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Former featured article Buddhism is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on April 6, 2004.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
March 24, 2004 Featured article candidate Promoted
April 11, 2006 Featured article review Demoted
July 24, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former featured article
edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Buddhism:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:


The introduction has gotten very long again, and hits the reader with a lot of details and repeated links in a short span. It also manages to completely omit monasticism(!). I'm proposing rewording the second paragraph to be more generally applicable:

 All Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death & rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of the Bodhisattva. Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, and their specific teachings and practices. Widely observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism, meditation, and the cultivation of the Paramitas.

And cutting most of the tradition-specific details out for coverage in their own articles, leaving:

 Theravada has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Mahayana, which includes the traditions of Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon and Tiantai (Tendai), is found throughout East Asia. 
 Vajrayana, a body of teachings attributed to Indian siddhas, may be viewed as a separate branch or as a part of Mahayana. Tibetan Buddhism, which preserves the Vajrayana teachings of eighth century India, is practised in regions surrounding the Himalayas, Mongolia

Thoughts? --Spasemunki (talk) 07:06, 4 June 2018 (UTC)

The present lead summarizes the article, as it should do. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:30, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
Not mentioning monasticism is a pretty glaring omission though. 'Path of liberation' is currently introduced without establishing liberation from what. The 'rainbow body' is introduced as being separate from the goal of Buddhahood or nirvana, but never discussed in the body. I think a shorter version still adequately summarizes the article but is easier for the non-specialist to read and understand. --Spasemunki (talk) 08:01, 4 June 2018 (UTC)
The currently displayed lede is as follows: Buddhism ( , ) is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in Ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia before declining in India during the Middle Ages. Much that it represents a reasonable snapshot of what Buddhism could be described as, I personally think that ending on a 'declining' note is really not great at all, regardless of the trailing specificity to India. I am going to juggle the lede somewhat just to reflect a slightly less pessimistic approach to this world religion. (20040302 (talk) 10:14, 4 June 2018 (UTC))
I have modified the lede paragraph such that it reads on link summaries as Buddhism ( , ) is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. A dharma religion, Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. (20040302 (talk) 11:11, 4 June 2018 (UTC))

I cut down the lead to reduce the amount of tradition-specific jargon. Getting into a presentation of selected aspects from each tradition is too much for an introduction, and many of them were not discussed significantly in the article which doesn't match the MOS. It would be nice to have an English gloss for Nirvana to comply with the guidelines but I can't think of one that would work- maybe a footnote? --Spasemunki (talk) 07:36, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Looks better.--Farang Rak Tham (Talk) 14:50, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

Nirvana - probably worthwhile looking at a good gloss for the nirvana article too... 20040302 (talk) 14:32, 11 June 2018 (UTC)

Proposal to remove the OR tag

@Joshua Jonathan: Chris Queen is at Harvard, teaching Buddhism and World Religions. How about we replace the current note "While some scholars suggest that Buddhism may have developed as a social reform to the Vedic religion, Gombrich argues that it is incorrect to regard the Buddha as a social reformer, because his concern was "to reform individuals, help them to leave society forever, not to reform the world... he never preached against social inequality".[352]", with "While some scholars suggest that Buddhism may have developed as a social reform to the Vedic religion, according to Christopher Queen - a scholar of Buddhism at the Harvard University, Gombrich states that it is incorrect to regard the Buddha as a social reformer, because his concern was "to reform individuals, help them to leave society forever, not to reform the world... he never preached against social inequality".[352]" We can additionally add a summary note about the same from Gombrich's book on Theravada Buddhism, then remove the OR tag. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 01:57, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Queen's introduction describes several sources that disagree with the 'reformer' idea- it would really reflect the source better to change it to 'other scholars' rather than single out Gombrich, and then either remove the quote or attribute it directly to him as an exemplar (there's a reference to the original source of the quote in Queen's article). In terms of addressing OR or citation issues in that note, the most pressing thing to me seems to be to provide a citation that says who claims that the Buddha was a Vedic social reformer- maybe that is in Queen's article, too, but I can't see the whole thing on Google. Outside of that I don't see a major OR problem in the early history section- can @VictoriaGrayson: expand on what the issue with the section was since she added the OR tag? --Spasemunki (talk) 03:12, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
@Ms Sarah Welch: tehere you are :) I'll have to look at the details; welcome back. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 03:46, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
Okay, I took a look. Spasemunki's suggestion is a good idea, I think. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 03:54, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
JJ: I too like Spasemunki's comments and the generic "other scholars" suggestion. The article will be clearer and better with a specific example of professor Gombrich as an exemplar, in a form Spasemunki suggests. We can quote exact from Gombrich's book, as well as include a short review summary from the Chris Queen source. The "Buddha was a Vedic social reformer" is indeed something we need to look into, cite or clean out. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 04:55, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
There's another interesting piece of info: according to Bronkhorst, Greater Gandhara, the regio were the Buddha was active was settled by Aryans, but was not Vedic. Kshatriyas were the hihgest varnas, and the Buddha opposed the influence of Vedic Aryans. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:08, 17 June 2018 (UTC)
JJ: Bronkhorst has written some interesting papers in recent years from Lausanne, which he acknowledges are novel to mainstream scholarship and has some issues. He is a respected scholar, WP:RS therefore. If we decide to include his thoughts, we need to be careful in properly attributing his ideas to him, unless we can show that 2017 and 2018 mainstream Buddhism and Indology publications have accepted these interesting proposals from Bronkhorst. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 02:00, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Proposed revision

