Important events after the Death the Buddha

discussing some Major Buddhist council and splits in Buddhism and the downfall of Buddhism.

Events After the Death of Gautama Buddha!

4 Principles came into existence or 4 Buddhist council happened


1st Buddhist council- 483BC

place-Rajagriha- president Mahakashyapa

King- Ajatashatru(patronized)

→ first-time Buddhist Teachings got documented

Anada wrote suttapitaka

Upali wrote Vinayapitaka

Buddhist teachings called Tripitakas

  1. suttapitaka

  2. Vinayapittaka

  3. Abhidhamma Pitaka(composed in 3rd Buddhist council)

2nd Buddhist Council - 383 BC

Place -vyshali(bihar)

President- Sabakami

King -Kalashoka

2 groups emerged(Teravadas(no change) and Mahasangikas(those who want change))

Teravadas are the oldest form of Buddhism

3rd Buddhist council-250BC

Place- Pataliputra

President- Mogaliputtatissa

King- Ashoka

King Ashoka made the Buddhism an International religion

He sent his son and daughter(Mahendra and Sanghamitra) to Srilanka to preach Buddhism

He sent Maharakshita to Greece to preach Buddhism.

Abhidhamma Pitaka(deals with Meta Physics) Written in 3rd Buddhist council

4th Buddhist council-100AD

place-Kundalavana Kashmir

President- Asvaghosha, and Vasumitthra

King- Kanishka(Greatest ruler in north India)

There are 36 splits in this council and the most important of them were Hinayana and Mahayana

Splits in Buddhism

Hinayana Buddhism(lesser Vehicle)-yanam means the vehicle

  • One of the original Buddhism Teachings

  • They believe Buddha is just an enlightened Being not God

  • Buddha used to say he is not god and never construct Idols

  • They follow Ashtanga Marga for salvation

  • Popularly spreads to Srilanka and other south east Asian countries

  • Wrote only in the Pali language

Important Pali text- Milindapanho

Mahayana Buddhism(Greater Vehicle)

  • Became more popular and Pro chargers

  • Adopted Sanskrit Language and became popular in the 1st Century

  • Brahmanic became more powerful that’s why sanskrit was adopted and Pali was getting old and rare

  • They believe Buddha is a God

  • A major reason for the downfall of Buddha as people celebrated buddha as God and Installed Idols and stupas

  • They believed Bodhisattva will give the salvation to all

[Bodhisattvas are nothing but Reincarnations of Buddha and the future birth of buddha is called Maitreyas]- UPSC Question 2020

Examples of bodhisattvas- Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, Padmapani

All the Stories of Buddhism can be found in Jatakas

Vajrayana Buddhism-4th century AD (Diamond vehicle)

(copycat of Hindusim)

  • Tantric Buddhism(magical powers, sorceries practices)

  • Kalachakrayana Buddhism(Black Magics, Rituals, worshipped Taras(wives of Buddha)

  • Sahajayana Buddhism(believed in sexual intercourse between Bikshus and bikshinis, believed in Pleasure)

  • All Buddhist sanghas in Sahajayana Buddhism turned into clubs and have gained all the vices and the major reason for the downfall of Buddhism

Buddhist Architectures

On toranas

Sculptures of Salabanjikas(apsarasas who are holding branches of tree)

Yakshas sculptures

Chaityas -prayers hall

Viharas- Resting halls of bikshus and bikshinis


Pipliwaha stupa-UP

Amaravati- AP



Shalihunda}- AP

Theragatha- stories of Bikshus

Therigatha -stories of Bikshinis

Decline of Buddhism

  • Mahayana buddhism changed Buddhist paths

  • Buddhism competed with Brahmanism and lost its identity

  • Superstition beliefs in ‘Buddhism(Kalachakra and Sahajayana)

  • No King after 1st century AD patronised Buddhism

  • Final death blow was given by Adishankaracharya (proved no difference between Brahmanism and Buddhism)

These are all internal reasons for the decline of Buddhism and External reason was Islamic Invasion(example Bakhtiyar khilji)