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The Spread of Buddhis1 - Tibet where it has flourished...

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The Spread of Buddhism In the 3d cent. B.C. the Indian emperor Asoka greatly strengthened Buddhism by his support and sent Buddhist missionaries as far afield as Syria. In succeeding centuries, however, the Hindu revival initiated the gradual decline of Buddhism in India. The invasions of the White Huns (6th cent.) and the Muslims (11th cent.) were also significant factors behind the virtual extinction of Buddhism in India by the 13th cent. In the meantime, however, its beliefs had spread widely. Sri Lanka was converted to Buddhism in the 3d cent. B.C., and Buddhism has remained its national religion. After taking up residence in Sri Lanka, the Indian Buddhist scholar Buddhaghosa (5th cent. A.D.) produced some of Theravada Buddhism's most important scholastic writings. In the 7th cent. Buddhism entered
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Unformatted text preview: Tibet, where it has flourished, drawing its philosophical influences mainly from the Madhyamika, and its practices from the Tantra. Buddhism came to SE Asia in the first five centuries A.D. All Buddhist schools were initially established, but the surviving forms today are mostly Theravada. About the 1st cent. A.D. Buddhism entered China along trade routes from central Asia, initiating a four-century period of gradual assimilation. In the 3d and 4th cent. Buddhist concepts were interpreted by analogy with indigenous ideas, mainly Taoist, but the work of the great translators Kumarajiva and Hsüan-tsang provided the basis for better understanding of Buddhist concepts....
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