In the history of Buddhism six Buddhist councils were convened. These councils were held under the patronage of different rulers and presided by different monks. The agenda of these councils were to preserve and spread Buddhism.
List of Different Buddhist Councils
|First Buddhist Council||Time: 400 BC
Location: Sattapanni caves Rajgriha
Patronage: King Ajatashatru
Presided by: Monk Mahakasyapa
Agenda: To preserve the sayings of Buddha and the monastic discipline or rules.
Facts: It was held right after the death of Buddha. In this council Suttas were recited by Ananda, and the Vinaya was recited by Upali. Abhidhamma Pitaka was also recited.
|Second Buddhist Council||Time: 383 BC
Presided by: Sabakami
Agenda: To settle the disputes of different subgroups. Some subgroup (Mahasangikas) were in favor of relaxed monastic rules.
Facts: Many people regard this council as historical. The council rejected the Mahasangikas.
|Third Buddhist Council||Time: 250 BC
Presided by: Moggaliputta Tissa
Agenda: To analyze the different schools of Buddhism and to purify them.
Facts: Ashoka sent many groups to different parts of countries to spread the Buddhism.
|Fourth Buddhist Council||Time: 78 AD
Presided by: Vasumitra & Asvaghosha
Agenda: To preserve and remedy of different conflict
Facts: From this council division of Buddhism occurred into Hinayana & Mahayana. Many people has doubt on authenticity of this council.
|Fifth Buddhist Council||Time: 1871
Patronage: King Mindon
Presided by: Jagarabhivamsa, Narindabhidhaja, and Sumangalasami
Agenda: To recite all the Buddhist teaching and examine them in minute details
Facts: This council is generally not recognized outside of Myanmar
|Sixth Buddhist Council||Time: 1954
Location: Kaba Aye in Yangon, Burma
Patronage: prime Minister U. Nu
Presided by: Mahasi Sayadaw and Bhadanta Vicittasarabhivamsa. Beside them, many monks and scholars joined this council.
Agenda: To affirm and preserve the genuine Dhamma and Vinaya
Facts: For this council, a special Maha Passana Guha was constructed which was similar to the guha where the first Buddhist council was constructed.