In the early 12th century Buddhism started to disappear and faded from the faces of India.
Many theories were proposed by many scholars on the decline of Buddhism in India. These scholars proposed many causes which revolve around the influence of various internal and external influences. Some popular causes were the influence of White Nuns, the influence of Brahmanism on royal emperors.Influence of Brahmanism
Influence of White Huns
During the 5th century, the White Huns also known as The Hephthalites, were the nomadic people who were quite powerful in Central Asia. At that time, they conquered Bactria and Gandhara of India and destroyed a large part of Buddhist kingdom that flourished in the Bactria, Gandhara, and neighboring Buddhist Kingdom. The Chinese traveler who traveled India to learn more about Buddhism stated that the invasion of White Huns greatly influenced on the decline of Sangha, Buddhist community in India.
Influence of Muslim Empire
The invasion of Muslim empire greatly caused the decline of Buddhism in India. Even though Buddhism has greatly faded in India, the rulers of Muslim became the main reason for the disappearance of Buddhism. In the early 12th century, the Nalanda Monastery in Bengal was burnt by Muslim invaders and various Buddhist schools that were established in the time of Pala Dynasty were also destroyed. During 13th and 14th Century, most parts of India was under Muslim rule. Then Buddhism couldn’t survive in Northern India and couldn’t survive the competition with Hinduism in Southern India.
Buddhism returns in India
Until the 20th Century, Buddhism was mostly extinct in India due to various causes. But soon after the 20th Century, Buddhism gradually but slowly returned to India due to influence of Anagarika Dharmapala. Anagarika Dharmapala was Buddhist reformer and founded Maha Bodhi Society in Sri Lanka and he mostly focuses on promoting Buddhism in India. After 14th Dalai Lama and other lamas associated with 14th Dalai Lama were exiled from Tibet , took shelter in India and promoted Tibetan Buddhism in India . According to statistics, around 7 million out of 1.2 billion people in India followed and worshiped Buddhism.