Timeline of Buddhism
Foundation to the Common Era
Some sources give the date of the Buddha's birth as 563 BCE and others as 624 BCE. Theravada Buddhist countries tend to use the latter figure. This displaces all the dates in the following table about 61 years further back, see the external link 'Theravada Buddhist Chronology'.
- 563 BCE: Siddhartha Gautama, Buddha-to-be, is born in Lumbini into the royal family of The Kingdom of Shakyas in modern day Nepal.
- 534 BCE: Gautama goes outside the palace for the first time and sees The Four Sights, an old man, an ill man, a dead man and a holy man. He is shocked by the first three as he did not know what age and disease and death were, but is inspired by the holy man to give up his wealth. He leaves his house and lives with three ascetics. However he wants more than to starve himself and so becomes a religious teacher.
- 528 BCE: Gautama attains Enlightenment in Buddha Gaya, modern day Bodhgaya, then travels to a deer park in Sarnath (near Varanasi), India, and begins expounding the Dharma.
- 528 BCE According to legend, Trapusha and Bhallika, two trader-brothers from Okkala (modern day Yangon), offer the Gautama's first meal as the enlightened Buddha. The Buddha gives eight strands of his hair to the two brothers, which are brought back to Burma, and enshrined in the Shwedagon Pagoda. Thus, this is, according to myth, the year when the Shwedagon Pagoda was built.
- c.490 - 410 BCE Life of the Buddha according to recent research 
- c.483 BCE: Gautama Buddha dies at Kusinara (now called Kushinagar), India. Three months following his death, the First Buddhist Council is convened.
- 383 BCE: The Second Buddhist Council was convened by King Kalasoka and held at Vaisali.
- c.250 BCE: Third Buddhist Council convened by Ashoka and chaired by Moggaliputta Tissa, compiled the Kathavatthu to refute the heretical views and theories held by some Buddhist sects. Ashoka erected a number of edicts (Edicts of Ashoka) about the kingdom in support of Buddhism.
- c.250 BCE: King Ashoka sends various Buddhist missions to various far-away countries such as China and Mon-Malay, in order to make Buddhism known to them.
- c.250 BCE: First fully developed examples of Kharosthi script date from this period (the Asokan inscriptions at Shahbazgarhi and Mansehra, northwestern Indian subcontinent.
- 200s BCE: Indian traders regularly visited ports in Arabia, explaining the prevalence of place names in the region with Indian or Buddhist origin. For example, bahar (from the Sanskrit vihara, a Buddhist monastery). Ashokan emissary monks brought Buddhism to Suwannaphum, the location of which is disputed. The Dipavamsa and the Mon believe it was a Mon seafaring settlement in present-day Burma.
- c.220 BCE: Theravada Buddhism is officially introduced to Sri Lanka by the Venerable Mahinda, the son of the emperor Ashoka of India during the reign of king Devanampiya Tissa.
- 185 BCE: Brahmin general Pusyamitra Sunga overthrows the Mauryan dynasty and establishes the Sunga dynasty, apparently starting of wave of persecution against Buddhism.
- 180 BCE: Greco-Bactrian king Demetrius invades India as far as Pataliputra, and establishes the Indo-Greek kingdom (180-10 BCE), under which Buddhism flourishes.
- c.150 BCE: Indo-Greek king Menander I converts to Buddhism under the sage Nagasena, according to the account of the Milinda Panha.
- 120 BCE: The Chinese Emperor Han Wudi (156-87 BCE) receives two golden statues of the Buddha, according to inscriptions in the Mogao Caves, Dunhuang.
- 1st century BCE: The Indo-Greek governor Theodorus enshrines relics of the Buddha, dedicating them to the deified "Lord Shakyamuni".
- 29 BCE: According to the Sinhalese chronicles, the Pali Canon was written down in the reign of King Vattagamini (29-17 B.C.E)
- 2 BCE: The Hou Hanshu records the visit of Yuezhi envoys to the Chinese capital in 2 BCE, who gave oral teachings on Buddhist sutras.
- 65: Liu Ying's sponsorship of Buddhism is the first documented case of Buddhist practices in China.
