When exactly did the Buddha live?

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Stephen K
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When exactly did the Buddha live?

Postby Stephen K » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:36 pm

Why is there so much uncertainty about the exact years of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and parinibbana? Does anyone know these exact dates with certainty?
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Re: When exactly did the Buddha live?

Postby Individual » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:59 pm

Stefan wrote:Why is there so much uncertainty about the exact years of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and parinibbana? Does anyone know these exact dates with certainty?

Because the suttas themselves weren't dated, so they have to give them an approximate date through research.

I would guess that the same applies to other texts written about the Buddha by non-Buddhist groups at the same time.
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Re: When exactly did the Buddha live?

Postby Sobeh » Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:41 pm

The dates are known to within a relatively short range, however, which isn't quite the same as being wholly uncertain.

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Re: When exactly did the Buddha live?

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:18 pm

563 BCE is the most widely used date for the birth and 483 BCE for paranibbana.

But it may have been as early as 624 BCE or as late as 463 BCE and with the latter, the death would be at 383 BCE about 100 to 200 years before Ashoka's edicts.

http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=59

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Re: When exactly did the Buddha live?

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:56 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:563 BCE is the most widely used date for the birth and 483 BCE for paranibbana.

But it may have been as early as 624 BCE or as late as 463 BCE and with the latter, the death would be at 383 BCE about 100 to 200 years before Ashoka's edicts.

http://www.buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=59

There's more about dates in a thread about the 'Historicity of the Buddha' - try starting at http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=4073&start=20
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Re: When exactly did the Buddha live?

Postby plwk » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:56 am

And how is the certainty of it related to the goal, to the rudiments of the holy life, leading to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding? :tongue:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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Re: When exactly did the Buddha live?

Postby Bankei » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:12 am

Many years ago there was a large conference in Germany on the dates of the Buddha. No agreement could be reached.

see Bechert, Heinz (ed.) 1991 When Did The Buddha Live? : The Controversy on the Dating of the Historical Buddha--Selected Papers Based on a Symposium held under the Auspices of the Academy of Sciences in Gottingen. Part 1, 2 and 3.

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