When we talk about the prominent religions in Asia, one will have a picture of Buddha in their mind. And would think of Buddhism right away. You see, Buddhism is one of those religions that has a colorful history. And practiced by millions of people across Asia, and around the world. Because of its flexible approach that can adapt its philosophy in different situations and local ideas. Also, it still retains its values as its core teaching. Thus, this is the reason why Buddhism has a lot of effects that can be seen in some cultures around the world. So, where did Buddhism originate? What transpired throughout its fascinating and colorful history? What are its most significant moments, and the lowest moments in history?
Where Did Buddhism Originate?
Buddhism is one of that biggest and prominent religion. It is founded in Asia by an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama in India. Thus, this is even before Christianity and other universal religion, more than 2,500 years ago. Prince Gautama witnessed the suffering of his fellow humans, which made him realize that all pleasures in life are only momentary. He then proceeded to go on a journey to seek what called enlightenment, which is the true release from suffering.
Afterward, he began teaching these truths to others out of compassion as the years passed; this philosophy drawn more people and later turned into a religion.
How Did Buddhism Spread In Asia?
Buddhism spreads throughout Asia naturally. And among the working classes are merchants. And other missionary monks who travel far and wide as well. But the most common reason for its spread is because of trade. Thus, this is in which Buddhist traders would trade goods. And also ideas and eventually religion as well. As Buddhism spreads throughout the new world like wildfire, some kingdoms also declare it as an official religion of their nation. This event will give a big boost to the propagation of the faith, which is prominent around the southern parts of Asia, as well as in Central Asia too.
Buddhism In China
Buddhism reached China around the same time that Christianity started. It was around 2000 years ago. And during this time, China is still under the Han dynasty. And it speculated that Buddhist monks used the Silk Road to reach China. Albeit being deeply Confucian, the Han dynasty doesn’t have any issues with Buddhism. Eventually, Buddhism gradually grew with the help of Buddhist monks like Lakaksema and Gandhara. Thus, this cemented itself as a part of the dynasty’s main religions.
Later on, during the fall of the Han dynasties, China fell in a period of political and social chaos. Northern China, during this time, was ruled by the predecessors of the Mongols. And these Mongol Rulers have Buddhist monks as their advisers, which helps in the propagation of the religion. Albeit further down in history, Buddhism was suppressed by the Wei dynasty, yet it still persevered. Nowadays became one of those defining religions which shaped China’s culture.
Story Behind The Disappearance of Buddhism In India
Buddhism also faced a dark moment in its history. Thus, this mainly happened in India around the 12th century. During this time, Buddhism’s influence dwindled and replaced by Hinduism. Therefore, this happened during the rationalization of the county after the Gupta Empire. Also, other factors contributed to this, are like the invasion of the Huns, Persians, and other foreign empires. Nowadays, Buddhism is not the primary religion of Indi. But, there is still a lot of worshipers living there, making it one of the main religion of the country.
Buddhism, like any other religion around the world, has a fascinating history. And it also has a fair share of downs as well. In the end, it still flourished and became one of the main religions throughout the world, with millions of followers.