The Spread of Buddhism
There are various reasons
for the spread of Buddhism,
During the period of Kanishka Buddhism got split into two branches, namely Mahayana Buddhism (The Greater Vehicle) and Hinayana Buddhism (The Lesser Vehicle).
Contribution of Buddhism
1. Many educational centers such as Nalanda, Vallabhi, Kanchi and Vikramasila were famous for Buddhist teaching. Its legacy contained in its rich literature.
2. Many beautiful stupas at Sanchi and Vallabhi and Nalanda were built. The stupas at Sanchi and Bharhut contain a relic from Buddha’s life. There are also panels depicting the Jataka tales (the stories which describe the previous births of Buddha). They are found at Gaya in Bihar and Sanchi and Bharhut in Madhya Pradesh.
3. The Gandhara sculptures and the paintings at Ellora and Ajanta are the gifts of Buddhism.
4. The Buddhists built many rock cut structures called Chaityas which were prayer halls and viharas, which were monasteries, Modern Bihar derived its name from Viharas.
5. Vinaya pitaka, Sutta pitaka and Abidhamma pitaka are the earliest literary works on Buddhism.
Causes for the Decline of Buddhism
The lack of royal patronage, revival of Hinduism under the Guptas, corruption in the Buddhism of idol worship were the main causes for the decline of Buddhism.
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