Concept

History of Buddhism in India

Summary
Buddhism is an ancient Indian religion, which arose in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now in Bihar, India), and is based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha who was deemed a "Buddha" ("Awakened One"), although Buddhist doctrine holds that there were other Buddhas before him. Buddhism spread outside of Magadha starting in the Buddha's lifetime. During the reign of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka The Great, the Buddhist community split into two branches: the Mahāsāṃghika and the Sthaviravāda, each of which spread throughout India and split into numerous sub-sects. In modern times, two major branches of Buddhism exist: the Theravada in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, and the Mahayana throughout the Himalayas and East Asia. The Buddhist tradition of Vajrayana is sometimes classified as a part of Mahayana Buddhism, but some scholars consider it to be a different branch altogether. The practice of Buddhism lost influence in India around the 7th century CE, after the collapse of
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