The Life of Gotama Buddha

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.

The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Thu May 07, 2009 4:47 pm

I don't know how accurate this is, but I enjoyed it :smile:

The Life of Gotama Buddha
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 07, 2009 4:52 pm

It is a traditional Theravadin accounting taken from the Pali sources.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu May 07, 2009 9:55 pm

tiltbillings wrote:It is a traditional Theravadin accounting taken from the Pali sources.

Hi tilt,

Speaking of accuracy, did you notice that account had the Buddha's birth at 623 B.C. ? I know you have done some reading and research on the dating of the Buddha. What do you think a more accurate date of the life of Buddha is?

I suppose some prefer an older date, like 623 B.C., because it could make a founder/re-discoverer's status a little higher by the older he or she is. Most accounts use 563 B.C. to 483 B.C. and then there are some that put the dates a hundred years or so younger. What do you think?
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 07, 2009 10:49 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:It is a traditional Theravadin accounting taken from the Pali sources.

Hi tilt,

Speaking of accuracy, did you notice that account had the Buddha's birth at 623 B.C. ? I know you have done some reading and research on the dating of the Buddha. What do you think a more accurate date of the life of Buddha is?

I suppose some prefer an older date, like 623 B.C., because it could make a founder/re-discoverer's status a little higher by the older he or she is. Most accounts use 563 B.C. to 483 B.C. and then there are some that put the dates a hundred years or so younger. What do you think?


Probablty 100 to 150 years from his death to that of Asoka reign, which pushes the time forward a far amount. Didn't some here post a link here to a scholarly article on this?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby pink_trike » Thu May 07, 2009 10:53 pm

There is a disputed range of around 400-500 years among academic scholars who have no personal investment in when he lived or died. I'll have to go digging to see if I can find my notes/links for this.
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Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 07, 2009 11:05 pm

I remember the page but not the link. the authour settled on 500 as it showed that there is three different dates depending on the country sri lanka, burma, and thailand. I done a small calculation from the dates given and it worked out 512 or 515 were the mean depending on if you used all or just the earliest and latest posibilities to average it out, I am going with 512 as the full moon falls on my birthday that year :))

but yeah I know none of that could be considdered scientific
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 07, 2009 11:19 pm

Greetings Laura,

Ngawang Drolma wrote:I don't know how accurate this is, but I enjoyed it :smile:

The Life of Gotama Buddha


There's a couple of ways to look at this, but I think you get the most "accurate" picture if you rely on just the Vinaya and Sutta Pitakas, but you get the most "detailed" picture if you include other non-canonical Pali sources. It's therefore handy when writers state the sources of the information.

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Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby MMK23 » Thu May 07, 2009 11:31 pm

According to Peter Harvey (Buddhist academic) the emerging 'probable' consensus of the Buddha's lifetime is around the area of 480-400BC. :reading:
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby Will » Mon May 24, 2010 3:20 pm

Just wondering if anyone knows the factual elements that contribute to determining Buddha's birth & death dates. I recall something about reigning periods of certain Indian kings or princes, but how were they decided - archeology or...?

A full study of all the issues regarding His dates would be great - either here or a reference to some published work.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby sukhamanveti » Tue May 25, 2010 2:56 am

For those interested in the proposed dates for the historical Buddha, one might summarize them as follows:

Traditional Theravadin dates: 623/4-543/4 B.C.E. (rejected by scholars)

From the Dotted Record Chronology: 566-486 B.C.E. (fallen out of favor, according to Dr. Prebish)

From the Corrected Long Chronology: 563-483 B.C.E. (fallen out of favor)

Ryusho Hikata: 508-428 B.C.E. (rejected by virtually all scholars, acccording to Dr. Prebish)

From the Short Chronology (advocated by Heinz Bechert): 448-368 B.C.E.

Andre Bareau: 500/460-420/380 B.C.E.

U.I. Hakuju: 466-386 B.C.E.

Hajime Nakamura: 463-383 B.C.E.

Richard Gombrich (most recently proposed dates): 484-404 B.C.E.

The most plausible date ranges for the Buddha's life given at a symposium at the University of Gottingen in 1988 seem to be: 484-404 B.C.E., 448-368 B.C.E., and 463-383 B.C.E. Most arguments hinge on the question of how many years (100? 116? 218?...) passed from the Buddha's death to the relatively firm date of the coronation of King Asoka. (Asoka's accession date is derived from references to foreign rulers whose dates are known in an Asokan edict carved in rock. His coronation date was probably approximately 268 B.C.E., although it might have been anywhere from 280-267. The Buddha's birth would then be 80 years before the date of the Buddha's death, based upon the univeral testimony of the various ancient traditions.)

An article summarizing recent research may be found here:

http://www.buddhistethics.org/15/prebish-article.html
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby Will » Tue May 25, 2010 3:26 am

Great link sukhamanveti - thank you!
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby chatra » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:13 am

Excellent link. The pictures on the front page were surprisingly good, and they got me thinking ... are there any pictures of what The Buddha might have actually looked like? Forgive me for being a heretic, but I have trouble imaging him with gold skin.

PS: Yes, the "heretic" part was a joke.
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby PeterB » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:01 am

Like a chap.
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby Wind » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:03 am

chatra wrote:Excellent link. The pictures on the front page were surprisingly good, and they got me thinking ... are there any pictures of what The Buddha might have actually looked like? Forgive me for being a heretic, but I have trouble imaging him with gold skin.

PS: Yes, the "heretic" part was a joke.


Perhaps "gold" skin refers to "yellow" skin. Like how we categorize people of Asian decent as being yellow skin. By calling it gold is a way of saying it is a radiant yellow. That's my guess. :)
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby PeterB » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:04 am

As I recall the Buddha said that those who have seen his Dhamma have seen him.
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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby bodom » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:17 pm

chatra wrote:The pictures on the front page were surprisingly good, and they got me thinking ... are there any pictures of what The Buddha might have actually looked like?


The Lakkhana Sutta DN 30, gives the best picture of what the Buddha might have looked like.

http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Lakkhana_Sutta

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Re: The Life of Gotama Buddha

Postby sainbhruvens » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:54 am

Buddhism, went on to become a very popular religion in the subsequent centuries and even went abroad.
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