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(Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha... - Dhamma Wheel

(Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

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

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daverupa
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby daverupa » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:17 am


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lyndon taylor
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby lyndon taylor » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:42 am

My guess is when you date charcoal you find in an archaelogy dig, its so and so many years +/- 200 years or so, these tests are certainly not 100% accurate. Same with Carbon 14 dating its not year specific accurate, and when you're dating things millions of years old it can be +/- a million years, etc etc.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community, sincerely former monk John

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cooran
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New discovery may push back Buddha's birth date

Postby cooran » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:09 am

Hello All,

Oldest Buddhist Shrine uncovered in Nepal - may push back Buddha's birthdate

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... n-history/

With metta,
Chris
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---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: New discovery may push back Buddha's birth date

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:47 am

In his introduction to his Discourse on the Dhammacakka Sutta, the Mahāsi Sayādaw said (in 1962):

Thus it was on the first watch of the full-moon of July, 2,551 years ago that this first discourse was delivered by the Blessed One. Western scholars regard this estimation as 60 years too early. According to their calculation, it was only 2,491 years ago that the first discourse was taught. As the event of the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma took place in the East, I would prefer to go by the oriental calculation and regard the first discourse as being taught 2,551 years ago.¹

¹ Now 2602 years ago in 2013, the year 2557 of the Buddhist Era (as measured from the parinibbāna).
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Kusala
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Oldest Buddhist shrine holds clues to Buddha's birth

Postby Kusala » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:38 am

"This is one of those rare occasions when belief, tradition, archaeology and science actually come together," lead study author Robin Coningham, professor at Durham University in the United Kingdom, said at a press briefing Monday.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/25/world/asi ... ?hpt=hp_t3
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chownah
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Re: New discovery may push back Buddha's birth date

Postby chownah » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:31 am

I am concerned that some people might misinterpret the meaning of "push back the buddha's birthdate".
I would like to make it clear that this discovery does not change the date upon which the Buddha was born......the Buddha was born on one particular day and no amount of scientific discovery will change that. It would be more accurate if the article had said that the new discovery may push back the estimate of the buddha's birthdate.......no one knows the buddha's birthday and scientists are trying to estimate when it was......so the discovery they just made indicates that their previous estimate should perhaps be moved back.
chownah

sphairos
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby sphairos » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:49 pm

Hello everyone,

famous Buddhologist and Tibetologist M. Kapstein wrote at some Buddhist scholars' mailing list:

"Dear Friends,

An interesting article in today's New York Times discusses recent finds at Lumbini.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/scien ... birth.html

It references an article in the current issue of the journal Antiquity that I have
not yet seen, and so I cannot say whether the NYT summary is fully accurate.
A few problems to note:

The date of Asoka, of course, is not at all taken as the date of the Buddha. Even the
'short chronology' would place the Buddha's passing a century or so earlier.

It is not at all clear to me why the discovery of a sixth century BCE structure at Lumbini
thought to be a "shrine" warrants the assumption that it is a Buddhist shrine.

In any case, I look forward to hearing what specialists in early Indian Buddhism might
have to say.

Matthew

Matthew Kapstein
Directeur d'études,
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes"
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Mkoll
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Re: New discovery may push back Buddha's birth date

Postby Mkoll » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:59 pm

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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puppha
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BBC: 'Earliest shrine' uncovered at Buddha's birthplace

Postby puppha » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:13 pm

That could be quite something. This discovery could potentially settle disputes about when the Buddha is born.
I just came across it today and thought about sharing that news.


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Cittasanto
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:05 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:00 am

This is pretty big news; hope it pans out the way it is looking so far. I believe previous to this the only hard-core archeological evidence of the life of Buddha were the Edicts of Ashoka, the Tipitaka and the matching of the archeological finds at Buddhist sites with the Tipitaka account. This would add a much older account and evidence.
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chownah
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:37 am

sphairos wrote:"It is not at all clear to me why the discovery of a sixth century BCE structure at Lumbini
thought to be a "shrine" warrants the assumption that it is a Buddhist shrine."

