History of Buddhism


Joshua J. Mark
published on 28 March 2024

Buddhism was established in India by Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha, l. c. 563-c. 483 BCE) and developed between c. 400 BCE and 383 BCE before it spread to other regions through the efforts of the Mauryan king Ashoka the Great (r. 268-232 BCE). Understood as both a philosophy and a religion, Buddhism today attracts adherents around the world.

This collection presents a brief history of the belief system, including two of the most famous works associated with it.



Questions & Answers

Who is the founder of Buddhism?

Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (l. c. 563-c. 483 BCE) known as the Buddha, "the enlightened one."

Where did Buddhism begin?

Buddhism was established in India before it was spread to other regions by the Mauryan king Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE.

How could the basic vision of Buddhism be summed up?

The central vision of Buddhism is that suffering is caused by demanding permanence in an impermanent world and to stop suffering one must stop making such demands.

What are the three main Buddhist schools of thought?

The three main Buddhist schools are Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.

About the Author

Joshua J. Mark
Joshua J. Mark is World History Encyclopedia's co-founder and Content Director. He was previously a professor at Marist College (NY) where he taught history, philosophy, literature, and writing. He has traveled extensively and lived in Greece and Germany.

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