Buddhism has a long and rich history. From the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, based on whose teachings Buddhism developed, to the present day, this religion has changed how millions of people view the world. The teachings of Buddhism evolved over a long period of time, spreading from the Indian subcontinent into other parts of Asia and across the globe.
|5th Century BCE
|Life of Shakyamuni Buddha, based on whose teachings Buddhism developed.
|Reign of King Ashoka, patron of Buddhism; sends first Buddhists to Sri Lanka in the third century.
|100 BCE to 100 CE
|Rise of Mahayana Buddhism.
|First half of 2nd century CE
|Reign of King Kanishka; Mahayana Buddhism spreads to Central Asia.
|1st century CE
|Buddhism first enters China.
|First Zen patriarch Bodhidharma arrives in China.
|Buddhism enters Japan from Korea.
|7th to 8th century
|Vajrayana Buddhism established in Tibet.
|11th to 14th century
|Theravada Buddhism established in Southeast Asia.
|Nalanda University destroyed; demise of Buddhism in India.
|Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren Buddhism established in Japan.
|Pali Text Society founded.
|World Parliament of Religions (Chicago).
|Celebration of 2,500 years of Buddhism.