Here are some Important Points on Buddhism for SSC and UPSC examinations. For SSC CGL examinations, Important points on Buddhism.


Important Points on Buddhism

  • Gautam Buddha born on 563 BC was the founder of Buddhism
  • Born on vaishakha purnima day at Lumbinivana in Kapilvastu in the Sakya Kshatriya clan
  • His father Suddhodhana was the republican king of Kapilavastu
  • His mother Mahamaya was a princess of Kosala dynasty
  • He was married at an early age to Yasodhara (Princess of Kolli dynasty). They also had a son Rahul
  • An old man, a diseased person, a dead body and an ascetic were the four sights which proved to be a turning point in his life
  • He renounced his home and became a wandering ascetic. This was his Mahabhinishkramana
  • His first teacher was Alara Kalama (Sankya philospher) from whom he learnt the meditation
  • His second teacher was Udraka Ramputra
  • At Bodhgaya, under a Pipal tree on the bank of river Niranjana (modern name Falgu), he attained Nirvana
  • He delivered his first sermon at Sarnath to his five deciples. And his was known as Dharamchakra Pravartana
  • Buddha died in 483 BC at the age of 80 in Kushinagar. This is known as Mahaparinirvana
  • Other names of Buddha – Gautama, Siddharta, Shakya Muni

Buddhist Councils

Buddhist Council Year Venue Chairman Patron Result
1st Buddhist Council 483 BC saptaparni Cave, Rajgriha Mahakassapa Ajatashatru (Harayanka Dynasty) Compilation of Sutta-Pikata and Vinaya Pitaka by Ananda and Upali
2nd Buddhist Council 383 BC Chullavanga Vaishali Sabbakami Kalashoka i)The monks of Vaishali wanted some change in the rites.
(ii) Schism into Sthaviravains and Mahasanghikas
3rd Buddhist Council 250 BC Ashikarama Vihar, Patliputra Mogaliputta Tissa Ashoka (Maurya Dynasty) i) Compilation of Abhidhamma Pitaka
(ii)Decision to send missionaries to various parts of the world
4th Buddhist Council 98 AD Kundala Vana, Kashmir Chairman – Vasumitra Vice Chairman – Ashvaghosa Kanishka (Kushana Dynasty) (i) Compilation of Mahavibha shashastra
(ii) the division of Buddhists into Hinayanists and Mahayanists

Buddhist Literature(Pali language)
Tripitaka – It was called so as the original text was written on Palm leaves and kept in basket; and Pitaka means basket
Sutta Pitaka – Buddha’s Saying
Vinaya Pitaka – monastic Code
Abhidhamma Pitaka – religious discourse of Buddha

Sects of Buddhism –
1.Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle):-

  • Supporters believe in the original teaching of Buddha
  • They strive individual salvation through meditation and self discipline
  • Idol worship was not practised and Pali language was favoured
  • Also known as Southern Buddhism as it prevailed in South of India

2.Mahayana (Greater Vehicle)

  • Supporters believe in heavenliness of Buddha
  • They sought the salvation of all through the grace and help of Buddha and Bodhisatva
  • Practised Idol worshipping and Sanskrit language was favoured
  • Also known as Northern Buddhist religion as it prevailed in North of India

3.Vajrayana – The followers believed that salvation could be best attained by gaining magical power, known as Vajra; Chief divinities were The Taras; became popular in Eastern India

(i)Vajrapani – like Indra; he holds a thunderbolt, foe of sin and evil
(ii)Avlokitesvara– (the lord who looks down) also called Padmapani (the lotus bearer):kind-hearted
(iii)Manjushri(Stimulator of understanding) – He holds a book describing 10 paramitas (spiritual perfection)
(iv)Maitreya – The future Buddha
(v)Kshitigriha – guardian of purgatories
(vi)Amitabha/Amitayusha – Buddha of heaven

Buddhist Universities

Buddhist Universities Place Founder
Nalanda Badagaon, Bihar Kumargupta I(Gupta ruler)
Odantpuri Biharsharif, Bihar Gopala (Pala ruler)
Vikramshila Bhagalpur, Bihar Dharmapala (Pala ruler)
Somapuri North Bengal Dharampala (Pala ruler)
Jagadal Bengal Ramapala (Pala ruler)
Vallabhi Gujarat Bhattarka(Maitrak ruler)