Websites About the History of Buddhism

Buddhism Links

Links to the History of Buddhism

The Buddhas of Bamiyan - A collection of high-quality photos of the Buddhas of Bamiyan taken prior totheir destruction by the Taliban.

Buddha's World: History of Buddha and Buddhism - Historical material on Buddhism.

Buddhism on the Silk Road - The civilizations which flourished along the Silk Road in the first millennium CE were open to cultural and religious influences from both East and West. Many religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism, gained new followers. But it was Buddhism, travelling the trade routes of the Silk Road, which became the common factor uniting the different peoples of the Silk Road.

Buddhist and Islam - The historical interaction between the Buddhist and Islamic cultures before the Mongol Empire.

Buddhist Councils - History of the Buddhist councils, which have been periodically convened since the Buddha's death, primarily for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy of the record of the Buddha's teachings.

The Buddhist History of Muktinath /Chumig Gyatsa - Information about the Hindu and Buddhist ancient pilgrimage site, Muktinath, on the Annapurna trekking route in Nepal, includes pictures, news and related links.

History of Buddhism - Overview of the history of Buddhism and the formation of the principal schools of Buddhism.

India and the West - A summary of the history of Indian Buddhism and contacts with the West.

The Questions of King Milinda - Story of the conversion to Buddhism of Milinda, king of Sagala, in the land of the Bactrian Greeks.

Thumbnails Of Threatened Afghan Greco-Buddhist Art - Thumbnails can be clicked on for enlarged views. This is on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) web site.

Timeline of Buddhist History


Analytical Psychology and Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin - Erika Gsell provides a brief scholarly comparison of some aspects of the theoretical and practical approaches of Nichiren Buddhism with aspects of Jungian analytical psychology.

BBC Religion & Ethics - Nichiren Buddhism - Provides overview of a Japanese Buddhist movement in the Mahayana tradition, also popular in the West; includes information on the Soka Gakkai, Nichiren Shoshu, and Nichiren Shu schools, highlighting background and doctrinal commonalities.

Buddhist Information of North America: Lotus Sutra Study Center - Offers biographies of various Lotus Sutra commentators, along with select academic lectures.

Ethics and the Lotus Suutra - Paper by Peggy Morgan which discusses ethical imperatives associated with historical and religious claims primarily within the Rissho Kosekai Buddhist experience.

The Lotus Sutra - Also known as the "White Lotus of the True Dharma" or "Saddharma-Pundarika Sutta". Translated by Burton Watson.

The Lotus Sutra - Translated By H. Kern (1884).

New Religious Movements: Nichiren Shoshu - Student paper profiling Nichiren Shoshu's history, beliefs, issues and controversies with links, abstracts, and bibliography.

New Religious Movements: Soka Gakkai - Student paper (University of Virginia, 1999) profiling Soka Gakkai's history, beliefs, issues and controversies. Includes links, abstracts and a print bibliography.

Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra - Syllabus and bibliography of works on Nichiren's historical background, career, philosophy and tradition by Jacqueline Stone.

Nichiren Shonin's View of Humanity - Endo Asai considers Nichiren's view of the human state in terms of both thought and actual circumstances. (PDF file, Adobe Acrobat reader software required).

Nichiren, the Buddhist Prophet of the Truth - Collection of quotes and summaries, with links to full text writings based on translations found in the Yampolsky edition of "Letters of Nichiren" (translated by Burton Watson et al.).

PHILTAR Encyclopedia Entry: Nichiren Buddhism - St Martin's College Department of Religion and Ethicssynopsis of Nichiren Buddhism.

Presentation on the Lotus Sutra - Lectures on the Lotus Sutra by Rev. Shokai Kanai of the Nichiren Shu.

Review of "A Time to Chant: The Soka Gakkai Buddhists in Britain" - A review by Brian Brocking in the online Journal of Buddhist Ethics of "A Time to Chant: The Soka Gakkai Buddhists in Britain" authored by Bryan Wilson and Karel Dobbelaere.

Rissho University - Department of Nichiren Buddhism and a research institute in Nichiren Buddhist Studies established to educate student priests of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism.

Wikipedia: Lotus Sutra - Encyclopedia article describing the origins and teachings of the Lotus Sutra.

