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Encyclopedia > Mahavamsa
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Buddhism


A replica of an ancient statue of Gautama Buddha, found in Sarnath, near Varanasi. ... Image File history File links Lotus-buddha. ...

History of Buddhism
Timeline of Buddhism
Buddhist councils
The history of Buddhism spans from the 6th century BCE to the present, starting with the birth of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. ... 563 BCE: Siddhārtha Gautama, Buddha-to-be, is born in Lumbini, Ancient India. ... // 1st Buddhist council (5th century BC) The first Buddhist council was held soon after the death of the Buddha under the patronage of king Ajatasatru, and presided by a monk named Mahakasyapa, at Rajagaha (todays Rajgir). ...

Foundations
Four Noble Truths
Noble Eightfold Path
The Five Precepts
Nirvāna · Three Jewels
Several Buddhist terms and concepts lack direct translations into English that cover the breadth of the original term. ... The Four Noble Truths (Pali: Chattari Arya Sachchhani, Chinese: 四聖諦 Sìshèngdì), being among the most fundamental Buddhist teachings, appear many times throughout the most ancient Buddhist texts, the Pali Canon. ... The Noble Eightfold Path (Sanskrit Āryo ṣṭāṅgo mārgaḥ , Pāli Ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo) of Buddhism, as taught by the Buddha Śākyamuni, is the way to the cessation of suffering, the fourth part of the Four Noble Truths. ... Pancasila or pañca-sila is the fundamental code of Buddhist ethics, willingly undertaken by lay followers of Gautama Buddha. ... [ (Devanagari , Pali: Nibbāna निब्बान -- Chinese: 涅槃; Pinyin: niè pán), literally extinction and/or extinguishing (ie, of the passions) is a mode of being that is free from mind-contaminants (Kilesa) such as lust, anger or craving. ... The Triratna or Three Jewels symbol, on a Buddha footprint. ...

Key Concepts
Three marks of existence
Skandha · Cosmology · Dharma
Samsara · Rebirth · Shunyata
Pratitya-samutpada · Karma
Several Buddhist terms and concepts lack direct translations into English that cover the breadth of the original term. ... After much meditation, the Buddha concluded that everything in the physical world (plus everything in the phenomenology of psychology) is marked by three characteristics, known as the three characteristics of existence or Dharma Seals. ... The skandhas (Sanskrit: Pāli: Khandha; literally: heap or bundle) are the five constituents or aggregates through which the functioning and experience of an individual is created according to Buddhist phenomenology. ... Buddhist cosmology is the description of the shape and evolution of the universe according to the canonical Buddhist scriptures and commentaries. ... In East Asia, the character for Dharma is 法, pronounced fǎ in Mandarin and hō in Japanese. ... Saṃsāra, the Sanskrit and Pāli term for continous movement or continuous flowing refers in Buddhism to the concept of a cycle of birth (jāti) and consequent decay and death (jarāmaraṇa), in which all beings in the universe participate and which can only be escaped... // Rebirth in the context of other religions and other Buddhist beliefs One of the features that distinguishes the Middle Eastern religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) from the Indian religions (most notably Hinduism and Buddhism) is the view of life and death. ... Śūnyatā, शून्यता (Sanskrit, Pali: suññatā), or Emptiness, is a term for an aspect of the Buddhist metaphysical critique as well as Buddhist epistemology and phenomenology. ... The doctrine of Pratītyasamutpāda (Sanskrit) or Paṭiccasamuppāda (Pāli; Tibetan: ) is Buddhisms primary contribution to metaphysics. ... Karma (Sanskrit karman) or Kamma (Pāli) means action or doing; whatever one does, says, or thinks is a karma. ...

Major Figures
Gautama Buddha
Buddha's Disciples · Family
A number of noted individuals have been Buddhists. ... Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE, Musée Guimet. ...

Practices and Attainment
Buddhahood · Bodhisattva
Four Stages of Enlightenment
Paramis · Meditation
A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa. ... In Buddhist thought, a bodhisattva (Pali: bodhisatta; Simplified Chinese: , Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: púsà; Japanese: 菩薩 bosatsu; Korean: ë³´ì‚´ bosal ; Tibetan changchub sempa (byang-chub sems-dpa); Vietnamese: Bồ Tát; Thai: พระโพธิสัตว์) is a being who is dedicated to assisting all sentient beings in achieving complete Buddhahood. ... The Four stages of enlightenment in Buddhism are the four degrees of approach to full enlightenment as an arhat which a Buddhist can attain in this life. ... Pāramitā (Sanskrit) or Parami (Pāli): Perfection or Transcendent (lit. ... Buddhist meditation, meditation used in the practice of Buddhism, includes any method of meditation that has Enlightenment as its ultimate aim. The closest word for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism is bhavana or mental development. // Methods of meditation The main methods of Buddhist meditation are divided into samatha...

