of kanishka at Kashmir in 72AD under the chairmanship of vasumitra. In this meeting Buddhisam was divided into the Mahayana and the Hinayana. Commentaries were written on pitakas in Sanskrit language.
Arya Satyas: The four noble truths or Arya Satyas are:
1.The world is full of sorrows.
2.The cause of sorrow is desire.
3.If desires are conquered, all sorrows can be removed.
4.The only way this can be done is by following the eight ford path.
Eight Fold Path:  The eight fold path or Astanga marga consists:
1. Proper vision
2. Right aim
3. Right speach.
4.Proper action
5. Proper livelihood
6.Right efforts
7.Correct awareness and
8.Meditation.
Arya Satyas: Goutam Buddha says four noble truths: They are:
The world is full of sorrows.
The cause of sorrow is desire.
If desires are conquered all sorrows can be removed.
The only way this can be done is by following right-fold path.
Buddhist Centers:The following are famous Buddhist centres:
Benaras
Nalanda
Saranath
Amaravati
Kanheri
Karle
Nagarjunakonda
Sanchi
Bodh Gaya
Taxila.
Bahrhut.
Buddhist Stupas: The famous Buddist stupas are:
Bahrut stupa
Sanchi Stupa
Amaravati Stupa
Saranath Stupa and
Nalanda Stupa.
Buddhist Caves: The famous Buddhist caves are
Barabar caves: These are the oldest rock cut caves.
Bhoja caves: These are the oldest caves in Daccan
Karle chaitya
Nasik
Kanheri
Tripitakas:  Tripitakas are the Buddhist scriptures. These were written in Pali language. They are:
Sutta Pitaka: Suttapitaka contains the teachings of Buddha. It is the largest and most important among Tripitakas. It is divided into five Nikayasi.e. Groups. They are:
Diga Nikaya: It contains long sermons of Buddha
Majjhima Nikaya: It contains shorter sermons.
Samyutta Nikaya
Anguttara Nikaya
Khuddaka Nikaya
Vinaya Pitaka: It contains rules for the conduct of the monastic order.
Abhidhamma Pitaka: It contain philosophy of Buddhisam.
Jewels of Buddhism: The three Jewels of buddhism are:
1.Buddha
2.dhamma.
3.Sangha.
Symbols of Buddhism: The important incidents in Buddha`s life and their symbols are:
Birth-Litus and Bull.
Mahavbhinishkramana – Horse.
Nirvana (enlightenment) – Bodhi tree.
Dharmachakra pravartan – wheel.
Mahaparinirvana (death) – stupa
Buddhist Sects: In the fourth meeting conducted at Kashmir during the period of Kanishka in 72 AD Buddisam was divided in to Mahayana and the Hinayana. The main sects of Buddhisam are as follows:
Mahayana
Hinaylana
Vajrayana
Mahayana: Mahayana arose out of Mahasanghikas. They believed the divinity of Buddha. They gave more importance to faith rather than reason. The ultimate aim of life was to go to heaven. They offered prayers to Buddha. They believed in the worship of Buddha and made his beautiful idols. Sanskrit was the religious language. They had many religious rituals. Mahayana had two philosophicial schools. Mahayana had two philosophical schools, the madhyamika and yogachara. They teaches the salvation for all. Skhovati his the Mahayana heaven. They gave prominent place to the Boddhisatvas, who for the great kindness and helped humanity with their own suffering. It is very popolar in china, Japan,Central Asia and many parts of India.
Hinayana: They have no belief in Idol worship. They believed only the original teachings of Buddha. They teach the attainment of salvation for oneself alone. They did not believe Buddha on God. But they believed his as great man with pious soul and pure ideas. They used pali as religious language. They gave more importance to reason rather than faith. They did not believe rituals. They stressed on purity, simplicity and self control. They did not build any temples or idols of Buddha or Bhikshus. They did not offer any prayers or gave any offerings to the idols of Buddha or of other Bhikshus. They did not believe heaven was ultimate aim of life. It was lost its popularity in India. But popular in Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos.
Vajrayanam: It came into existence under the patronage of the palas in eastern India in 10th centuary. It believes salvation is attained by acquiring magical powers. It was popular in Bengal Bihar and Tibet.
Milinda-panho is the discussion between Bactrian king Menandar and Buddhist monk Nagasena.
Deepavamsa, Mahavamsa and Culavamsa are the ceylone chronicles.
Yogachara/ vignanavadin philosophy was founded by Maitrelyanath.
Madhyamik philosophy was founded by nagarjuna.
Lokottaravadin philosophy was emerged from Mahasanghikas.
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