- 67: Buddhism came to China with the two monks Moton and Chufarlan.
- 68: Buddhism is officially established in China with the founding of the White Horse Temple.
- 78: Ban Chao, a Chinese General, subdues the Buddhist Kingdom of Khotan.
- 78-101: According to Mahayana tradition, the Fourth Buddhist council takes place under the Kushana king Kanishka's reign, near Jalandar, India.
- 116 CE: The Kushans under Kanishka established a kingdom centered on Kashgar, also taking control of Khotan and Yarkand, previously Chinese dependencies in the Tarim Basin, modern Xinjiang.
- 148: An Shigao, a Parthian prince and Buddhist monk, arrived in China and proceeded to make the first translations of Theravada texts into Chinese.
- 178: The Kushan monk Lokaksema travels to the Chinese capital of Loyang and becomes the first known translator of Mahayana texts into Chinese.
- 100s/200s: Indian and Central Asian Buddhists travel to Vietnam.
- 200s: Use of Kharosthi script in Gandhara stops.
- 200s & 300s: Kharosthi script is used in the southern Silk Road cities of Khotan and Niya.
- 296: The earliest surviving Chinese Buddhist scripture dates from this year. (Zhu Fo Yao Ji Jing, discovered in Dalian, late 2005).
- 300s: Two Chinese monks took scriptures to the Korean kingdom of Goguryeo and established paper-making in Korea.
- 320-467: The University at Nalanda grew to support 3000-10,000 monks.
- 399-414: Fa Xian travelled from China to India, then returned to translate Buddhist works into Chinese.
- 400s: The kingdom of Funan (centered in modern Cambodia) begins to advocate Buddhism in a departure from Hinduism. Earliest evidence of Buddhism in Myanmar (Pali inscriptions). Earliest evidence of Buddhism in Indonesia (statues). Earliest reinterpretations of Pali texts. The stupa at Dambulla (Sri Lanka) is constructed.
- 402: At the request of Yao Xing, Kumarajiva travels to Changan and translates many Buddhist texts in to Chinese.
- 403: In China, Hui Yuan argues that Buddhist monks should be exempt from bowing to the emperor.
- 405: Yao Xing honours Kumarajiva.
- 425: Buddhism reached Sumatra.
- 464: Buddhabhadra reaches China to preach Buddhism.
- 495: The Shaolin temple is built in the name of Buddhabhadra, by the edict of emperor Wei Xiao Wen.
- 485: Five monks from Gandhara travel to the country of Fusang (Japan, or possibly the American continent), where they introduced Buddhism.
- 500s: Zen adherents enter Vietnam from China. Jataka stories are translated into Persian by order of the Zoroastrian king Khosrau I of Persia.
- 527: Bodhidharma settles into the Shaolin monastery in Henan province of China.
- 552: Buddhism was introduced to Japan via Baekje (Korea) according to Nihonshoki. Some scholars place this event in 538.
- Early 600s: Jingwan begins carving sutras on to stone at Fangshan, Yuzhou, 75km south west of modern day Beijing.
- 607: A Japanese imperial envoy was dispatched to Sui China to obtain copies of sutras.
- 600s: Xuan Zang travelled to India, noting the persecution of Buddhists by Sasanka (king of Gouda, a state in north-west Bengal), before returning to Chang An in China to translate Buddhist scriptures. End of sporadic Buddhist rule in the Sindh. King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet sent messengers to India to get Buddhist texts. Latest recorded use of the Kharos?t?hi script amongst Buddhist communities around Kucha.
- 671: Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Yi Jing visited Palembang, capital of the partly-Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia and reported over 1000 Buddhist monks in residence. Uisang returns to Korea after studying Chinese Huayan Buddhism, and founds the Hwaeom school.
- 736: Huayan is transmitted to Japan via Korea, when Roben invites the Korean Hwaeom monk Simsang to lecture, and formally founds Japan's Kegon tradition in the Todaiji temple.
- 743-754: The Chinese monk Jianzhen attempts to reach Japan eleven times, succeeding in 754 to establish the Japanese Ritsu school, which specialised in the vinaya (monastic rules).
