Buddhism and the Maritime Crossings
This article demonstrates how the spread of Buddhism through maritime routes was closely linked with commercial activities, and how these networks were different from overland routes. It also provides a survey on early India–China networks and introduces the activities of Buddhist monks and the importance of Śrīvijayan rulers and their contribution to the maritime spread of Buddhism. In the second part, the article discusses the role of Sri Lanka and the Bay of Bengal networks in the maritime transmission of Buddhism. It shows that Buddhism spread in various forms from one cultural zone of Asia to another. It also demonstrates that the transmission of Buddhist doctrines, images and texts was a complex process that involved itinerant monks, traders and travellers.