Buddhism by Region
Southeast Asia · East Asia
Tibet · India · Western
Buddhist beliefs and practices vary according to region. ... Theravada (Pali; Sanskrit: Sthaviravada) is one of the eighteen (or twenty) Nikāya schools that formed early in the history of Buddhism. ... The Aomori Daibutsu (Big Buddha), Aomori, Japan. ... Tibetan Buddhism is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, the Himalayan region (including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and Sikkim), Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia (Russia), and northeastern China (Manchuria: Heilongjiang, Jilin). ... The Indo-Greek king Menander (155-130 BCE) is the first Western historical figure documented to have converted to Buddhism. ...

Schools of Buddhism
Theravāda · Mahāyāna
Vajrayāna · Early schools
There are many divisions and subdivisions of the schools of Buddhism. ... Theravada (Pali; Sanskrit: Sthaviravada) is one of the eighteen (or twenty) Nikāya schools that formed early in the history of Buddhism. ... Relief image of the bodhisattva Kuan Yin from Mt. ... Chinese :   金剛乘   jin gang cheng A mandala used in Vajrayana Buddhist practices. ... Divisions among the early Buddhist schools came about due to doctrinal or practical differences in the views of the Buddhist Sangha following the death of the Buddha. ...

Texts
Pali Suttas · Mahayana Sutras
Vinaya · Abhidhamma
There are a great variety of Buddhist texts. ... The Sutta Pitaka (or Sutra Pitaka) is the second of three divisions of the Tipitaka, the great Pali collection of Buddhist writings. ... Mahayana sutras are a very broad genre of Buddhist scriptures that were originally put in writing starting in the first century BCE. They form the basis of the various Mahayana schools. ... Pali or Sanskrit word meaning discipline. The Vinaya is the textual framework for the Buddhist monastic community, or sangha. ... The abhidhamma is the name of one of the three pitakas, or baskets of tradition, into which the Tipitaka (Pali; Sanskrit: Tripitaka), the canon of early Buddhism, is divided. ...

Comparative Studies
Culture · List of Topics
Portal: Buddhism
Image:Dharma_wheel_1.png The cultural elements of Buddhism vary by region and include: Buddhist cuisine Buddhist art Buddharupa Art and architecture of Japan Greco-Buddhism Tibetan Buddhist sacred art Buddhist music Buddhist chant Shomyo Categories: Buddhism-related stubs ... Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z The following is a List of Buddhist topics: A Abhidharma Ahimsa Ajahn Ajahn Chah Ajanta Aksobhya Alexandra David-Néel... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...

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The Mahavansha, also Mahawansha, (Pāli: "great chronicle") is a historical record, often thought to be the oldest written record oh history, written in the Pāli language, of the Buddhist kings as well as Dravidian kings of Sri Lanka. It covers the period from the coming of King Vijaya in 543 BCE to the reign of King Mahasena (334361). Generally a chronicle (Latin chronica) is historical account of facts and events in chronological order. ... Pāli is a Middle Indo-Aryan dialect or prakrit. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by... Look up monarch in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The terms Dravidians and Dravidian people or Dravidian race are sometimes given to the people of southern, central and northern India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who speak Dravidian languages. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC Events and trends 548 BC -- Croesus, Lydian king, defeated by Cyrus. ... For the novel by Thomas M. Disch see 334 (novel). ... Events Emperor Ai succeeds Emperor Mu as emperor of China. ...


The Mahavansha was written in the 6th century CE by the Buddhist monk Mahanama, brother of the Sri-Lankan King Dhatusena, and heavily relied on the Dipavamsa, written five centuries earlier. This Buddhist stela from China, Northern Wei period, was built in the early 6th century. ... A monk is a person who practices asceticism, the conditioning of mind and body in favor of the spirit. ... The Dipavamsa (Island Chronicle in Pali) is the oldest historical record of Sri Lanka, believed to be compiled in the 4th century. ...


