Buddhism after Buddha’s Death

The Story in Brief
After the Buddha’s death, his disciples continued to spread Buddhist Era’ two Buddhist councils were held to protect and preserve the purity of Buddha’s teachings.
The First Council
Tradition tells us that the First Council was held by 500 Arahants (saints or enlightened persons) at Rajagri (Rajagaha) city three monts after the Buddha’s dath. The purpose of the Council was to fix the doctrine and the discipline ass taught and laid down by the Buddha. The council was headed by Venerable Maha Kassapa (Kassayapa), and with the sponsorship of King Ajatasattu of Magadh State. The events (meeting) lasted seven months.
The Second council
One hundred years later, there occurred an important even which was a turning point in the history of Buddhism. At that time, a group of monks called Vajjiputta, at the town of Vesali, were lcaking in discipline. The elders of the Order tried to correct their views and practices. They ignored the advice of the elders.
As a result, 700 Arahants held the Second council at Vesali to revise and confirm the Buddha’s Dhamma. Buddhism, then, was divided into two schools of thought: Hinayana or tTheravada, and Mahayana. The elders of the Council belonged to the Theravada school; meanwhile the Vajjiputta monks developed the Mahayana school.
The third council
After declining for many years, Buddhism flourished again during the reign of King Ashoka of India (Third Century B.C. To purge the undisciplined monks and preserve the pure teachings of the Buddha, the Third Council was held at Pataliputtra city. At present, it is Pattana city, a Capital of the Bihar State of India. It was held under the leadership of Venerable Moggulliputta Tissa and under the sponsorship of king Ashoka, the Great. There were 1,000 Arahants participating in this Council.
After the Council , nine missions of elders were sent by King Ashoka to preach the Dhamma in the different states of India and foreign countries. This was the first time that Buddhism had spread out of India. Buddhism went on to become one of the four great religions in the world along with Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.
At the present, there are two traditions of Buddhism
1.Theravada Buddhism and
2. Mahayana Buddhism
Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Presently this Buddhist practice is spreading in Australia, Europe, North America, and Canada. Mahayana Buddhism was spread to North India, Tibet, Mongolia, Soviet Union, China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. This Buddhist practice is also spreading in European and American countries including Canada.