Article Info

published: 3/17/04
updated: 7/5/13


Buddhism Timeline




c. 800-500 BCE Composition of Hindu Upanishads
552-479 BCE Life of Confucius
c. 500 BCE Life of Lao-tzu
c. 480 BCE Birth of the Buddha in Kapilavastu.
c. 450 BCE The Buddha's enlightenment and first sermon.
c. 405 BCE Death of the Buddha.
c. 405 BCE First Buddhist Council, at Rajagrha.
c. 350 BCE Second Buddhist Council, at Vaisali.
327-325 BCE Alexander the Great in India.
c. 300 BCE Buddhism arrives in SE Asia.
272 BCE Emperor Asoka takes throne.
250 BCE Third Buddhist Council, resulting in Great Schism and Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism




247 BCE Mahinda introduces Buddhism to Sri Lanka.
200-0 BCE Stupa construction at Sanci.
1st cent. BCE Theravada Buddhist Canon (Tripitaka) completed in Sri Lanka.
1st cent. CE Indian Buddhists settle in Southeast Asia.
150-250 CE Life of Nagarjuna.
4th cent. Rise of Vajrayana Buddhism.
350-650 Gupta dynasty in India; Buddhist philosophy and art flourish.
372 CE Chinese monks bring Buddhism to Korea.
399-414 Fa-hsien travels to India.
c. 420 Schools of Tiantai, Huayan, Chan, and Jingtu appear in China.
520 Bodhidharma arrives in China.
526 Viniaya school founded in Korea.
527 Korea accepts Buddhism.
6th cent. Burma adopts Theravada Buddhism.
552 Buddhism enters Japan from Korea.
572-621 Prince Shotoku sponsors Buddhism in Japan.
c. 589 Chinese Buddhist commentaries written.
c. 600 First diffusion of Buddhism in Tibet.
618-50 Life of Songtsen Gampo; establishment of Buddhism in Tibet.
618-907 Chinese T'ang Dynasty; golden age of Buddhism in China.
7th cent. Mahayana Buddhism adopted in Indonesia.
8th cent. Buddhism becomes state religion of Japan.
741 Japanese emperor orders a temple be built in every province.
c. 792-94 The Great Samye Debate decides on Indian Mahayana Buddhism as the form for Tibet.
836-842 King Langdharma persecutes Tibetan Buddhists.
845 Chinese emperor suppresses Buddhism.
early 10th cent. Korea institutes a Buddhist constitution
11th cent. King of Burma restores Theravadin monasticism. Mahayana Buddhism declines.
mid-12th cent. Buddhism is virtually extinct in India.
1185-1333 During the Kamakura period in Japan, schools of Rinzai, Soto Zen, Jodo Shu (Pure Land), Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land), and Nichiren develop.
1231-59 Mongols invade Korea, destroy Buddhist scriptures.
1253 Mongolian leader Kublai Khan accepts Tibetan Buddhism.
1360 Theravada Buddhism becomes state religion of Thailand.
14th cent. Theravada Buddhism introduced in Laos.
15th cent. Theravada Buddhism dominant in Cambodia.
1578 Sonam Gyatso is titled the Dalai Lama by the Mongolian leader Altan Khan.
1592-98 Japanese invade Korea.
1617-82 Life of the fifth Dalai Lama and beginning of rule of Tibet by Dalai Lamas.
1617-82 Life of Basho; Buddhist influence on haiku and the arts in Japan
17-18th cent. Korean Buddhism revives after regaining independence.
1749 Mongolian Buddhist canon translated from Tibetan.
1868 Shinto reinstated as national religion of Japan.
1910-45 Reformations of Korean and Chinese Buddhism.
1945 Religious freedom introduced in Japan, with no official national religion.
1949 Buddhism suppressed by Chinese communist government.
1950 Tenzin Gyatso becomes the fourteenth Dalai Lama. China invades Tibet and suppresses Buddhism.
1959 The Dalai Lama goes into exile.
1976 Upon the death of Mao, Buddhism begins to revive in China.
1989 International Network of Engaged Buddhists founded.
1995 UK Association of Buddhist Studies founded.
2001 Destruction of standing Buddha statues at Bamiyan by Taliban regime.





Sources

  1. John Bowker, ed., The Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions (Cambridge UP, 2002).
  2. Damien Keown, A Dictionary of Buddhism (Oxford UP, 2003), Appendix VI, pp. 355-57.
Buddhist timeline, chronology, timeline of Buddhism