vii, 207p., Bib., 23 cm. (First Edition pub. in 1995)
CONTENTS:- 1. India at the Time of the Birth of Buddhism / Dr. Anita Sharma 2. Background to the Origin of Buddhism / Prof. K.T.S. Sarao 3. The Samgha / Dr. Indra Narain Singh 4. The Buddhist Councils / Dr. Subhra Barua Pavagadhi 5. Expansion of Buddhism in India / Dr. R.K. Rana 6. Role of Various Monarchs in Buddhism / Dr. Salini 7. Decline of Indian Buddhism / Prof. K.T.S. Sarao 8. Advent of Buddhism in Sri Lanka / Prof. K.T.S. Sarao 9. Advent of Buddhism in Mayanmar / Yen. Ottara Nayan 10. Advent of Buddhism in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos / Ven. P. Paitoon Ruensat
This book has been prepared keeping in mind the needs of graduate students. As the title of the book shows, it deals with the History of Theravada Buddhism from the time of its Origins in India till its spread into Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. It appears that though a Tradition using Pali as its Sacred Language probably existed in the earliest days, differentiation of Theravada from other related Traditions took place somewhat later in time. By Asoka's time, the Theravadins formed a distinctive group within the Samgha. They preserved the teachings of the Buddha in Pali through their Oral tradition; and they held their own positions of specific points of Doctrine and practice. They also contributed actively to the Buddhist Missionary activity during the third and second centuries BCE. During the centuries that followed Asoka's death, the Theravada tradition continued to spread its influence in India. Specific information remains scanty. However, one thing is clear that with the passage of time, Buddhism almost ceased to exist as an independent Religion in the mainland of India.