Painting of Nāgārjuna from the Shingon Hassozō, a series of scrolls authored by the Shingon school of Buddhism. Japan, Kamakura Period (13th-14th century)
Representatives from the three major modern Buddhist traditions, at the World Fellowship of Buddhists, 27th General Conference, 2014.
A map of the Satavahana Kingdom, showing the location of Amaravathi (where Nāgārjuna may have lived and worked according to Walser) and Vidarbha (the birthplace of Nāgārjuna according to Kumārajīva).
Map showing major Buddhist divisions
A model of the Amaravati Stupa
Districtwise Buddhist population percentage, India census 2011. India's West-centre area Maharashtra shows Navayana Buddhist population
Nicholas Roerich "Nagarjuna Conqueror of the Serpent" (1925)
Percentage of Buddhists by country, according to the Pew Research Center.
Golden statue of Nāgārjuna at Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery, Scotland
Map of the major geographical centers of major Buddhist schools in South Asia, at around the time of Xuanzang's visit in the seventh century. * Red: non-Pudgalavāda Sarvāstivāda school * Orange: non-Dharmaguptaka Vibhajyavāda schools * Yellow: Mahāsāṃghika * Green: Pudgalavāda (Green) * Gray: Dharmaguptaka Note the red and grey schools already gave some original ideas of Mahayana Buddhism and the Sri Lankan section (see Tamrashatiya) of the orange school is the origin of modern Theravada Buddhism.
The Tipitaka (Pali Canon), in a Thai Style book case. The Pali Tipitaka is the doctrinal foundation of all major Theravāda sects today
Nagarjuna, one of the most influential thinkers of Indian Mahāyāna Buddhism
Indian Buddhist Mahasiddhas, 18th century, Boston MFA.
B. R. Ambedkar delivering speech during conversion, Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur, 14 October 1956
Taixu, the founder of Chinese Humanistic Buddhism

At this point in Buddhist history, the Buddhist community was already divided into various Buddhist schools and had spread throughout India.

- Nagarjuna

This tradition followed the works of the philosopher Nāgārjuna (c.

- Schools of Buddhism
Painting of Nāgārjuna from the Shingon Hassozō, a series of scrolls authored by the Shingon school of Buddhism. Japan, Kamakura Period (13th-14th century)

3 related topics

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Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan

Buddhism

Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan
The gilded "Emaciated Buddha statue" in an Ubosoth in Bangkok representing the stage of his asceticism
Enlightenment of Buddha, Kushan dynasty, late 2nd to early 3rd century CE, Gandhara.
The Buddha teaching the Four Noble Truths. Sanskrit manuscript. Nalanda, Bihar, India.
Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Thangka depicting the Wheel of Life with its six realms
Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India is regionally believed to be Buddha's cremation site.
An aniconic depiction of the Buddha's spiritual liberation (moksha) or awakening (bodhi), at Sanchi. The Buddha is not depicted, only symbolized by the Bodhi tree and the empty seat.
Dharma Wheel and triratna symbols from Sanchi Stupa number 2.
Buddhist monks and nuns praying in the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple of Singapore
A depiction of Siddhartha Gautama in a previous life prostrating before the past Buddha Dipankara. After making a resolve to be a Buddha, and receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood, he becomes a "bodhisattva".
Bodhisattva Maitreya, Gandhara (3rd century), Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sermon in the Deer Park depicted at Wat Chedi Liam, near Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
Buddhist monks collect alms in Si Phan Don, Laos. Giving is a key virtue in Buddhism.
An ordination ceremony at Wat Yannawa in Bangkok. The Vinaya codes regulate the various sangha acts, including ordination.
Living at the root of a tree (trukkhamulik'anga) is one of the dhutaṅgas, a series of optional ascetic practices for Buddhist monastics.
Kōdō Sawaki practicing Zazen ("sitting dhyana")
Seated Buddha, Gal Viharaya, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka.
Kamakura Daibutsu, Kōtoku-in, Kamakura, Japan.
Statue of Buddha in Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Phitsanulok, Thailand
An 18th century Mongolian miniature which depicts the generation of the Vairocana Mandala
A section of the Northern wall mural at the Lukhang Temple depicting tummo, the three channels (nadis) and phowa
Monks debating at Sera Monastery, Tibet
Tibetan Buddhist prostration practice at Jokhang, Tibet.
Vegetarian meal at Buddhist temple. East Asian Buddhism tends to promote vegetarianism.
A depiction of the supposed First Buddhist council at Rajgir. Communal recitation was one of the original ways of transmitting and preserving Early Buddhist texts.
Gandhara birchbark scroll fragments (c. 1st century) from British Library Collection
The Tripiṭaka Koreana in South Korea, an edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon carved and preserved in over 81,000 wood printing blocks
Buddhist monk Geshe Konchog Wangdu reads Mahayana sutras from an old woodblock copy of the Tibetan Kanjur.
Mahākāśyapa meets an Ājīvika ascetic, one of the common Śramaṇa groups in ancient India
Ajanta Caves, Cave 10, a first period type chaitya worship hall with stupa but no idols.
Sanchi Stupa No. 3, near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Map of the Buddhist missions during the reign of Ashoka according to the Edicts of Ashoka.
Extent of Buddhism and trade routes in the 1st century CE.
Buddhist expansion throughout Asia
A Buddhist triad depicting, left to right, a Kushan, the future buddha Maitreya, Gautama Buddha, the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, and a monk. Second–third century. Guimet Museum
Site of Nalanda University, a great center of Mahāyāna thought
Vajrayana adopted deities such as Bhairava, known as Yamantaka in Tibetan Buddhism.
Angkor Thom build by Khmer King Jayavarman VII (c. 1120–1218).
Distribution of major Buddhist traditions
Buddhists of various traditions, Yeunten Ling Tibetan Institute
Monastics and white clad laypersons celebrate Vesak, Vipassakna Dhaurak, Cambodia
Chinese Buddhist monks performing a formal ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Tibetan Buddhists practicing Chöd with various ritual implements, such as the Damaru drum, hand-bell, and Kangling (thighbone trumpet).
Ruins of a temple at the Erdene Zuu Monastery complex in Mongolia.
Buryat Buddhist monk in Siberia
1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago
Interior of the Thai Buddhist wat in Nukari, Nurmijärvi, Finland
Percentage of Buddhists by country, according to the Pew Research Center, as of 2010
A painting by G. B. Hooijer (c. 1916–1919) reconstructing a scene of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Frontispiece of the Chinese Diamond Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world

Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, and their specific teachings and practices.

Emptiness is a central concept in Mahāyāna Buddhism, especially in Nagarjuna's Madhyamaka school, and in the Prajñāpāramitā sutras.

Nepalese Thangka with Prajñāpāramitā, the personification of transcendent wisdom, holding a Mahāyāna Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Mahayana sutras

The Mahāyāna Sūtras (𑀫𑀳𑀸𑀬𑀸𑀦 𑀲𑀽𑀢𑁆𑀭𑀸𑀡𑀺) are a broad genre of Buddhist sutra scriptures that are accepted as canonical and as buddhavacana ("Buddha word") in Mahāyāna Buddhism.

The Mahāyāna Sūtras (𑀫𑀳𑀸𑀬𑀸𑀦 𑀲𑀽𑀢𑁆𑀭𑀸𑀡𑀺) are a broad genre of Buddhist sutra scriptures that are accepted as canonical and as buddhavacana ("Buddha word") in Mahāyāna Buddhism.

Nepalese Thangka with Prajñāpāramitā, the personification of transcendent wisdom, holding a Mahāyāna Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra
A painting by Nicholas Roerich (1925) depicting Nāgārjuna in the realm of the Nagas, where the Prajñāpāramitā was said to have been hidden.
Folio from a manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra depicting Shadakshari Lokesvara, early 12th century, Opaque watercolor on palm leaf.
Chanting the Buddhist Scriptures, by Taiwanese painter Li Mei-shu
The Tripiṭaka Koreana, an early edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon
Sanskrit manuscript of the Heart Sūtra in the Siddhaṃ script. Bibliothèque nationale de France
The world's earliest printed book is a Chinese translation of the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra from Dunhuang (circa 868 CE).
The floating jeweled stupa; illustrated Lotus Sutra, Japan 1257.
Vietnamese Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra
A Goryeo (918-1392) illustration of the Descent of Maitreya Sutra, Myomanji, Kyoto, Japan.
Copy of the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra from Dunhuang in the British Library
The layman Vimalakīrti Debates Manjusri, Dunhuang Mogao Caves
Goryeo Buddhāvataṃsaka manuscript, 14th century.
Jeweled pagoda mandala from a copy of the Golden Light Sutra. Japan, Heian period, 12th century
A Chinese illustration of the apotropaic Mahāpratisarādhāraṇī, in Sanskrit and Siddhaṃ script, Later Tang, 927 CE.

The Mahāyāna sūtras were not accepted by all Buddhists in India, and the various Indian Buddhist schools disagreed on their status as "word of the Buddha".

Later, these sūtras were retrieved by Nāgārjuna.

The Buddhist Nalanda university and monastery was a major center of learning in India from the 5th century CE until the 12th century.

Buddhist philosophy

The Buddhist Nalanda university and monastery was a major center of learning in India from the 5th century CE until the 12th century.
Gautama Buddha surrounded by followers, from an 18th-century Burmese watercolour
Indian Emperor Aśoka and the elder Moggaliputta-Tissa, who is seen as a key thinker of the Vibhajyavāda tradition (and thus, of Theravada).
Buddhaghosa (c. 5th century), the most important Abhidharma scholar of Theravāda Buddhism, presenting three copies of the Visuddhimagga.
Nagarjuna, protected by the Nagas snake spirits who are said to be the guardians of the Prajnaparamita sutras.
Vasubandhu wrote in defense of Vijñapti-matra (appearance only) as well as writing a massive work on Abhidharma, the Abhidharmakosa.
Dignāga in formal debating stance
Abhayākaragupta, one of "the last great masters" of Indian Buddhism (Kapstein).
Tsongkapa, 15th-century painting, Rubin Museum of Art
Gorampa Sonam Senge
Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso.
Painting of Śramaṇa Zhiyi of the Tiantai school.
A 3D rendering of Indra's net.
The Garbhadhatu mandala. The center square represents the young stage of Vairocana Buddha.
A portrait of Gendün Chöphel in India, 1936.
Kitarō Nishida, professor of philosophy at Kyoto University and founder of the Kyoto School.

Buddhist philosophy refers to the philosophical investigations and systems of inquiry that developed among various Buddhist schools in India following the parinirvana (i.e. death) of the Buddha and later spread throughout Asia.

The Prajñāpāramitā teachings are associated with the work of the Buddhist philosopher Nāgārjuna (c.