This is the fourth of the talks I have given outlining some of the features of Buddhism from a geographical perspective. The talk was initially given at the Vivekavana Buddhist Society in Penang, and subsequently made into a video, with maps, photographs and supplementary information.
This one is by far the most extensive, covering, as it does, a wide span of time from the earliest years of Buddhism up and till its spread throughout Asia.
I first look at the Three Councils with some remarks on how the scriptures were collection and confirmed, and what materials were used for their preservation.
I then discuss how the geographical separation after the Missions helped in the development of isolated schools, which is why the Fourth Councils in the Theravāda and Mahāyāna were unknown to each other.
After tracing the arising of the various Mahāyāna Schools in widely different areas, I show the role of the maritime silk routes in the spread of the religion in S.E. Asia.
Finally, I look at how the overland silk routes helped in the dissemination of Buddhism to China, and the symbiotic relationship that existed between the merchants and the monks along the route.
Please note that the story a quite a complex one as it covers the development over a whole continent. And in an hour long talk like this I can only give an outline of the reality.
I gave the talk without notes, and made a few small mistakes in the live talk, for instance speaking about Nidānavagga when I meant Nidānasamyutta; and saying 20,000 verses when I meant 18,000 verses. These are corrected in the subtitles which were added when making the video.
The main maps used in this video can be found on this page Sāsanavaḍḍhana, The Growth of the Buddha Sāsana.
if this video is no longer available please leave a comment so I can update the page
Sungai Batu Chetiya
Mural at the Mogao Caves