Buddhism is the oldest world religion. Buddhism arose in the VI. BC. e. in India, to date, it has received widespread in the South, Southeast, East and Central Asia. Some Buddhists live in Europe, North and South America.
Buddhism in Kazakhstan. According to researchers, the penetration of Buddhism into Central Asia from India through Pakistan and Afghanistan started from the middle of I in. BC. e. Buddhism was widely known in countries such as Parthia, Kangyuy, Bactria and Sogdiana. The distribution of teaching, particularly with II-III centuries. n. e., the missionaries were engaged, which are dominated by the Sogdians.
The legacy of that era are the numerous monuments of Buddhist culture found along the entire route of the ancient Silk Road (the territory of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan). The most famous of them were monastery Karatobe II-III centuries. Termez; religious building in the valley Sanzar in Sughd; complex of monuments in Mary; Buddhist monastery Adzhina Tepe VII-VIII centuries. in Tokharistan; Buddhist temple in Kuva (Ferghana), churches Ak-Beshim and the Red River in the Seven Rivers (Zhetysu).
Of great interest are the excavation of two large Buddhist temples in the ancient settlement of Ak-Beshim (an ancient Suyab), located in the Chui Valley. In temples found Buddha sculptures, images of characters of the Buddhist pantheon. There are numerous products of Indian origin in Central Asia: figurines, plaques and bronze artifacts, and other objects for ritual purposes.
With VI. Buddhism had a significant impact on the Turks. Some of the rulers of the West-khanate, is believed to have either adopted Buddhism or patronized this religion. In the homeland of the Western Turks, Turgeshes and Karluk - in the Seven Rivers and South Kazakhstan - archaeologists found temples, monasteries, chapels and statues and steles with images of Buddhist characters and scenes. Such monuments are found in the valley of Talas, near Shymkent and Zhambyl region - in Tekturmas and Balasagun. In addition, excavations are conducted Buddhist ruins in the vicinity of Taraz - in Kostobe. Not far from the ruins of the famous medieval town Isfidzhab (Sairam) found an underground Buddhist monastery.
Over time, a large role in the spread of Buddhism began to play Chinese influence. Many architectural structures and sculptures are close to those monuments that has survived in China and East Turkestan. In the VIII century. Tibet was a powerful state, under the control of which there were many neighboring lands, including East Turkestan and part of Kyrgyzstan. This has contributed to the spread in Central Asia early Tibetan Buddhism.
Once in the tenth. Islam was declared the state religion Karakhanids, Buddhism is losing its position. Much of the population become Muslims, but a certain influence of Buddhism survived in the following centuries. According to the testimony of Guillaume de Rubruk, ambassador of Louis IX of the Mongol Khan Mangu, Buddhist temples acted in the Seven Rivers in the middle of the XIII century. Way Rubruk passed through the lands of modern South Kazakhstan, where he saw the temples of "idolaters" as Christians called followers of Buddhism.
A new wave of spread of Buddhism in Kazakhstan connected with the migrations and attacks Zhungars in the XVI-XVIII centuries. Monasteries of Jungar khanate era found in the Seven Rivers, Lake Balkhash region and steppe regions of Central Kazakhstan. The remains of Buddhist temples discovered not far from Karkaralinsk and rock inscriptions and images - on the mountain near Ulytau Zhezkazgan. Some stone monasteries east of Lake Balkhash stood until the middle of the XIX century. It is also known that at the beginning of the XIX century. in Medeo near Almaty wooden Buddhist monastery was built.
The unique archaeological monuments are a few images of Buddhas and Buddhist texts on the rocks in the tract Tamgaly-Tas in the outskirts of Almaty. Historians are not agreed, and when the drawings were made and texts. imaging time is determined in a wide range - from the XII to the XVII-XVIII centuries.
Currently, Kazakhstan has two Buddhist religious associations, which are located in Almaty and West Kazakhstan region.
In Almaty operates out-Buddhist religious association. Local religious association created in 1997, has its specialized religious building.
The founder of Won Buddhism is Pak Chong Bin, known as Sothesan Tedzhonsa (1891-1943 gg.), And venerated out-Buddhists as Buddha new era.
In West Kazakhstan region there is Buddhist religious association of Tibetan areas.