A companion volume, the Culavamsa or Choolavansha ("lesser chronicle"), compiled by Sinhala Buddhist monks, covers the period from the 4th century to the British takeover of Sri Lanka in 1815. The combined work, sometimes collectively referred to as the "Mahavansha", provides a continuous historical record of over two millennia. The Culavamsa, also Chulavamsa, (Pāli: lesser chronicle) is a historical record, written in the Pāli language, of the kings of Sri Lanka. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... The Battle of New Orleans 1815 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


While not considered a canonical religious text, the Mahavansha is an important Buddhist document of the early history of religion in Sri Lanka, beginning near the time of the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama. As it often refers to the royal dynasties of India, the Mahavansha is also valuable to historians who wish to date and relate contemporary royal dynasties in the Indian subcontinent. It is very important in dating the consecration of the Maurya emperor Asoka, which is related to the synchronicity with the Seleucids and Alexander the Great. Standing Buddha, ancient region of Gandhara, northern Pakistan, 1st century CE. Gautama Buddha was a South Asian spiritual leader who lived between approximately 563 BCE and 483 BCE. Born Siddhartha Gautama in Sanskrit, a name meaning descendant of Gotama whose aims are achieved/who is efficacious in achieving aims, he... // For other uses, see Dynasty (disambiguation). ... Satellite image of the Indian subcontinent Map of South Asia (see note) The Indian subcontinent is a peninsular landmass of the Asian continent occupying the Indian Plate and extending into the Indian Ocean, bordered on the north by the Eurasian Plate. ... To consecrate an inanimate object is to dedicate it in a ritual to a special purpose, usually religious. ... Chandragupta Maurya (ruled 322–298 BC), known to the Greeks as Sandracottus, was the first emperor of the Mauryan empire. ... This article is about Ashoka, the emperor. ... synchronicity - graphic by Christoph Balzar, copyright VG-Bildkunst 2006 Synchronicity is a word coined by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung to describe the temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events. ... Seleucus I Nicator (Nicator, the Victor) (around 358–281 BC) was one of Alexander the Greats generals who, after Alexanders death in 323 BC, founded the Seleucid Empire. ... Alexander the Great (Greek: [1], Megas Alexandros; July 356 BC — June 11, 323 BC), also known as Alexander III, king of Macedon (336–323 BC), was one of the most successful military commanders in history, conquering most of the known world before his death; he is frequently included in a...


A German translation of Mahavansha was completed by Wilhelm Geiger in 1912. This was then translated into English by Mabel Haynes Bode, and the English translation was revised by Geiger. The revised English translation is now available on the World wide web. 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (WWW or simply the Web) is a global, read-write information space. ...

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See also

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The recorded History of Sri Lanka is usually taken to begin in the 6th century BCE, when the Indo-Aryan people migrated into the island from India. ... Anuradhapura, (අනුරාධපුර in Sinhala), is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, world famous for its well preserved ruins of the Great Sri Lankan Civilization. ... The second most ancient of Sri Lankas kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. ... There are a great variety of Buddhist texts. ... The Bodhi-Vamsa, or Mahabodhi-Vamsa, is a prose poem in elaborate Sanskritized Pali, composed by Upatissa in the reign of Mahinda IV of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) about A.D. 980. ...

External links

  • Geiger/Bode Translation of the Mahavamsa
  • The Mahavamsa - The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka
  • "Concise Mahavamsa" on-line version of: Ruwan Rajapakse, P.E. (2003). Concise Mahavamsa: History of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Maplewood, NJ : Ruwan Rajapakse. ISBN 0-9728657-0-5.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Online edition of Daily News - Features (1877 words)
Mahavamsa author had made a deliberate attempt to identify in derogatory terms the four indigenous clans - Raaksha, Yaksha, Naaga and Deva while elevating Vijaya's royalty and the Aryans to a point that their arrival marked the birth of Sri Lankan nation.
Mahavamsa mentions that at the time, the combined name for the four clans was Sivhela (the four helas) or Sinhala.
Another strange coincidence of the Mahavamsa author which had sent modern historians into confusion was fixing the demise of the Buddha at 544 BCE and timing it with the date of Vijaya's arrival in Sri Lanka.
WWW Virtual Library:  Owagiri (5976 words)
There existed an earlier Mahavamsa in Sinhala known as the Sinhala-attakatha-Mahavamsa, which was the source of the Pali Mahavamsa written by the thera Mahanama in the 6th century AC, in the Mahavihara in Anuradhapura.
The second part of the Mahavamsa (also known as the Culavamsa in modern times) dealing with the reigns of King Dhatusena and his sons Kassapa 1 and Moggalana 1 was compiled, no doubt from earlier source material, by the thera Dhammakitti, probably in Polonnaruwa, in the 13th century.
Furthermore, the author of the relevant Mahavamsa belonged to the Mahavihara which had by this time suppressed its rival sects and evidently did not consider Kassapa I, the parricide, as a favourite patron of the Theravada Buddhist tradition which was centred in the Mahavihara.
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