- 700s: Buddhist Jataka stories are translated in to Syriac and Arabic as Kalilag and Damnag. An account of Buddha's life was translated in to Greek by John of Damascus, and widely circulated to Christians as the story of Barlaam and Josaphat. By the 1300s this story of Josaphat had become so popular that he was made a Catholic saint.
- 700s: Under the reign of King Trisong Deutsen, Padmasambhava travelled from Afghanistan to establish tantric Buddhism in Tibet (later known as the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism), replacing Bonpo as the kingdom's main religion. Buddhism quickly spreads to Sikkim and Bhutan.
- c.760: Borobodur, the famous Indonesian Buddhist structure, begins to be constructed, probably as a non-Buddhist shrine. It was completed as a Buddhist monument in 830 after about 50 years of work.
- 804: Under the reign of Emperor Kammu of Japan, a fleet of four ships set sail for mainland China. Of the two ships that arrived, one carried the monk Kukai, recently ordained by the Japanese government as a Bhiksu, who absorbed Vajrayana teachings in Chang'an and returned to Japan to found the Japanese Shingon school. The other ship carried the monk Saicho, who returned to Japan to found the Japanese Tendai school, partly based upon the Chinese Tiantai tradition.
- 838-847: Ennin, a priest of the Tendai school, travels in China for nine years. He reaches both the famous Buddhist mountain of Wutaishan and the Chinese capital, Chang'an, keeping a detailed diary that is a primary source for this period of Chinese history, including the Buddhist persecution.
- 841-846: Li Yan reigns in China during the Tang Dynasty, one of three Chinese emperors to prohibit Buddhism.
- 9th Century Tibet: Decline of Buddhism, persecution by King Langdarma
- 900s: Buddhist temple construction commences at Bagan, Myanmar. In Tibet begins a strong Buddhist revival. The Caodong school of Zen is founded by Dongshan Liangjie and his disciples in southern China.
- 971: Chinese Song Dynasty commissions Chengdu wood carvers to carve the entire Buddhist canon for printing. Work is completed in 983, 130,000 blocks are produced in total.
- 991: A printed copy of the Song Dynasty Buddhist canon arrives in Korea, impressing government.
- 1000s: Marpa, Konchog Gyalpo, Atisha and others introduce the Sarma lineages into Tibet
- 1009: Vietnam's Ly Dynasty began, which was partly brought about by an alliance with the Buddhist monkhood. Ly emperors patronized Mahayana Buddhism, in addition to traditional spirits.
- 1010: Korea begins carving its own woodblock print edition of the Buddhist canon. No completion date is known - the canon is continuously expanded with the arrival of new texts from China.
- 1017: Sri Lanka In Southeast Asia and especially in Sri Lanka the bhikkhuni (Buddhist nuns) Order dies out due to invasions. The bhikkhu line in Sri Lanka is later revived with bhikkhus from Burma.
- 1025: Srivijaya, a Buddhist kingdom based on Sumatra, is raided by the Chola empire of southern India. It survives, but declines in importance. Shortly after the raid, the centre of the kingdom moves northward from Palembang to Jambi-Melayu.
- 1044-1077: In Burma, Pagan's first king Anoratha reigned. He converted the country to Theravada Buddhism with the aid of monks and books from Sri Lanka. He is said to have been converted to Theravada Buddhism by a Mon monk, though other beliefs persisted.
- 1057: Anawrahta of Myanmar captures Thaton in northern Thailand, strengthening Theravada Buddhism in the country.
- 1063: A copy of the Khitans' printed canon arrives in Korea from mainland China.
- 1084-1113: In Myanmar, Pagan's second king, Kyanzittha (son of Anawrahta) reigns. He completed the building of the Shwezigon pagoda, a shrine for relics of the Buddha, including a tooth brought from Sri Lanka. Various inscriptions refer to him as an incarnation of Vishnu, a chakravartin, a bodhisattva and dharmaraja.
- 1100s: Sanskrit is subsequently written in Devanagari.
- 1100-1125: Huizong reigns during the Chinese Song Dynasty and outlaws Buddhism to promote the Dao. He is one of three Chinese emperors to have prohibited Buddhism.
- 1113: Alaungsithu reigned in Pagan, Myanmar, until his son Narathu smothered him to death and assumed the throne.
