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Travelling Through the Profound History of Buddhism

Buddhism was introduced in Ancient India around 2,500 years ago by the well-known renunciate Siddharth Gautam who is also known as Lord Buddha. The name of the Buddha is also mentioned in the Vedic literature which is the oldest scriptures known on this planet. He is described as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu who will appear in this material world to carry out a special purpose.

The purpose was to elevate the consciousness of the conditioned souls above sensory pleasure. Before his advent, people were taking advantage of Vedic literature and engaging in sinful acts such as animal sacrifice and meat eating. According to the Vedas, animal sacrifice is only meant for those people who are materially engrossed and do not have an elevated consciousness (above the mode of ignorance). But people in general started killing animals and eating meat in the name of the sanction of Vedic scriptures. Therefore, to stop this abominable activity, Lord Buddha appeared and denied the authority of the Vedas so that people would no longer engage in such acts only for the sake of sense gratification. Lord Buddha preached the principles of Dharma, taught Buddhism, and made thousands of disciples. He showed them the path to enlightenment; a path that ends the vicious cycle of material suffering. The knowledge of the teachings of Buddha is preserved in several canons of scriptures. The main scripture of Buddhism is the Pali literature which is written in the Pali language.

Buddhism continues to positively influence the lives of millions of people through the transcendental knowledge coming from authentic spiritual masters in the lineage of Lord Buddha. How it developed across the globe has been explicitly explained in many books written by well-known authors and philosophers. Exotic India is delighted to present a wide range of such books that reflect various events, teachings, and developments that have shaped Buddhism over time.

Q. What are some recommended books on the history of Buddhism?

Some highly regarded books that describe the history of Buddhism are “पालि साहित्य का इतिहास: The History of Pali Literature”, “A Comprehensive History of Indian Buddhism”, “Buddhism in North-Western India- Up to c. A.D. 650 (An Old and Rare Book)”, and “Gautam Buddha and Origin of Buddhism”.

Q. Who was Siddhartha Gautam?

Siddhartha Gautam established the teachings and principles of Buddhism across Asia in the 5th century BCE. He performed severe austerities and meditation and attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. After this, he came to be known as “the Buddha” or “the fully awakened one”. He is revered as the main deity in Buddhism as he taught people how to get out of material existence and be liberated from the pangs of material miseries.

Q. What are the major branches or schools of Buddhism?

Buddhism is a diverse school of philosophy which has many branches or sects. Some of the major branches are Theravada Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism, and Mahayana Buddhism.