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Dating the Buddha - Dhamma Wheel

Dating the Buddha

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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Ajatashatru
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Dating the Buddha

Postby Ajatashatru » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:19 pm

Recently I have seen a trend of postdating Buddha among Western historians. The current accepted view is Buddha was born in 480 BCE and Parinibbana at 400 BCE. The view held by tradition is 563 to 483 BCE. Lately a few scholars have suggested that Buddha was born around 300 BCE, this was done to account for the supposed Greek influences of Buddha's thoughts. This view is gaining prominence. This I see as a way of the west to culturally appropriate Buddha from his Indic, dharmic roots.

A parallel movement I see is the rise of the so called 'secular Buddhism' espoused by the likes of Stephen Batchelor and Sam Harris. This also decontexualizes Buddhism and maps it onto a Western 'secular' framework while ridiculing the source civilization as "mystical" or "otherworldly". I find this trend very disturbing and I think its a perversion of Dhamma that is neatly prepackaged for modern consumerism.

Your thoughts will be appreciated.

-with metta

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clw_uk
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:15 pm

It may be historically inaccurate but I don't see how it's a "perversion of th dhamma"?
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Aloka
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Aloka » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:50 pm

Last edited by Aloka on Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:08 pm


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Kare
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Kare » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:16 pm

Mettāya,
Kåre

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clw_uk
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:49 pm

I would also like to add, why would it matter in, relation to dhamma, when the Buddha was born?


Why would it matter if there was influence from Greeks? He did have teachers before he was enlightened and he grew up surrounded by Jainism and brahminism etc. As I said before, I don't see how this matter except In relation to historical accuracy.

Also as others have pointed out, the dating of the Buddhaslife and "secular buddhism" (whatever that is, people can't seem to decide) are separate.
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Ben
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:05 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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e: [email protected]..

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Ajatashatru
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ajatashatru » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:31 pm

Have any of you even read Batchelor's "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist"? After reading this dishonest, disgusting book don't you see how Buddhism is being made to conform to a gross materialistic impression in the West? This is totally against Buddha's teachings. Batchelor dismisses all talk of reincarnation in the Pali Canon as being useless memes of Indian civilization. What this guy does not know or wish to conceal is that Buddha rejected the materialistic philosophy of Ajita Kesakhambali. It is adhamma to make Buddhadhamma conform to a materialist outlook. Buddhism and all dharmic traditions are against materialism and by reducing Buddhism to such a watered down version, the westerners are distorting and perverting Buddha's message. In short Buddhism is going the way of Yoga in the West as some fad for modern consumerism.

As for dating the Buddha, Bechert is the scholar who is proposing this ridiculously recent date. What strikes me is all the current Indology scholars like Witzel, Olivelle, and Lance Cousins. Again the Pali Canon specifically mentions the traditional date, there is no reason to deny it. Buddhists unlike Hindus recorded history very well. Their records of dynasties such as the Sishunags, Nandas, Licchavis, Mauryas, etc. are impeccable. What strikes me here is how the whole academic community jumped on the bandwagon when these later dates were postulated. If this is not deliberate Eurocentrism..then what is?

And it makes a lot of difference to me when some people claim Buddha was influenced by Greek thought, as his philosophy firmly belongs to the Sramana stream of Dharma and that has its roots in the Indus Valley Civilization.

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Ben
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:37 pm

Thank you but you have only given us your unsubstantiated opinion.
I see no evidence of 'cultural appropriation' in your posts as a result of modern scholars dating the Buddha.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Ajatashatru
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ajatashatru » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:43 pm


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Ajatashatru
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ajatashatru » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:45 pm


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Ben
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:03 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Ajatashatru
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ajatashatru » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:19 am

There are Western historians who agree with the traditional Theravada long chronology. Here is a critique of this post dating of Buddha by Giovanni Verardi (who has written an excellent book on the downfall of Buddhism in India). The problem is the Westerners who support the traditional chronology don't find much support, they don't get grants, etc.

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/121305094/B ... rardi-2004)

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Ben
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ben » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:29 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Anders
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Anders » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:30 am

I thought this was going to be about Yasodhara. :? :jumping:

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Ajatashatru
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby Ajatashatru » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:18 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:57 pm


pulga
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby pulga » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:34 pm


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daverupa
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:49 pm


pulga
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Re: Dating the Buddha

Postby pulga » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:24 pm



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