Details about Buddhist Councils and Buddhism For OPSC

Last updated on December 7, 2023


➮ The First Council was held in 483 BC at Saptaparni cave near Rajagriha to compile the Dhamma Pitaka and Vinaya Pitaka.
Chairman : Mahakassapa, Patron : Ajatshatru
➮ The Second Council was held at Vaisali in 383 BC. The monks of Vaisali wanted some change in the rites. Schism into Sthaviravadins and Mahasanghikas.
Chairman : Sabakami, Patron : Kalashoka
➮ The Third Council was held at Pataliputra during the reign of Ashoka 236 years after the death of Buddha. It was held under the Presidentship of Moggliputta Tissa to revise the scriptures.
➮ The Fourth Council was held during the reign of Kanishka in Kashmir under the Presidentship of Vasumitra, who was helped by Aswvaghosha and resulted in the division of Buddhists into Mahayanists and Hinayanists.


➮ Hinayana :
(a) Its followers believed in the original teachings of Buddha
(b) They sought individual salvation through self-discipline and meditation.
(c) They did not believe in idol worship
(d) Hinayana, like Jainism, is a religion without God, Karma taking the place of God
(e) Nirvana is regarded as the extinction of all
(f) the oldest school of Hinayana Buddhism is the Sthaviravada (Theravada in Pali) or the ‘Doctrine of the Elders’
➮ Mahayana :
(a) Its followers believed in the heavenliness of Buddha and sought the salvation of all through the grace and help of Buddha and Bodhisattvas.
(b) Believes in idol worship.
(c) Believes that Nirvana is not a negative cessation of misery but a positive state of bliss.
➮ Vajrayana
(a) Its followers believed that salvation could be the best attained by acquiring the magical power, which they called Vajra.
(b) The chief divinities of this new sect were the Taras.
(c) It became popular in Eastern India, particularly Bengal and Bihar.

S. No. Buddhist
Location Founder
1. Nalanda Badagoan, Bihar Kumargupta-I
2. Vikramshila Bhagalpur, Bihar Dharmapala (Pala ruler)
3. Somapuri North Bengal Dharmapala (Pala ruler)
4. Jagadal Bengal Ramapala (Pala ruler)
5. Odantpuri Bihar Sharit, Bihar Gopala (Pala ruler)
6. Vallabhi Gujarat Bhattarka (Maitrak Rule)


➮ The Buddhist scriptures in Pali are commonly referred to as Tripitaka i.e. Three fold Basket.
➮ Tripitaka includes Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, and Abhidhamma Pitaka.
➮ The Vinayapitaka comprires of suttavibhanga, Khandakas and Parivarpatha.
➮ The Vinay Pitaka :
(a) Mainly deals with rules and regulations, which the Buddha promulgated.
(b) It describes in detail the gradual development of the Sangha.
(c) An account of the life and teaching of the Buddha is also given.
➮ The Sutta Pitaka is divided into five Nikayas.
➮ The five Nikayas are Digh Nikaya, Majjhima Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya, Anguttara Nikaya and Khuddaka Nikaya.
➮ The Sutta Pitaka consists chiefly of discourses delivered by Buddha himself on different occasions. It lays down the principles of Buddhism.
➮ The Abhidhamma Pitaka is written in the form of questions and answers.
➮ The Abhidhamma Pitaka contains the profound philosophy of the Buddha’s teachings.


➮ Buddhist architecture developed essentially in three forms, viz.
(a) Stupa (relics of the Buddha or some prominent Buddhist monks are preserved)
(b) Chaitya (prayer hall)
(c) Vihara (residence)

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