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Major Figures in Buddhist History and Current Events

Countless people contributed to the 25 centuries of Buddhist history. Here is information on just a few especially significant figures.
  1. Liu Tiemo (1)
  2. Miaoxin (1)
  3. Moshan (1)
  4. Nagarjuna (1)
  5. Ogyen Trinley Dorje (1)
  6. Who's Who in Buddhism: A (3)
  7. Who's Who in Buddhism: B (3)
  8. Who's Who in Buddhism: D (3)

The life of Milarepa is one of the most beloved stories of Tibet.

The Succession of Dalai Lamas
A list of the 14 Dalai Lamas, with brief biographies.

The 6th Dalai Lama
People are often amused to learn that one of the Dalai Lamas preferred parties and women to prayer. But His Holiness Tsangyang Gyatso, the 6th Dalai Lama, was loved by his people and came to a tragic end.

The 7th Dalai Lama
The life of Kelzang Gyatso, the 7th Dalai Lama, was marked by political upheaval. These upheavals play a role today in China's claim to Tibet.

The Life, Teachings and Art of Zen Master Hakuin
Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769) is known for his bold drawing and calligraphy, his inspirational writing, and for reviving the Rinzai school of Zen. He also created the koan "the sound of one hand." Part One looks at his life and teaching.

Huineng, Sixth Patriarch of Zen
The influence of the Chinese Ch'an master Huineng (638-713), the Sixth Patriarch of Ch'an (Zen), resonates through Ch'an and Zen Buddhism to this day. Some consider Huineng, not First Patriarch Bodhidharma, to be the true father of Zen.

Padmasambhava (8th century) is one of the patriarchs of Tibetan Buddhism and the founder of the Nyinmapa school. He is also called "Guru Rinpoche," or precious guru.

The Life of Sariputra
Sariputra was one of the Buddha's foremost disciples. Here is a brief account of his life.

The Disciple Mahakasyapa
After the death of the Buddha, Mahakasyapa's leadership held the monastic sangha together.

The Life of Ananda
The story of Ananda, a disciple and a chief attendant of the Buddha.

Maudgalyayana was one of the chief disciples of the Buddha and a lifelong friend of another disciple, Sariputra.

Shinran Shonin (1173-1262) was a rule-breaker and innovator who founded the largest school of Buddhism in Japan.

Henry Steel Olcott's Unlikely Life
Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907) left his life as a proper 19th century New York lawyer to revive Buddhism in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has devoted his life to mindfulness and peace.

A biography of Kukai, a major figure in the history of Japanese Buddhism and the founder of the Shingon school.

Anathapindika, the Great Benefactor
Anathapindika was a wealthy lay disciple of the Buddha. He is credited with building the first Buddhist monastery.

Ikkyu Sojun
A biography of Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481), "Crazy Cloud" Zen master, rebel, iconoclast, poet.

D.T. Suzuki


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