The Various Phases of Buddhism in India and its teachings with various great masters
Buddhism the religion of spiritual tradition of the awakened one, Buddha has many great sites by its devotees during the early phase of the religion, it is one of the most widespread religions in the world with its roots in India, Buddhism in India has seen its glory days to the days where it became almost extinct in India.
Buddhism in India taught world the way to salvation, where one can free himself from the life cycle of birth and death. The three most important teaching of Buddha can be categorized as Vinaya-Pitaka(Collection of discipline), Sutra-Pitaka(collection of discourses) and Abhidharma-Pitaka(collection of Abdhidhrama or metaphysics). The purpose of these teaching was to free oneself from all the worldly suffering which is caused by various emotions like anger, delusion and desire, Buddha taught the way one can achieve total salvation is by the constant practice of discipline , concentration and transcendental knowledge. Buddha when attained the state of Nirvana by mediating under a Bodhi tree, moved to Sarnath where he first have a sermon at a deer park with only his few followers. From that day many people started following the great religion and the teachings of its crossed India borders. Devotees spread the word of Buddhism around the world in large numbers.
The early phase of Buddhism was from the time period 6th century to middle of 5th century B.C.E. The second phase of Buddhism in India and in world saw the various interpretations of his Buddha teachings, now Buddha councils were started to take place. The time period when all this took place was for 4th century to 1st century C.E. During the Mahaparinirvana, when Buddha died and achieved a higher state of Nirvana, the teachings of Hinayana took place. Hinayana teachings were primarily focused on the individual liberation or salvation called Pratimoksha. Later in the 7th century we see the rise of the Mahayana Buddhism with its two schools Chitamattra and Madhyamaka, during this period many great master were present like Asanga, Vasubhandu etc. With all these teachings of such great master the religion has many followers and become one of the most popular religions in the world. Various people would go a pilgrimage tour in India visiting all such famous sites like Sarnath – where Buddha first give sermon, Bodh Gaya – The mediation place of Buddha, Khushinagar – where he passed away and Lumbini- his birthplace.
After 13th century Buddhism in India became extinct with all of great sites were destroyed by invaders from the north-west, the various stupas which were built by the great emperor Ashoka were destroyed still there ruins can still be found at their creation place. The devotees from other countries kept t the religion going and spreading its words in their counties, the major countries where Buddhism religion was practiced is China, Bhutan, Japan and Tibet. Over the last couple of years various schools of Buddhism have been opened where teachings of it were taught.
By going on Buddhist tour you will find great sites to explore, the four most well known sites and other have been visited by tourist from all over the world throughout the year, during the time of October to January the traffic is high as many Buddha festivals are celebrated during this time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rahul Patel is the tour manager at Jatak Travel, you can get a well managed Buddhism in India tour at an affordable cost at Jatak Travels.