Timeline of Buddhism

Before the Common Era (BCE)

566                        Birth of the Siddhartha the historic Buddha or possibly 448 BCE

486                        Death of the Buddha

368                       First Council at Rajagrha

386 – 268            Second Council at Vaisali

268                        Buddhism established in kathmandu Valley

207                        Buddhism established in Sri Lanka

268 – 232            Reign of King Asoka

250                       Third Council at Pataliputra under Asoka

1st century        Emergence of Mahayana.  Earliest Buddha images appear


Common Era (CE)

25                           Recording of Pali tipitaka

100                        Lotus Sutra composed

2nd century       Life of Nagarjuna.  Spread of Buddhism to regions of Indo-China

372                        Buddhism moves into Korean peninsula

401                       Kumarajiva arrives in China.

500                      Rock carvings appear at Ajanta Ellora

6st century       Buddhism comes to Indonesia

520                      Bodhidharma arrives in China with Chan Teachings

552                       Official date Buddhism is adopted in Japan from Korea

600                       First datable use of the term “Mahayana” in India

638 – 713            Life of Huineng in China

750                      Establishment of Vajrayana.  Patronage of Mahayana in Java

745                      Shenhui extols the teachings of Huineng

770                      Padmasambhava invited to Tibet

771                      Construction of Bsam yas Tibetan monastery begins

797                      Historical debate at Bsam yas monastery

840                     Tamil Pandya invasion, sack of Anuradhapura Sri Lanka

842 – 845          Huichang persecution of Buddhism

10th century    Mahayana renaissance in Cambodia

983                     First printing of Chinese Buddhist canon

958 – 1055       Beginning of the later dissemination of Buddhism in Tibet

1010                  Korean creation of complete Buddhist canon

1145                  Angkor Wat founded as Vaisnavite temple

1133 – 1212      Life of Honen in Japan

1141                    Rinzaishu Zen in Japan established

1203                   Last Indian abbot Sakyasribhadra  flees to Tibet

1220                   Thai kingdom promotion of Theravada Buddhism

1200 – 1253     Life of Dogen, Japanese Soto Zen established

1222                   Nichiren Buddhist school in Japan established

1236                   Second Korean Buddhist canon created

1327                   Theravada Buddhism established in Cambodia

1353                   Theravada promoted in Laos

1360                   Theravada adopted in Thailand

1475                   Buddhist council at Chiangmai

1500                   Angkor Wat reconceived as Buddhist site.

1535 – 1615      Unification of Ch’an & pure land in China

1578                    Altan Khan confers the title on first Dalai Lama

1642                    Beginning of political rule by Dalai Lamas

1753                    Reinstatement of Buddhism in Thailand

1853                    First Buddhist temple in San Francisco is founded

1871                    Fifth Theravada Council held at Mandalay

1868                    Separation of Shinto from Buddhism in Japan

1881                    Founding of Pali Text Society

1891                    Reestablishing of Buddhism in India

1893                    World’s Parliament of Religions held first meeting in Chicago

1900                   Forest monk tradition revived in Thailand

1927                   Zenshuji Soto Zen temple is founded in Los Angeles

1931                    Nyogen Senzaki begins to teach Los Angeles

1950’s                D. T. Suzuki teaches at Columbia University

1950                  Beat generation begins to publish works on Zen Buddhism

1952                    Founding of World Fellowship of Buddhists

1959                    Fourteenth Dalai Lama goes into exile

1966                   Philip Kapleau founds the Rochester Zen Center

1969                   Shambhala Publications is formed at Berkeley, California

1972                   Seung Sahn a Korean monk arrives in Providence, Rhode Island

1974                   Naropa Institute is founded in Boulder, Colorado

1980                   Zen Mountain Monastery founded by John Daido Loori

1985                   Thich Nhat Hanh presents the Order of Interbeing to America

1989                   The Fourteenth Dalai Lama awarded Nobel Peace Prize

1996                   Gethsemani Encounter movement met Christian/Buddhist monks

1999                   The Buddhist Churches of America celebrates centennial
 Source: The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, 2014 Princeton University Press – Buddhism in America, 1999 Columbia University Press


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