Buddhist Studies timelines of buddhist history
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Timeline of Tibetan Buddhism
Major Events in Tibetan Buddhism
c200 C.E. • Buddhism begins to percolate into Tibetan region and teachings affect Bon religion in kingdom of Shang-Shung (South Tibet).
3rd century • Buddhist scriptures begin to reach early Tibetan Kingdoms (North Tibet) during reign of King Lhatotori Nyentsen.
641 • King Songtsen Gampo unifies Tibet and marries Chinese princess Wen Cheng and Nepalese Princess Bhrkuti who bring Buddha images.
641-650 • Construction of Potala Palace, and Jokang and Ramoche temples to house Buddha images.

• King Trisong Detsen (r.755-797) invites Shantarakshita to Tibet.

774 • King Trisong Detsen invites Padmasambhava, yogin of Swat, to Tibet, and construction of Samye begins (775).
c785 • Samye, Tibet's first monastery, built by Trisong Detsen and Padmasambhava. • Great Convocation, 3000 monks ordained. • Translating begins. • Padmasambhava founds Nyingma order.
792 • Exponents of Indian Buddhism prevail in debate with Chinese at Samye.
840 • Persecution of Tibetan Buddhism under King Lang Darma, period of conflict and civil strife begins.
877 • Destruction of Tibetan Dynasties. • Buddhism almost completely wiped out in Tibet.
978 • Commencement of second Buddhist period in Tibet. • Atisha (982-1054).
1038 Atisha comes to Tibet and founds the Kadampa school (which later becomes the Gelugpa order).
c1039 • Marpa the translator (1012-1099) founder of the Kargyu school, travels to India, studies under Naropa.
• Gampopa (1079-1153) is responsible for the actual founding of the Kagyu school on the basis of Kadampa, later to be known as Gelugpa. Monastic practice and education system, with the Tantric practices of Naropa, Marpa and Milarepa.
1040 • Birth of Milarepa, 2nd hierarch of Kagyu order and a renowned poet.
1055 • Birth of Marchik Labdron (1055-1153) founder of the Chod lineage, the main lineage founded by a woman.
1060 • Founding of the Sakya Lineage by Brogmi (992-1072). • Gonchok Guelpo (1034-1102) establishes the first monastery of the Sakya monastic order.
1247 • Sakya Pandita submits to Godan Khan; beginning of the first priest/patron relationship between a Tibetan Lama and a Mongol Khan.
1261 • Tibet is reunited with Sakya Pandita, Grand Lama of Sakya, as king.
1350 • King Changchub Gyaltsen defeats Sakya and founds a secular dynasty.
1409 • Ganden, first Gelug monastery, built by monastic reformer Tsongkhapa (1357-1419).
1435-81 • In prolonged warfare, Karmapa supporters gain control of royal court.
1578 • Gelug-pa leader gets the title of Dalai ("Ocean") from Altan Khan.
1642 • Gushri Khan enthrones the 5th Dalai Lama as temporal ruler of Tibet.
1653 • "Great Fifth" Dalai Lama meets Qing Emperor Shunzhi near Beijing.
1682 • Fifth Dalai Lama dies; regent conceals death for the next 14 years.
1716-21 • Italian Jesuit priest, Ippolito Desideri studies and teaches in Lhasa.
1717 • Dzungar Mongols invade Tibet and sack Lhasa. • Fifth DL's tomb looted.
1720 • Dzungars driven out, Qing (Chinese) forces install Kesang Gyatso as the 7th Dalai Lama.
1721 • The position of Amban is created by a 13-point Qing decree on Tibet. 29-point Qing decree prescribes "golden urn" lottery for picking DL and PL, bans visits by non-Chinese, and increases Amban's powers.
1904 • British troops under Colonel Younghusband enter Tibet and occupy Lhasa.
1910-12 • Chinese troops occupy Tibet, shoot at unarmed crowds on entering Lhasa.
1911 • Bogh Haan, the Urga "Living Buddha," proclaims Mongolia independent.
1913 • 13th Dalai Lama proclaims Tibet a "religious and independent nation".
1924-25 • Pressure from monks causes Dalai Lama to dismiss his British-trained officers.
1933 • Truce ends. China and Tibet fighting; the 13th Dalai Lama dies at age 58.
1934 • Reting Rimpoche named regent. • China permitted to open Lhasa mission.
1940 • The five-year-old Tenzin Gyatso is enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama.
1941 • Unable to keep celibacy vow, Reting is replaced as regent by Taktra.
1945 • Newly opened English-language school is closed after monks protest.
1950 • Red China invades Tibet; Tibetan army destroyed in battle at Chamdo.
1951 • 17-point agreement between China and Tibet; Chinese occupy Lhasa.
1956 • Tibetans in Kham and Amdo (Qinghai) begin revolt against Chinese ruler.
• Dalai Lama visits India for 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha's birth.
1959 Dalai Lama flees to India. 87,000 Tibetans die in anti-Chinese revolt.
1960 • International Commission of Jurists: "acts of genocide [have] been committed... to destroy the Tibetans as a religious group."
1963 • Dalai Lama approves a democratic constitution for the Tibetan exile community.
1964 • The Panchen Lama is arrested after calling for Tibetan independence.
1978 • Visitors find only 8 temples left in TAR, down from 2,700 in 1959.
1979-80 • China allows a series of three delegations from Dalai Lama to visit Tibet.
1989 • Dalai Lama receives the Nobel Peace Prize.
1995 • Dalai Lama recognizes six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as 11th Panchen Lama. China denounces the Dalai Lama's choice.
1999 • The Karmapa (Urgyen Trinley Dorje) flees Tibet to join the Dalai Lama in exile.

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