- 1133-1212: Honen establishes Pure Land Buddhism as an independent sect in Japan.
- 1181: The self-styled bodhisattva Jayavarman VII, a devout follower of Mahayana Buddhism (though he also patronised Hinduism), assumes control of the Khmer kingdom. He constructs the Bayon, the most prominent Buddhist structure in the Angkor temple complex. This set the stage for the later conversion of the Khmer people to Theravada Buddhism.
- 1190: In Myanmar, Anawrahta's lineage regains control with the assistance of Sri Lanka. Pagan has been in anarchy. The new regime reforms Burmese Buddhism on Sri Lankan Theravada models.
- Late 1100s: The great Buddhist educational centre at Nalanda, where various subjects were taught such as Buddhism, Logic, Philosophy, Law, Medicine, Grammar, Yoga, Mathematics, Alchemy and Astrology, is sacked. Nalanda was supported by kings of several dynasties and had served as a great international centre of learning.
- 1200s: Theravada overtakes Mahayana - previously practised alongside Hinduism - as the dominant form of Buddhism in Cambodia. Sri Lanka were influences in this change. In Persia, the historian Rashid al-Din records some eleven Buddhist texts circulating in Arabic translation, amongst which the Sukhavati-vyuha and Karanda-vyuha Sutras are recognizable. Portions of the Samyutta and Anguttara-Nikayas, along with parts of the Maitreya-vyakarana, have also been identified in this collection.
- 1222 Birth of Nichiren Daishonin (1222-1282) who was the Japanese founder of Nichiren Buddhism.
- Abt. 1238: The Thai Kingdom of Sukhothai is established, with Theravada Buddhism as the state religion.
- 1227: Dogen Zenji took the Caodong school of Zen from China to Japan as the Soto sect.
- 1244: Eiheiji Soto Zen Temple and Monastery established by Dogen Zenji.
- 1277: Burma's Pagan empire begins to disintegrate after being defeated by Kublai Khan at the Battle of Ngasaunggyan, at Yunnan near the Chinese border.
- 1285: Arghun makes the Il-Khanate a Buddhist State.
- 1287: The Theravada kingdom at Pagan, Myanmar falls to the Mongols, and is overshadowed by the Shan capital at Ava.
- c.1279-1298: Sukhothai's third and most famous ruler, Ramkhamhaeng (Rama the Bold), reigned and made vassals of Laos, much of modern Thailand, Pegu (Burma), and parts of the Malay Peninsula, thus giving rise to Sukhothai artistic tradition. After Ramkhamhaeng's death, Sukhothai lost control of its territories as its vassals became independent.
- 1295: Mongol leader Ghazan Khan is converted to Islam, ending a line of Tantric Buddhist leaders.
- 1305-1316: Buddhists in Persia attempt to convert Uldjaitu Khan.
- 1321: Sojiji Soto Zen Temple and Monastery established by Keizan Zenji.
- 1351: In Thailand, U Thong, possibly the son of a Chinese merchant family, established Ayutthaya as his capital and took the name of Ramathibodi.
- 1391-1474: Gyalwa Gendun Drubpa, first Dalai Lama of Tibet.
- 1405-1431: The Chinese eunuch admiral Zheng He made seven voyages in this period, through South-East Asia, India, the Persian Gulf, East Africa, and Egypt. At the time, Buddhism was well-established in China, so visited peoples may have had exposure to Chinese Buddhism.
- 1578: Altan Khan of the Tümed gave the title of Dalai Lama to Sonam Gyatso (later known as the third Dalai Lama).
- 1600s & 1700s: When Vietnam divided during this period, the Nguyen rulers of the south chose to support Mahayana Buddhism as an integrative ideology for the ethnically plural society of their kingdom, which was also populated by Chams and other minorities.
- 1614: The Toyotomi family rebuilt a great image of Buddha at the Temple of Hokoji in Kyoto.
- 1615: The Oirat Mongols converted to the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism.
- 1635: Zanabazar, the first Jebtsundamba Khutughtu, was born as a great-grandson of Abadai Khan of the Khalkha.
