38. What Splits were there in Buddhism in the Early Centuries?
Peter Harvey [+]
University of Sunderland
Just after the Buddha’s passing away (c. 404 bce), a “communal recitation” (council) of 500 enlightened monks was held to agree the contents of the Buddha’s teachings and the monastic discipline (Vinaya) he had developed. Perhaps seventy years later, another council was held to guard against laxity among some monks, and, a further sixteen year later, the first schism in the previously unified monastic community (Sangha) occurred; other such schisms followed.