Monday, September 21, 2009

Buddha has to be dated to 1800 BC: Religion, Asia

  • tags: no_tag

    • I think the whole confusion has arisen because there are two emperor Ashokas, and both are Buddhists! The Ashoka of Buddhist scriptures belongs to the Mauryan dynasty of 1500 BC. He was a compulsive individual, devout in his faith, and took steps to spread his religion far and wide by sending missionaries and constructing Buddhist monasteries and stupas. However, he had nothing to do with the edicts and the Kalinga war. The Buddhist scriptures are talking about Ashoka the Mauryan. The scriptures mostly talk about parts within India -- Kashmir, Maharahtra, Mysore, Himalayas, Western India. Buddhism was not yet spread in India by his time -- so the scriptures are clearly talking of the spread of Buddhism within India under Mauryan emperor Ashoka.
    • The Ashoka of the edicts belongs to the Gupta dynasty of 300 BC. He was the one who was involved in Kalinga war. He felt remorseful and later converted to Buddhism. However, by his time, Buddhism was already spread far and wide and there was no need for him to send missionaries. Moreover, by his time, Buddhism was reeling under the onslaught of Sankarcharya and the Vedic religion was making a comeback. As we shall see a little later in this discussion, Buddhism was in a confused state about its ideology because of the theological attack launched by Sankaracharya. Buddhism was in a transition stage and it did not give much scope for missionary activites. So, Ashoka the Gupta was not hawkish about his religion, but was much more tolerant of all religions.
    • Source: Excepts from Prithviraj R's forthcoming book on history -- 19000 YEARS OF WORLD HISTORY: The Story of Religon. He can be reached at .