- 1642: Güüshi Khan of the Khoshuud donated the sovereignty of Tibet to the fifth Dalai Lama.
- 1766-67: In Thailand, many Buddhist texts are destroyed as the Burmese invade Ayutthaya.
- 1800s: In Thailand, King Mongkut - himself a former monk - conducted a campaign to reform and modernise the monkhood, a movement that has continued in the present century under the inspiration of several great ascetic monks from the north-east of the country.
- 1802-20: Nguyen Anh comes to the throne of the first united Vietnam - he succeeds by quelling the Tayson rebellion in south Vietnam with help from Rama I in Bangkok, then took over the north from the remaining Trinh. After coming to power, he created a Confucianist orthodox state and was eager to limit the competing influence of Buddhism. He forbade adult men to attend Buddhist ceremonies.
- 1820-41: Minh Mang reigns in Vietnam, further restricting Buddhism. He insists that all monks be assigned to cloisters and carry identification documents. He also placed new restrictions on printed material. He also began a persecution of Catholic missionaries and converts that his successors (not without provocation) continued.
- Abt. 1860: In Sri Lanka, against all expectations the monastic and lay community brought about a major revival in Buddhism, a movement that went hand in hand with growing nationalism. The revival followed a period of persecution by foreign powers. Since then Buddhism has flourished and Sri Lankan monks and expatriate lay people have been prominent in spreading Theravada Buddhism in Asia, the West and even in Africa.
- 1879: A council was convened under the patronage of King Mindon Min of Burma to re-edit the Pali canon. The king then had the texts engraved on 729 stones, which were then set upright on the grounds of a monastery near Mandalay.
- 1882: Jade Buddha Temple founded in Shanghai, China with two Jade Buddha statues imported from Burma.
- 1893: World Parliament of Religions meets in Chicago, Illinois. Anagarika Dharmapala and Soyen Shaku attend.
- 1896: Using Fa Xian's records, Nepalese archaeologists rediscovered the great stone pillar of Ashoka at Lumbini.
- 1899: Gordon Douglas is ordained in Myanmar. He is the first westerner to be ordained in the Theravada tradition.
- 1922: Zenshuji Soto Mission founded as first Soto Zen temple in North America.
- 1930: Soka Gakkai is founded in Japan.
- 1949: Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is returned to partial Buddhist control.
- 1950: World Fellowship of Buddhists is founded in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- 1954: Sixth Buddhist Council is held in Yangon, Myanmar, organized by U Nu. It ends in time for the 2500th anniversary of the passing of the Buddha.
- 1956: Indian untouchable leader B. R. Ambedkar converts to Buddhism with more than 350,000 followers, beginning the modern Neo-Buddhist movement.
- 1956: The Zen Studies Society is founded in New York to support the work of D.T. Suzuki.
- 1957: Caves near the summit of Pai-tai mountain, Fangshan district, 75km south-west of Beijing are re-opened, revealing thousands of Buddhist sutras that had been carved on to stone since the 7th century. Seven sets of rubbings are made and the stones numbered in work which continues until 1959.
- 1959: Together with some 100,000 Tibetans, the 14th Dalai Lama flees the Chinese occupation of Tibet, and establishes an exile community in India. The Chinese invaders completely destroy all monasteries but a handful, and severely persecute Buddhist practitioners.
- 1962: The San Francisco Zen Center is founded by Shunryu Suzuki.
- 1963: Thích Qu?ng Ð?c performed self-immolation to protest against oppressing of the Buddhist religion by Ngo Dinh Diem
- 1965: The Burmese government arrested over 700 monks for in Hmawbi, near Rangoon, for refusing to accept government rule.
- 1966: World Buddhist Sangha Council convened by Theravadins in Sri Lanka with the hope of bridging differences and working together. The first convention was attended by leading monks, from many countries and sects, Mahayana as well as Theravada. Nine Basic Points Unifying the Theravada and Mahayana written by Ven. Walpola Rahula were approved unanimously;
- The Buddha is our only Master
- We take refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha (see Three Jewels)
- We do not believe that this world is created and ruled by a God
- We consider that the purpose of life is to develop compassion for all living beings without discrimination and to work for their good, happiness, and peace; and to develop wisdom leading to the realization of Ultimate Truth
- We accept the Four Noble Truths, namely Dukkha, the Arising of Dukkha, the Cessation of Dukkha, and the Path leading to the Cessation of Dukkha; and the law of cause and effect (Pratitya-samutpada)
- All conditioned things (sa.mskaara) are impermanent (anitya) and dukkha, and that all conditioned and unconditioned things (dharma) are without self (anaatma).
