The word Buddha itself is a Sanskrit origin word which means the ‘awakened one.’ Buddhism is considered to be one of the largest religion in the world. It has been followed by millions of people since its origin. The people following Buddhism are called Buddhist. Buddhism began in India by Prince Siddhartha in 6th century BC. He taught humanities. He showed the message of love and compassion to the world. It started to rebuild the continent’s culture. However, the question is, if Buddhism began in India, why is it all over so many eastern countries?
History And Origin Of Buddhism
Gautama Siddhartha was the son of Suddhodana, a ruler of Kapilavastu, presently in Uttar Pradesh in India. The birth of great Siddhartha took place in Lumbini, which is currently in Nepal. Asoka, the great emperor of the 3rd century BC, erected a pillar in Lumbini to comrade the sacred site. Gautama wandered for six years all over Bihar, India in the pursuit of knowledge. It was once when he sat down under a pipal tree for meditation when he got enlightenment. He realized the truth of cause for sufferings in the world. He found the way to happiness. He became enlightened, and from then, he was called Buddha. He gave his first sermon at Varanasi Sarnath to his followers. This event is called ‘Dharma Chakra Pravartan’ or the setting into motion of the will of the god.
Buddhism In China
Chinese came to India to visit the holy places of Buddhism in the first millennium. They made their travel both by seaways and land ways. During the existence of the Han Empire, the early Buddhist scriptures were brought to China. After its fall, many separate kingdoms and other empires had their ways of contact with the Buddhists in central, south, and southeastern Asia. Various Buddhism preaching developed in these countries, which was changed by the Chinese. Therefore the religious history in China is complex with different sections. Mahayana Buddhism is the type of Buddhism in China.
Buddhism in Indonesia
Flourished in the 7th century onwards. Hundreds of majestic Buddhist temples were built in java in the 8th and 9th century. The Borobudur stupa is the tallest stupa standing in the world.
Buddhism In Thailand
From the 13th to 14th century, Sukhothai in Thailand was one of the great Buddhist centers of the world. Thousands of temples have been built In Bangkok since the 1780s. The temple of reclining Buddha wat pho is an excellent center of attraction which has a reclining statue of Buddha which is almost 50 meters long. The most famous Buddha temple in Thailand is the temple of Emerald Buddha.
Buddhism In Myanmar
Myanmar had already relations with the Buddhist philosophy in Bihar, India. The king of Myanmar restored the Maha Bodhi temple at Bodhgaya in the 11th century. Myanmar is known as the land of 1000 pagodas.
Buddhism In Cambodia
Cambodia is a land of the great history of sacred arts and monuments. A huge Buddhist complex was built at Angkor Thom (the capital of Cambodia) by the king in the 13th century. It was known as the face towers. It became famous as Angkor’s symbol. The faces look in the four directions symbolizing the benevolence of the bodhi tatva.
Buddhism In South And Central Vietnam
A museum in central Vietnam has various sculptures that show a glorious history of Buddhism. In the country Laos, many men prefer to spend some part of their life in monasteries to follow the principles of Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism flourishes in Laos.
Buddhism reflects eternal harmony in the world. It spreads the message of love and humanity and rebuilds faith and hope in cultural values. It nurtures peace, kindness, and gentleness in the heart of people which the materialistic world do not provide.