How Many Buddhist Councils Were Held?

3 minute read
how many Buddhist councils were held

Are you curious to know how many Buddhist councils were held? Well, let us give you the answer. A total of four Buddhist Councils were held in India and again two councils were held outside India. Buddhism is one of the world’s major religions and the councils functioned to preserve and disseminate the teachings of Gautam Buddha. These Buddhist Councils ensured that the accuracy and authenticity of Buddhist scriptures and doctrines were kept intact. 

The First Buddhist Council

The first Buddhist Council was held in around 483 BCE, just after the passing away of Buddha. It took place in Rajgriha, under the patronage of King Ajatashatru. The primary purpose of this council was to recite and codify the teachings of Buddha, known as the Suttas, and the disciplinary rules for monks, known as the Vinaya. The council was presided over by Mahakassapa and attended by 500 arahants.

Also Read – Buddhist Education System: Features, Role & Merits

The Second Buddhist Council

The second Buddhist Council took place about a century after the first council, around 383 BCE. This council was convened by King Kalashoka in Vaishali due to a dispute over the Vinaya rules. The council resulted in the split of the Buddhist community into two sects: the Sthavira (elders) and Mahasanghika (Great Assembly).

Compilation of Tripitakas

The Third Buddhist Council

The third Buddhist Council, also known as the Pataliputra Council, was held in the 3rd century 250 BCE during the reign of Emperor Ashoka. This council was organized to purify the Buddhist monastic community from corrupt practices and heretical views. The council was presided over by Moggaliputta Tissa and resulted in the compilation of the Kathavatthu, a text refuting various wrong views.

Also Read – Sects of Buddhism: History, Origin, Branches

The Fourth Buddhist Council

The fourth Buddhist Council took place in the 1st century, 72AD in Jalandhar, present-day Punjab under the patronage of Kanishka. This council was convened to preserve and clarify the Tripitaka, the traditional teachings of Buddhism. The Tripitaka was committed to writing for the first time during this council.

The Fifth Buddhist Council

The fifth Buddhist Council was held in Myanmar in 1871 under the patronage of King Mindon. This council aimed to recite and authenticate the entire Tipitaka, the Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism. The recitation took over six months to complete, and the scriptures were inscribed on 729 marble slabs for preservation.

Also Read – Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism: Differences and Similarities

The Sixth Buddhist Council

The most recent Buddhist Council, the sixth, was held in Rangoon, Myanmar, in 1954 and 1956. This council was convened by Burmese Prime Minister U Nu and attended by monks from various Theravada countries. The main objective of this council was to review and recite the entire Tipitaka to ensure its preservation and propagation for future generations.

Vedic PeriodBhakti and Sufi Movement: Differences and Similarities
Types of VedasBhakti Movement
Gurukul Education System in Ancient IndiaWho Started Bhakti Movement?
Tribes of IndiaWahabi Movement
Sufi MovementBrahmo Samaj was founded by_____?

That’s all about how many Buddhist councils were held. If you want to read more articles like this, you can get Study notes on the Modern History of India here. Also, you can visit our general knowledge page on Indian History!

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *