Rise and Fall after Buddha
After Buddha’s death, the Buddhism gradually spread in India and then subsequently, throughout the world and particularly to South and East Asia. However, it was at the time of the Indian emperor Ashoka that Buddhism took a pace to reach its height. He promoted the doctrines of Buddhism not only in his empire as Dharma but in other regions as well. It was his promotional campaign that led to the construction of the Buddhist religious stupas and monasteries, which further facilitated the spread of Buddhism in countries like Sri Lanka, Tibet, China and Japan.
The Spread of Buddhism in Asia
Buddhism began to grow and spread outside India starting about the 3rd century. It began to take root in different countries in Asia as they came in contact with Buddhism from early 2nd century B.C.E.
The first time for Buddhism to spread outside India was in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 250 B.C.E. In the 3rd century C.E., Buddhism came to: Burma (Myanmar) during the reign of the King Ashoka; Cambodia; China in the 2nd or 3rd century C.E.; and Indonesia in the 3rd century C.E. From the 4th through the 8th century C.E.: Buddhism came to: Korea from China in the 4th century C.E.; to Japan from Korea in 522 C.E.; to Thailand from Burma in the 6th century C.E.; and to Tibet in early 8th century C.E.
Decline of Buddhism in India
Few reasons that led to decline of Buddhism are; Division into groups ‘Vajrayana’, ‘Hinayana’, ‘Mahayana’, ‘Tantrayana’ and ‘Sahajayana’ led Buddhism to lose its originality, the continuous destructive activity of different fundamentalist Muslim emperors, the use of Sanskrit language, Image worship was started in Buddhism by the Mahayana Buddhists, the ‘Huna’ invasion jolted Buddhism. Therefore, Buddhism died away in India, the land of its birth. However, it continued to grow and expand in other countries to the present day.