After Gautama Buddha’s Mahaparinirvana, his disciples conduted four Buddhist Councils. Each one of them were conducted during the reign of different dynasty and ruler.
First Buddhist Council
The First Buddhist Council held in 483 BCE in Saptami Cave near Rajagriha. Rajagriha (Bihar) was the first capital of the Magadha Empire during the reign of Bimbisara and Ajatshatru. They were the King of Haryanka Dynasty. And Ajatshatru was the King during the First assembly.
Buddhist Monk Mahakassapa presided over the assembly. In this assembly, all the teachings of Buddha had compiled Pitakas. The text of Vinaya Pitaka is consisting the rule and regulations for the Buddhist Monks to reside in Buddhist Viharas. So, in this assembly, Upali compiled the Vinaya Pitaka and Ananda, the disciple of Gautama Buddha compiled the Sutta Pitaka.
Second Buddhist Council
The Second Buddhist Council held at Vaishali in 383 BCE. After the 100 years of First Buddhist assembly, the second assembly held. In this assembly, Monks of Vaishali and Pataliputra had accepted certain different rules. Actually, these rules were different from the teachings of Buddha. So, the Monks of Kaushambhi (Allahabad) and Avanti (Ujjain) opposed these rules.
This led to the split in the Buddhist order into Sthaviravadins and Mahasanghikas. Sthaviravadins upheld the orthodox Vinaya Pitaka. But Mahasanghikas favoured new rules and their relaxations. The Second Buddhist Assembly was held during the reign of the Kalashoka ruler of Shishunaga Dynasty.
Third Buddhist Council
This was the most important Buddhist Council held at Pataliputra, the capital of Magadha Empire. The Chairperson of this assembly was Moggaliputta Tissa. The philosophical interpretation of the doctrines of Buddha compiled in this assembly. It is Abhidhamma Pitaka, contains philosophical doctrines of Buddha’s teachings.
The assembly was organised during the reign of the Great King Ashoka. Ashoka followed the policy of Dhammavijaya over Digvijaya. So, in this assembly, an attempt made to free the Buddhist order from the dissidents and innovations.
Fourth Buddhist Council
It held in Kashmir, during the reign of Kushana King Kanishka. This Council was a gathering of Hinayanists of North India. In the Buddhist Council, the compilation of three commentaries (Vibhashas) of the three Pitakas took place.
So, in this assembly, it decided certain controversial questions of differences that arose between the Sarvastivada teachers of Kashmir and Gandhara.
It was all about the four Buddhist Councils held during ancient times. Now we will discuss Jaina Councils.
First Jaina Council
The First Jaina Council held at Pataliputra, under the leadership of Sthalabahu in the 3rd Century BCE. It resulted in the compilation of 12 Angas. And these 12 Angas replaced the lost 14 Parvas.
Second Jaina Council
It held at Vaishali in 512 CE. It was a Council of Shwetambara Jaina Sect. So, the Shwetambara Jaina Monk Devaradhi Kshatnasramana presided this Jaina Council. And it resulted in the final compilation of 12 Angas and 12 Upangas.
It was brief about the Buddhist and Jaina Council. In the next coming post, we will deal with the Major Ancient Dynasties of India. So, we are going to read about many Great Kings of Indian Subcontinent.
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