Buddhism is a non-theistic religion (no belief in a creator god), also considered a philosophy and a moral discipline, originating in the region of modern-day India in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE. It was founded by the sage Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha l. c. 563 - c. 483 BCE) who, according to legend, had been a Hindu prince.

More about: Buddhism


  • c. 563 BCE - c. 483 BCE
    Generally accepted dates of the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, by scholars.
  • c. 400 BCE
    First Buddhist Council at Rajgir, Bihar, India; teachings and monastic discipline agreed to and codified.
  • 383 BCE
    Second Buddhist Council at which the Sthaviravada and Mahasanghika schools separate over differences in monastic discipline; the first schism in Buddhism.
  • c. 200 BCE - c. 600 CE
    Construction of the 30 Buddhist cave-shrines at Ajanta, many of which display features of Gupta architecture.
  • c. 100 BCE
    Buddhist sutras began to be written down in Pali.
  • c. 75 CE - c. 450 CE
    Kushan rule in the Gandhara region, arguably the golden era of the Gandhara civilization in which art, architecture and the propagation of the Buddhist religion excelled.
  • 148 CE
    An Shigao is the first Buddhist translator mentioned in Chinese sources who established a translation centre in the Chinese imperial capital, Luoyang.
  • c. 200 CE
    The Buddhist Lotus Sutra is written down in Pali language.
  • c. 200 CE - c. 400 CE
    The Buddhist Nirvana Sutra is written down in Pali language.
  • c. 200 CE
    Dhammapada is translated to Chinese and other Asian languages.
  • 372 CE
    A Confucian Academy is established in the Goguryeo kingdom of northern Korea and Buddism is adopted as the state religion.
  • 384 CE
    Buddhism is adopted as the state religion by the Baekje kingdom of western Korea.
  • c. 450 CE
    Buddhist scholar Buddhaghosa writes his commentary on Dhammapada.
  • 538 CE
    Alternative date to 552 CE for the introduction of Buddhism to Japan from Korea.
  • 552 CE
    Traditional date for the introduction of Buddhism to Japan from Korea.
  • 7 Feb 573 CE - 8 Apr 622 CE
    Prince Shotoku was the founder of Japanese Buddhism and of the Japanese nation. He is famous for his 17-article constitution, the first Buddhist constitution ever to be created.
  • 593 CE
    The Shitennoji Buddhist temple is built in Japan.
  • 596 CE
    The Hokoji Buddhist temple is built in Japan.
  • 607 CE
    The Horyuji Buddhist temple is built in Nara, Japan during the reign of Regent Prince Shotoku.
  • 617 CE - 686 CE
    Life of the Korean Buddhist philosopher Wonhyo.
  • 710 CE
    The Buddhist Kofukuji temple is established at Nara, main temple of the Japanese Fujiwara clan.
  • 751 CE - 790 CE
    The Buddhist Bulguksa temple complex is built east of Gyeongju, Korea.
  • 751 CE - 774 CE
    The Buddhist cave temple at Seokguram (Sokkuram) east of Gyeongju, Korea is built.
  • 752 CE
    The Buddhist Todaiji temple is founded at Nara, Japan.
  • 767 CE - 822 CE
    Life of Saicho, founder of Tendai Buddhism in Japan.
  • 771 CE
    The large bronze bell at the Buddhist shrine at Bongdeoksa, Korea, also known as the Emille Bell, is cast.
  • 774 CE - 835 CE
    Life of the monk Kukai (aka Kobo Daishi), founder of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.
  • c. 793 CE - 864 CE
    Life of Ennin, the Buddhist scholar-monk and abbot of Enryakuji, who brought many esoteric teachings from China to Japan.n
  • 796 CE
    The Buddhist To-ji temple near Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan is founded.
  • 819 CE
    Kukai (Kobo Daishi) establishes a monastery and headquarters for Shingon Buddhism on Mount Koya in Japan.
  • 838 CE - 847 CE
    Japanese Tendai Buddhist monk Ennin studies esoteric Buddhism in China.
  • 842 CE - 845 CE
    The Chinese state persecutes Buddhist monks and their monasteries.
  • 849 CE
    Ennin leads the first imperial-sponsored esoteric ritual at Enryakuji, Japan.
  • 874 CE
    The Buddhist Daigoji temple is founded by Shobo at Heiankyo (Kyoto).
  • 1164 CE
    The Buddhist Sanjusangendo temple is founded at Heiankyo (Kyoto), Japan.
  • 1855 CE
    First Latin translation of the Dhammapada.