Historical roots

Historically, the roots of Buddhism lie in the religious thought of Iron Age India around the middle of the first millennium BCE.[1] That was a period, states Abraham Eraly, of great intellectual ferment, when the Upanishads were composed marking a change in the historical Vedic religion, as well as the emergence of great Sramanic traditions.[2] This was not only a period of intellectual ferment but also socio-cultural change quite distinct from the early Vedic period.[3] Archaeological and textual evidence suggest that urbanization, political unification, relative economic prosperity and socio-economic consolidation had already occurred in the Ganges river basin before the birth of the Buddha.[4] According to Christopher Queen – a scholar of Buddhism, various scholars consider early Buddhism neither as a movement for stable order nor as a reform for a just society, but a methodology for individual's awakening and personal transformation particularly by mendicant monks.[5] Richard Gombrich – an Indologist and Buddhist Studies scholar, states that while some Buddhists and modern interpreters have portrayed the early Buddhism as a social reform, this interpretation is incorrect and a serious anachronism. Buddha's concern, states Gombrich, was "to reform individuals, help them to leave society forever, not to reform the world (...) he never preached against social inequality, only declared its irrelevance to salvation".[6] Gombrich's position is shared by other scholars. They state that the philosophical roots of Buddhism, and related ideologies in ancient India such as Jainism, aimed at the spiritual salvation of man through different forms of renunciation and religious individualism.[7][5]


  1. ^ Gethin 2008, p. xv.
  2. ^ Abraham Eraly (2011). The First Spring: The Golden Age of India. Penguin Books. pp. 538, 571. ISBN 978-0-670-08478-4.
  3. ^ Gombrich 1988, pp. 26–41.
  4. ^ Greg Bailey & Ian Mabbett 2003, pp. 2-3.
  5. ^ a b Christopher S. Queen; Sallie B. King (1996). Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia. State University of New York Press. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-0-7914-2844-3.
  6. ^ Gombrich 2006, pp. 30-31.
  7. ^ Gombrich 2006, pp. 30-31, 57-58, 73-74.

Comments and suggestions? Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 02:09, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

I went ahead and put a suggested version on the main page- I like keeping the 'social reformer' discussion in a footnote because I think the topic could easily overwhelm the historical narrative. Let me know what you think, or revert if you think it cuts too much. I think the Queen chapter is OK as a reference for the idea of some interpreters reading the Buddha as a social reformer, but it might be nice to have something more explicit to direct people to. It seems to me that there are two discussions mingled here- one is the historical relationship between Buddhism and Brahmanism, particularly re: caste & interactions between Vedic and possibly non-Vedic culture, and the other is the Engaged Buddhist reading of the historical Buddha & Sangha suggested by Rahula and Ambedkar. That view probably deserves a mention but I would think would mostly belong in the Engaged Buddhism or Dalit Buddhist movement articles. --Spasemunki (talk) 05:29, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Spasemunki: I like it. Indeed, "could easily overwhelm" was bothering me, given JimRenge, Joshua Jonathan and I have tried in the past to trim down and reduce the jargon from this article. I removed the tag and linked the Gombrich reference. JR/JJ/others: please review as well. Ms Sarah Welch (talk) 12:53, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
I agree that the discussion about social reform is only relevant and due in a more specific context, for example, a paragraph about Buddhist modernism.--Farang Rak Tham (Talk) 12:56, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

Please add the following to the section of See also.....

Joseph Walser

Is Joseph Walser putting references in the page to "See Walser (2018)"? And if so, isn't this a violation of some original research provision or conflict of interest? Mark Froelich (talk) 01:25, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

See User talk:Joshua Jonathan#Walser edits, User talk:Joseph Walser#Welcome!, Talk:Śūnyatā#Joseph Walser, and Talk:Anatta#Walser edits. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 02:56, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
I was unaware of these provisions and have since removed all references to my work on all of these pages.--Joseph Walser 10:24, 19 September 2018 (UTC)Joseph Walser — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joseph Walser (talkcontribs)

Is it possible to make links to the following articles....

What do you mean by "make links"?--Farang Rak Tham (Talk) 13:27, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

Could someone please link the following article to this topic.....

Semi-protected edit request on 12 December 2018

Buddhism is not an indian religion. 2606:6000:6660:B800:8974:7BF3:2F66:838B (talk) 05:35, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

 Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. DannyS712 (talk) 06:10, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
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