Buddhism And The Silk Road Essay

1476 Words Oct 25th, 2016 6 Pages
Buddhism, rooted in the 6th century BCE, originated from Siddhartha Gautama, a sage from Nepal. Known as “Buddha,” Gautama experienced a revelation one night, attaining a complete state of awakening, clairvoyant power, and the knowledge that his spiritual defilements had been eliminated. His teachings of enlightenment, karma, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path spread quickly, covering much of southern Asia by the 8th century CE. Buddhism’s gain of followers can be attributed to the help of the Eurasian trade networks, otherwise loosely known as the silk road(s). Likewise, over 1000 years later, Islam developed in a similar manner. In 571 CE, the prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca, and in 610 received his first revelation. His core teachings, grounded in the Five Pillars of Islam, found themselves readily adopted in many parts of world, working again in conjunction with the silk roads. While Buddhism and Islam reached their peaks during entirely different eras, the relationship between the religion and associated trade followed the same pattern: the growth of the religion was first supported by existing trade, and once it had grown to a significant extent, further assisted the expansion of trade networks by association of religion. In the early stages of Buddhism’s development in the 5th century BCE, the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama had little influence of their own. It would be difficult, if not downright improbable, for Buddhism to expand and incorporate…

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