- We accept the Thirty-seven Qualities conducive to Enlightenment (bodhipak.sa-dharma) as different aspects of the Path taught by the Buddha leading to Enlightenment.
- There are three ways of attaining bodhi or Enlightenment: namely as a disciple (sraavaka), as a Pratyeka-Buddha and as a Samyak-sam-Buddha (perfectly and Fully Enlightened Buddha). We accept it as the highest, noblest, and most heroic to follow the career of a Bodhisattva and to become a Samyak-sam-Buddha in order to save others.
- We admit that in different countries there are differences regarding Buddhist beliefs and practices. These external forms and expressions should not be confused with the essential teachings of the Buddha.
- 1970s: Indonesian Archaeological Service and UNESCO restore Borobodur.
- 1973: The first vajrayana buddhism centers are established in Europe by Lama Ole Nydahl.
- 1974: The Naropa Institute, now Naropa University, is founded in Boulder, Colorado.
- 1974: In Burma, during demonstrations at U Thant's funeral, 600 monks were arrested and several bayoneted by government forces.
- 1975: Lao Communist rulers attempted to change attitudes to religion, in particular calling on monks to work, not beg. This caused many to return to lay life, but Buddhism remains popular.
- 1975: The Insight Meditation Society is established in Barre, Massachusetts.
- 1975-79: Cambodian communists under Pol Pot tried to completely destroy Buddhism, and very nearly succeeded. By the time of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in 1978 nearly every monk and religious intellectual had been either murdered or driven into exile, and nearly every temple and Buddhist library had been destroyed.
- 1976: Following a demonstration in Burma, the government sought to discredit the critical monk La Ba by claiming that he was a cannibal and a murderer.
- 1978: In Burma, more monks and novices were arrested, disrobed and imprisoned by the government. Monasteries were closed and property seized. The critical monk U Nayaka was arrested and died, the government claiming it was suicide.
- 1980: Burmese military government asserts authority over the sangha, violence against monks continues through the decade.
- 1983: Shanghai Institute of Buddhism established at Jade Buddha Temple under the Shanghai Buddhist Association.
- 1988: During the 1988 uprising SPDC troops gunned down monks. After the uprising, U Nyanissara, a senior monk, recorded a tape which discussed democracy in Buddhist precepts. This tape was banned.
- 1990, August 27: Over 7000 monks met in Mandalay in Burma to call for a boycott of the military. They refused to accept alms from military families or perform services for them. The military government seized monasteries and arrested hundreds of monks, including senior monks U Sumangala and U Yewata. The monks faced long-term imprisonment, and all boycotting monks were disrobed. Some monks were tortured during interrogation.
- 1992: Buddha Statue in Hyderabad, India installed, a work of former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Late Sri N. T. Rama Rao. The 16 meter tall, 350-tone monolithic colossus rises high from the placid waters of the picturesque Husain Sagar Lake. It is made of white granite, finely sculptured and stands majestically amidst the shimmering waters of the lake. It was later consecrated by Dalai Lama.
- 1996, India: The bhikkhuni (Buddhist nuns) Order and lineage is revived in Sarnath, India through the efforts of Sakyadhita, an International Buddhist Women Association. The revival is done with some resistance from some of the more literal interpreters of the Buddhist Vinaya (monastic code) and lauded by others in the community.
- 1998: January 25: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorists commit a deadly suicide attack on Sri Lanka's most sacred Buddhist site and a UNESCO World Heritage centre; the Temple of the Tooth, where Buddha's tooth relic is enshrined. 8 civilians were killed and 25 others were injured, as well as significant damage to the temple structure which was first constructed in 1592 AD.
- 2000, January: The Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary, a training facility for Theravada monks, is founded in Malaysia.
