Buddhism in Surkhandarya

Buddhism is one of the 3 biggest religions of the world appeared in North India in the VI c B.C. But primarily it was a doctrine founded by Gautama Sidhartha Buddha. Buddha’s followers professed it on the territory of Hindostan for several centuries and later it emerged out of the country and spread all over the world, becoming a world religion. Among the areas that attracted Buddhist missionaries was Central Asia, particularly Bactria was the first country where they stopped . A lot of religions were dominant here at that time Zoroastrizm, Shamanizm and some people worshipped Greek gods. The famous researchers of Buddhism in Central Asia consider that Buddhism’s influence in Bactria can be dated back to the pre-Kushan and early Kushan period. Their view is based on evidence dating back to the first century B.C. – first century A.D. Just in this period the population of Termez became acquainted with Buddhism before the formation of Kushan state through the work of large communities of Buddhist missionaries who had been actively propagating Buddha’s teaching among the local population. During the reign of Kushans Buddhism played significant role in the lives of people living in Bactria. Because the number of believers of it had been getting increased day by day. One of the greatest Kushan emperors Kanishka II proclaimed Buddhism as a state religion in the II century A.D. And a lot Buddhist monasteries were built by his initiative in Termez and Dalvarzintepe. Buddhism and archaeological traditions connected with it were widely spread to China, Tibet and Far East through Termez. Great preachers like Dharmamitra and Dharamashhra who originated from Termez contributed to its spread out of Bacria translating holy “Tripitaka” from Sanscrit into Chinese language.