Wikipedia: Nichiren Buddhism - Encyclopedia entry detailing history of sects of Nichiren Buddhism with overview of commonalities.

Rebuking the Enemies of the Lotus - Article by Jacqueline Stone featured in a Special issue of the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, which offers a brief historical overview outlining the origins of "Lotus exclusivism" in Nichiren's thought and how it affected the development of this branch of Buddhism. [PDF] (June 1, 1994)


Chinese Doctrinal Classifications of Buddhism - In the fifth and sixth centuries CE, Chinese Buddhists employed p'an-chiao as a hermeneutical strategy to reconcile the discrepancies among the different teachings believed to have been taught by the Buddha. By resorting to the doctrine of expedient means, they were able to create a hierarchical framework within which the entire range of Buddhist teachings could be systematically organized into a coherent doctrinal whole.

Dafo - The worlds largest Buddha, in Leshan, China.

A Defense of Buddhism vs. Confucianism - A defense of Buddhism written to refute some of the charges against the new religion from India by Confucian and other Chinese. While the author and date of composition are uncertain, this kind of tract was common in China under the Southern Dynasties (420-589 CE).

Diamond Sutra: The World's Earliest Dated Printed Book - A copy of the Diamond Sutra is the world's oldest example of dated block printing.

Han Yu's Memorial to Buddhism - One of the leaders in the Confucian counterattack on Buddhism was the classical prose stylist and poet Han Yu (768-824 CE), who in 819 CE composed this vitriolic polemic attacking Buddhism. A champion of rationalism, Han Yu wished to suppress Daoism as well as Buddhism.

The Legend of Miao-shan - In China, Kuan-yin (Avalokitesvara) came to be most frequently worshipped in female form as the Goddess of Mercy. This transformation from an originally male deity into a female one seems to have occurred sometime during the Northern Sung dynasty (960-1126 CE) and is reflected in Kuan-yin's miracluous appearance in human form in the legend of Miao-shan.

A Record of the Buddhistic Kingdoms - An account of the (394-414CE)journey by Fa-hsien and his companions. They visited as many of the Buddhist sacred shrines as they could, especially those associated with the presence of the Buddha. The selections presented here show the reasons for the estblishment of these shrines, the legends that surrounded them, and the ways in which they were maintained.

Shaolin Kung Fu History - History of how the Shaolin monks first originated in China, with details of their practice


Buddhist Ethics and Social Criticism - Essay on the development of Buddhist philosophy in India, including social criticism, polemics, personal ethics and morality and theories of human suffering and happiness.

The Buddhist Heritage - Research team involved in the exploration and restoration of forgotten Buddhist sites in India.

Decline and Fall of Buddhism in India - An account of the fall of the Buddhist kings, the resurgence of Hinduism and the entry of Islam to India.

Lumbini Buddha Temple - The Lumbini Buddha Temple including Buddhist Relics in India.

Lumbini On Trial: The Untold Story - Essay on the controversy regarding the exact location of Buddha's birthplace.

Mauryan Empire, Ashoka and the Defeat of Alexander the Great - History of the great Buddhist king Ashoka, and his grandfather, Chandragupta, who defeated Alexander the Great.

Ashoka - A short biography.

Ashoka, King of Behar: The Rock Edicts, c. 257 BCE - Excerpts from some of the Rock Edicts Ashokaused to spread Buddhism.

Ashoka (or Asoka)'s life - Extracts from the Rock and Pillar Edicts of the Indian king Ashoka (290-232 BC).

The Edicts of King Ashoka - Historical overview of what is known about Ashoka and a translation of his edicts.

The Edicts of King Asoka - Historical overview and translation of the edicts.

The Edicts of King Asoka - A translation by the Buddhist Publication Society of all of the known Rock Edicts of King Asoka.

The Life of Ashoka Mauryan - An account of his life, his rise to power, and his conversion and acts. Includes a few relevant pictures.

A Translation of the Edicts of Asoka - Description of his life and a translation of Ashoka's rock edicts.

The Unknown Ashoka - A biography by Pradip Bhattacharya detailing Ashoka's conversion to Buddhism.

Suggestions for Further Reading

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This information is compiled by Jayaram V for

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