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Questions tagged [buddhism]

Questions related to the history of the fourth largest religion in the world which began in the 5th Century BCE in eastern ancient India, based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (later known as Gautama Buddha).

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Where can I find historical data of changes in the population of Buddhist followers since Ancient India?

I need some sources regarding the changes in the size of Buddhist populations since the death of Gautama Buddha, e.g. the number of Buddhists in what is modern day India from 410 BC until now, or just ...
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2answers
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Religions that have disappeared/declined significantly in places where they originated or once flourished? [closed]

I'm interested in a list of religions that have either disappeared or significantly declined in followership in the place where they originated or once flourished. One example that I have is for ...
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0answers
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Was the Sri Lankan Civil War primarily a religious or an ethnic conflict? [closed]

Was the Sri Lankan Civil War of 1983-2009 strictly an ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, or was it more of a religious rivalry between Buddhists and Hindus?
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Is there any evidence of Buddhism emergine between the traditional and modern dates for Gautama's life?

The traditional dates for Gautama Buddha's life are 563-483 BCE or 480-400 BCE, although according to Wikipedia: Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 ...
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2answers
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How did the Graeco-Bactrian empire come to accept Buddhism?

I am trying to find something along the lines of acceptance of Buddhism by Graeco-Bactrians. I would like to learn more about western India and Graeco-Bactrian empire especially from a political, ...
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1answer
163 views

How do Dambadiva kings fit in Indian history?

My question, I would like to know whether any space in Indian history to fit Dambadiva kings in Indian history rather than keeping them only in Buddhist books? or it feels like they were foreign ...
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1answer
326 views

Was Buddha well known by western Romans in Late Antiquity?

St. Augustine of Hippo was Manichean before he became a Christian. I have read in Wikipedia that Mani, the prophet of Manichaeism, knew but rejected the doctrines of Buddha and that he died about a ...
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3answers
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Buddhism vs. Hinduism — what did it mean politically?

I am just starting to study the history of Hinduism and Buddhism. This question is strictly about the objective outer trappings of the religions, not their spiritual teachings. Popular literature on ...
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1answer
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Why did Uesugi Kenshin never marry? Was it common practice for Japanese Buddhists of the time?

It seems that the famed Sengoku-era lord Uesugi Kenshin never married anybody in his life because he was a devout Buddhist. This seems highly unusual, considering Japanese Buddhists at that time seem ...
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3answers
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Buddhists in ancient Alexandria and Rome

I came across this quote in an interview with British philosopher Jonardon Ganeri: What I would add is that philosophy did not have a single origin, but many origins around the world, and each of ...
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1answer
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Was Jawaharlal Nehru virtually a Buddhist?

At the end of this conversation (in the podcast version at 46'30") about Ashoka the Great scholar of Buddhism Richard Gombrich made this remark: The Indian flag has [Ashoka's] wheel of the dharma ...
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1answer
558 views

Is there historical evidence that Emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism?

As far as I know, the only evidence having claim over the fact about Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism is the Ashokavadana, a work of the Buddhists themselves. Nor is this fact verifiable by Ashoka's ...
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2answers
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Was Buddhism the dominant religion of India for 1 thousand years?

I read in the book 'The Argumentative Indian' by Amartya Sen, that Buddhism was the dominant religion of India for about a 1000 years, and that foreigners referred to India as a Buddhist kingdom. ...
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1answer
232 views

Is there a Buddhist-Franciscan connection?

A sentence in a book review seems to presuppose that: Cardini also says nothing about the Muslim world as a conduit for cultural goods from even greater distances, such as Chinese-style ...
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2answers
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Why did people die for their religion in the 400s CE (or even now)?

Before the institution of Christianity and the evolution of Buddhism into Mahayana Buddhism, people never felt quite so strongly about religion. Suddenly, people feel ready to die for it and die ...
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2answers
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Is there any evidence that the fall of the Tibetan empire led to an increase in Buddhism?

According to this Wiki page, "a basket of Buddhist scriptures arrived in Tibet from India" in the 5th century and were translated sometime around 618-649. Tibetan Buddhism reached it's peak "with ...
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4answers
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The decline of Buddhism in India around the 12th century

How can we explain the fall of Buddhism in India, which is the geographic origin of Buddhism? Were there ever any direct conflicts between Hinduism and Buddhism? From what I understand, the rise ...
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1answer
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What is the origin of Jataka tales?

Some of the Jataka Tales are supposed to be about the Buddha in prior lives so the entire collection is touted as Buddhist by many. However, other sources will say they are tales handed down through ...
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1answer
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Buddha in Ardha-Naarishvara sculpture in Badami Cave temples?

Badami caves are a series of cave-temples built between 6th and 8th century. In the first cave, dedicated to hindu god Lord Shiva, there is an image of "Ardha-Naarishvara". I was intrigued by the ...
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1answer
347 views

Did the Indo-Greeks play a crucial role in promoting Buddhism?

Did Buddhism become a widespread religion primarily due to the political support of the Indo-Greek rulers of India who favored it in opposition to Jainism?
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6answers
2k views

What factors permitted Buddhism to be successful in Japan but Christianity less so?

From reading The Samurai and the Sacred, it looks like Buddhism achieved acceptance into Japanese culture due to its willingness to assimilate with the (already present) Shinto religion. Conversely, ...