Northern Buddhism in History

Northern Buddhism in History

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Book Specification

Item Code: AZG867
Author: Shanker Thapa
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 9789937506137
Pages: 362
Other Details 8.50x5.50 inch
Weight 460 gm

Book Description

This book is the outcome of an extraordinary effort on the part of the editor and the contributing scholars. It is primarily a collection of articles written on various themes related to Buddhist history of countries where prominent tradition is the Mahayana. The idea of editing this volume is the result of my interest in Buddhist history. Its composition is diverse in structure and its contents. The title may give an impression of a general and complete history of Buddhism for cach country under consideration. However, it is not possible to compile a complete history of Mahayana countries north of Nepal in a volume like this. Research on the history of Buddhism has advanced so much that it is not possible to edit it all in one volume. Therefore, papers dealing with a certain historical aspect of a particular country and having some special significance in the study of Buddhist history were finally selected for publication. As a matter of fact, papers dealing with micro historical themes are included within the broad title. The Northern Buddhism in History' covers the countries North of Nepal up to Japan. All these countries are very important in the study of the history of Mahayana Buddhism. Buddhist scholars and practitioners from various countries have made invaluable contribution to the development and expansion of Mahayana Buddhism. On the other hand, the Buddhist savants, intelligentsia, laity and rulers contributed equally. In most of these countries, the ruling dynasties patronized Buddhism. This is the reason that Buddhism had opportunity to flourish. During the course of history, each country has developed and embedded indigenous features in the practice of Buddhism. The amalgamation of native features in Buddhism domesticated the Indian religion in distant regions and made it the Buddhism of individual countries. Regional features evolved so far made it unique in the sense that it has very special characteristics in dogma, beliefs and practices.

Shanker Thapa Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu

THE HISTORICAL SITUATION in India on the eve of the origin of Buddhism and also its spread to countries in the north are vital historical aspects of its development and expansion. Buddhism has undergone different historical phases of development in new distant places with diverse social systems and cultural traditions.

Buddhism as a religion has a flexible nature that helped it to adapt to the changed cultural contexts on foreign soil. Its appeal to the problems of desperate people and assurance of a kind of mitigation of their sufferings attracted them into its fold. As a matter of fact, people found a comfortable place to stay there. It, in fact, offered a greater solace to human society compared to other religions of the time. It provided a rational solution to psychological, moral or spiritual problems. It made Buddhism very popular in many places such as all Central Asia, China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan within just a few hundred years of its origin. Mainly Mahayana Buddhism proliferated in this part of the globe. Its tenets were deeply imbedded in the local culture. After Buddhism began in India, it gradually turned into a missionary religion. Buddhism in Central Asia has a glorious history. It is important to note that Buddhism does not possess any sorts of militant characteristics. However, penetration of Islam in Central Asia from Bactria and Parthia finally brought Buddhism to a stand-still. By the 7th Century CE, Buddhism had completely collapsed in the Central Asian region. Islam prevailed over Buddhism and wiped it out from the entire region. During the course of time, Buddhism could not survive in the country of its origin either. This was truly a great loss to the human society.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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