Buddhism Part-2 Insights

Buddhism Part-2 Insights



The Buddhist councils:

Buddhist Councils marked important turning points in the evolution of Buddhism.

First Council:

  • The council was held in the Sattapani cave at Rajgriha.
  • It was held around 483 BC and was presided by Mahakasyapa under the patronage of King Ajatshatru.
  • Vinaya Pittaka (which deals with rules or discipline of the sangha), Sutta Pittaka (discourses and sermons of Buddha) and Abhidhamma Piṭaka ((treatises that elaborate Buddhist doctrines) were evolved in this council.

Second Council:

  • It was held in Vaishali and was presided by Sabakami under the patronage of the king Kalasoka in 383 BC.

Third Council:

  • It was held in 250 BC in Patliputra and was presided by Moggaliputta Tissa under the patronage of Ashoka.

Fourth Council:

  • It was held at Kundalvana, Kashmir in 72 CE and was presided by Vasumitra, while Asvaghosa was his deputy under the patronage of King Kanishka of Kushan Empire.
  • Buddhism was divided into two schools of thought namely Mahayana and Hinayana in this council.


Schools of Buddhism:


  • The term Mahayana is a Sanskrit word which can be translated to “Great Vehicle”.
  • It believes in the godliness of Buddha, and they worship Idols of Buddha and Bodhisattvas who are said to be embodying Buddha Nature.
  • Buddhist schools embedded in China, Korea, Tibet and Japan belong to the Mahayana tradition.
  • Mahayana has two main philosophical schools – the Madhyamika & Yogachara.
  • Its scriptures are in Sanskrit and they believe that salvation can be attained by means of faith and devotion to the mindfulness of the Buddha.

Hinayana or Theravada:

  • Hinayana literally translates to Lesser vehicle, also known as Abandoned Vehicle or Defective vehicle.
  • It believes in the original teaching of Buddha or Doctrine of elders.
  • Its scriptures are in Pali, and they don’t believe in idol worship and believes that salvation through self-discipline and meditation.
  • Asoka was a patron of this school of Buddhism.
  • Theravada Buddhism developed in Sri Lanka and subsequently spread to the rest of Southeast Asia.
  • It is the dominant form of religion in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.


  • Vajrayana translates into “The Vehicle of the Thunderbolt”, and is also known as tantric Buddhism.
  • The vajra or the thunderbolt is a mythical weapon associated with Indra which was said to be indestructible and unbreakable (like a diamond) and extremely powerful
  • Vajrayana originated from Mahayana school and embodied ideas of both the Yogachara discipline, and the Madhyamika philosophy.
  • Vajrayana Buddhism postulates that it can provide a faster path towards enlightenment, thus reducing the need of experiencing several lifetimes before reaching illumination.
  • Vajrayana is the most prevalent form of Buddhism in Tibet and the leader of this school is the Dalai Lama