Fourth Buddhist Council: 3 definitions



Fourth Buddhist Council means something in Buddhism, Pali, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Fourth Buddhist Council in Buddhism glossary
Source: Buddhist Kashmir

The fourth Buddhist council.—According to the Buddhist tradition, Kanishka held the fourth Buddhist Council in Kashmir. 4 He was advised by Parsva to summon all the monks for collection of sacred texts, and to prepare commentaries on the Sutra, the Vinaya and the Abhidharma. This council was held at Kuvana in Kashmir 5 It has been termed as Kien-tho-lo in the Chinese geography. Besides large audience, this council was attended to by 500 Arhats, 500 Bodhisattvas and 500 Panditas.

It goes to the credit of this council that commentaries on all the Buddhist texts were compiled into two treatises known as Upadesa-sastras and Vibhasa-sastras. The latter is known as Kas-mir-shi in Chinese. It also goesto the credit of this council that for the first time in the history of Buddhism, freedom of thought and expressionwas recognised and it was declared that the texts of all the 18 Schools of thought in Buddhism were correct, for all ofthem contained the word of the Master.

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

The fourth Buddhist council is the name of two separate Buddhist council meetings. The first one was held in the 1st century BC, in Sri Lanka. In this fourth Buddhist council the Theravadin Pali Canon was for the first time committed to writing, on palm leaves. The second one was held by the Sarvastivada school, in Kashmir around the 1st century AD.

a) By the time of the Fourth Buddhist councils, Buddhism had long since splintered into different schools. The Theravada had a Fourth Buddhist Council in the last century BCE in Tambapanni, i.e. Sri Lanka, under the patronage of King Vattagamani. It is said to have been devoted to committing the entire Pali Canon to writing, which had previously been preserved by memory.

b) Another Fourth Buddhist Council was held in the Sarvastivada tradition, said to have been convened by the Kushan emperor Kanishka, around 100 CE at Jalandhar or in Kashmir. It is said that Kanishka gathered five hundred Bhikkhus in Kashmir, headed by Vasumitra, to systematize the Sarvastivadin Abhidharma texts, which were translated form earlier Prakrit vernacular languages (such as Gandhari in Kharosthi script) into the classical language of Sanskrit.

India history and geography

[«previous next»] — Fourth Buddhist Council in India history glossary
Source: Religions Of Ancient Kashmir

The fourth Buddhist council.—According to H. Kern, the council was held in A.D. 100 either at Kuvana near Jalandhar or at the monastery of Kundalavan in Kashmir. P.N.K. Bamzai states that it was held in Kashmir at Kundalavan. But where is that place, that is still to be established. Hieun Tsang has given a vivid picture of the proceeding of the council collected from a study of its records and reports maintained in different libraries in Kashmir which were extant then Paramarth (A.D. 499- 560) in his life of Vasubandhu also gives an account of the council, but though differing in detail generally agress with the observations of Hieun Tsang. He says that the King acting in consultation with Parsva, issued summons to all the learned doctors of his realm. They came in such numbers that a severe test was imposed and only 499 Arhats were selected.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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