Buddha attaining Parinirvana (Final Nirvana, also passing away). Image excavated at the place where Buddha attained Parinirvana; at the Mahaparinirvana Temple iNorth India
The only two majority-Buddhist nations in South Asia are Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Buddhists are also found in Nepal, India (especially in Ladakh and Sikkim) and Bangladesh in small minorities.
Bhutan has got the highest Buddhist percentage (uncertain but it must over 75%) among other South Asian countries. Sri Lanka is 70% Buddhist and its un-official state religion here; Buddhism is also the most important minority religion in Nepal (11% of Nepal's population). India has 0.8% Buddhist population and it is growing rapidly in recent years because the conversion of Hindu dalits, while Theravada Buddhism is the third largest religion in Bangladesh with about 0.7% of the total population are Buddhists.
Indian civilization was cradled in the area of the Indus River Valley and the Punjab. The earliest members of the Indus Valley civilization occupied a considerable area of the northwest sometime between 3000 and 1800 B.C..Much is not known about the religious ideas and practices of these people. The civilization was in decline when Indo-Aryan tribes invaded by crossing high mountain passes in the far northwest and settled in the regions nearby Punjab between 1800 and 1500 B.C. The religion of the Indo-Aryans was a regional variant of Indo-European practices, called either Vedism or Brahmanism. Unlike the peaceful agrarians of the Indus Valley, these people were rough cattle herders. Within the tribe political and military power occurred. This became the classical Hinduism. While its doubtful whether the office of priest (Brahmana) was hereditary among the early Indo-Aryans by the time that the Buddha taught only members of certain class. It was considered a personal merit to worship. Buddhism is a later branch from the same stock that grew and flourished in the religiously diverse plains of the Indus and Ganges.
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