Introduction to Indian Buddhism
By K. S. Dwivedi
Buddhism evolved in India. There were periods in India's past when Buddhism was dominant in India. Today less than 1% of India's population is Buddhist. Buddhism has more followers in countries east of India. Buddhism was established in about 500 BC with a prince called Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha adopted the path of searching enlightenment and at some point he came to a conclusion that this was neither the way towards enlightenment nor the spoiled life he had as a prince was the right path towards enlightenment. According to him the right path was somewhere in the middle and he called it the 'middle path'.
By the third century B.C. the still-young based on the Buddha's teachings was being spread throughout Sout Asia through the agency of the Mauryan Empire (ca.326-184 B.C. ) By the seventh century A.D. having spread throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia, Buddhism probably had the largest religious following in the world. The coming centuries witnessed rapid growth of Buddhism in India.
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