Good posting, sphairos!

What evidence is there that this structure has anything to do with the Buddha at all?.....so far the only connection is it's geographical location being coincident with where the Buddha lived. Were there no shrines that existed before the Buddha was born?
chownah

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David N. Snyder
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:04 am

Image




chownah
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby chownah » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:19 am

If the tree roots appear to have been fertilized perhaps the structure was a lavatory......
chownah

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Mkoll
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby Mkoll » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:26 am

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

sphairos
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby sphairos » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:36 am

Guys,

here is what Buddhist scholars J. Silk and A. Bayer have so far said about the topic:

"Subject: Re: ARTICLE> The Date of the Buddha,

Dear Colleagues,

Regarding the recent report from Lumbini, mentioned by Matthew
Kapstein, as one might expect, the facts do not bear out the hype.

I read the article in question yesterday (before the embargo was
lifted) because a journalist contacted me about it (you can read about
it in the Volkskrant if you read Dutch...), but when Matthew and
others read the article, what will be evident is that what has been
found is wood beneath the Asokan layer. There is *no* indication that
the wood is connected with the Buddha in any way shape or form. It is
logical to think that a tree shrine on the spot considered to be the
birthplace of the Buddha could easily have predated anything about
Buddhism--of course, the tree selected as "the tree" under which the
Buddha was born should be a sacred tree, hence it had a shrine
associated with it.

And in fact, except for a single--I would say incautious--sentence,
the article basically says this. I'm sure it will be spun for all it's
worth, but there's nothing there, except perhaps (and even this is not
100% clear) some evidence that, despite an earlier botched excavation
by a Japanese team (which, the authors imply, threw away valuable
evidence), the traditional spot rebuilt by Asoka had earlier a wooden
structure upon it. What that structure may have been, and whether it
could conceivably have had any connection with the Buddha--no
evidence at all!

Jonathan"

"Dear Colleagues,

Thanks to Matthew Kapstein for the NYT article and his critical
remarks.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/scien ... .html?_r=0

The NYT article and several others follow a pattern that I have
observed with media, especially online media, when dealing with new
sensational discoveries: Almost none of the online journalists have
(/take the) time to ask for a second expert opinion when they get the
news agency reports. If at all, they contact the discoverer, simply
because it is the name they have at hand.

Another of the issues involved is that archeology, dealing with
material things, seems to be considered "science", while the study of
history as a whole is just "humanities" (at least in the anglophone
world) and thus less reliable.

These were my experiences when dealing with the "Lama Wearing
Trousers" last year.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/zei ... 62919.html

I have now organized a panel by the title "Authenticity, Uncertainty,
and Deceit in Buddhist Art and Archaeology" at the IABS 2014 in Vienna
- to which everyone interested in such methodological questions is
warmly invited.

Dr. Achim Bayer "
How good and wonderful are your days,
How true are your ways?

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daverupa
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby daverupa » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:48 am


sphairos
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby sphairos » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:24 pm

I would say, that if there is not found any strong epigraphical, inscriptional (which says something like "This is a shrine devoted to the Almighty Buddha"), sculptural (or other pertaining to the domain of the Buddhist art) evidence (and there seems to be no such evidence), there will be no possible way to connect the discovery to the Buddha or early Buddhism.

The tree-worship has been ubiquitous both in Ancient and Modern India, Sri Lanka and other neighboring countries for millennia. There are lots of trees and tree-shrines which are "just sacred", no one makes offerings to them.

And, also, I would say, that recent stratigraphical, text-critical, historical and doctrinal research into the early Buddhist texts makes other dates for the Great Passing of the Buddha than 400+-10 and 368+-10 BC impossible.
Last edited by sphairos on Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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How true are your ways?

sphairos
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Re: (Purportedly) new dates for the Buddha...

Postby sphairos » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:27 pm

Dave,

this is funny , I agree :)
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How true are your ways?


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