- 2001, May: Two of the world's tallest ancient Buddha statues, the Buddhas of Bamyan, are completely destroyed by the Taliban in Bamyan, Afghanistan.
- 2004, April: In Sri Lanka, Buddhist monks acting as candidates for the Jaathika Hela Urumaya party win nine seats in elections.
- 2006, April: The Government of the People's Republic of China sponsors the First World Buddhist Forum in Mount Putuo, Zhejiang Province. Notably absent was the Dalai Lama.
- 2006: Merle Kodo Boyd, born in Texas, became the first African-American woman ever to receive Dharma transmission in Zen Buddhism.
- 2006: For the first time in American history, a Buddhist ordination was held where an American woman (Sister Khanti-Khema) took the Samaneri (novice) vows with an American monk (Bhante Vimalaramsi) presiding. This was done for the Buddhist American Forest Tradition at the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center in Missouri.
- 2006, November: In the United States, two Buddhists are elected for the first time to the 110th Congress.
- 2007 (September) Thousands of Burmese Buddhist monks and nuns protest against the military regime. The military regime responded with a bloody crackdown. Thousands were arrested and hundreds fled to Thailand and India. The death toll is in the hundreds.
- 2007, October 17: The US Congress presents the 14th Dalai Lama with the US Congressional Gold Medal and meets in public with President George W. Bush.
- 2007: Myokei Caine-Barrett, born and ordained in Japan, became the first female Nichiren priest in her affiliated Nichiren Order of North America.
- 2008: After a 10-year process of advanced training culminating in a ceremony called shitsugo (literally "room-name"), Sherry Chayat received the title of roshi and the name Shinge ("Heart/Mind Flowering") from Eido Roshi, which was the first time that this ceremony was held in the United States.
- 2010, Spring: Western Buddhist Order (Founder: Urgyen Sangharakshita) changes name to Triratna Buddhist Order and Friends of the Western Buddhist Order to Triratna Buddhist Community.
- 2010: In 2010 the first Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in America (Vajra Dakini Nunnery in Vermont) was officially consecrated. It offers novice ordination and follows the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Buddhism. The abbot of the Vajra Dakini nunnery is Khenmo Drolma, an American woman, who is the first bhikkhuni in the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Buddhism, having been ordained in Taiwan in 2002. She is also the first westerner, male or female, to be installed as an abbot in the Drikung Kagyu lineage of Buddhism, having been installed as the abbot of the Vajra Dakini Nunnery in 2004. The Vajra Dakini Nunnery does not follow The Eight Garudhammas.
- 2010: In Northern California, 4 novice nuns were given the full bhikkhuni ordination in the Thai Theravada tradition, which included the double ordination ceremony. Bhante Gunaratana and other monks and nuns were in attendance. It was the first such ordination ever in the Western hemisphere. The following month, more bhikkhuni ordinations were completed in Southern California, led by Walpola Piyananda and other monks and nuns. The bhikkhunis ordained in Southern California were Lakshapathiye Samadhi (born in Sri Lanka), Cariyapanna, Susila, Sammasati (all three born in Vietnam), and Uttamanyana (born in Myanmar).
- 2010: The Soto Zen Buddhist Association (SZBA) approves a document honoring the women ancestors in the Zen tradition at its biannual meeting on October 8, 2010. Female ancestors, dating back 2,500 years from India, China, and Japan, may now be included in the curriculum, ritual, and training offered to Western Zen students.
- 2011: The Institute for Buddhist Dialectical Studies (IBD) in Dharamsala, India, conferred the degree of geshe on Venerable Kelsang Wangmo, a German nun, thus making her the world's first female geshe.
- 2013: Tibetan women were able to take the geshe exams for the first time.
- 2014: Nalanda University (also known as Nalanda International University) is a newly established university located in Rajgir, near Nalanda, Bihar, India. It has been established in a bid to revive the ancient seat of learning. The university has acquired 455 acres of land for its campus and has been allotted ?2727 crores (around $454M) by the Indian government. It is also being funded by the governments of China, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, and others.
- 2016: Twenty Tibetan Buddhist nuns became the first Tibetan women to earn geshe degrees.
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