Showing posts with label Purana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Purana. Show all posts

Is Gautama Buddha Avatar of Vishnu

Why does Purana and Buddhist Chronology does not synchronize with each other. While they seem to be saying about the same person. When Analyzing this question. It becomes apparent that we have merged two Buddhas. The Adi Buddha or Avatar Buddha of Vishnu and Shakya Buddha  or Gautama Buddha into One. Let us Analyze

Let us  summarize what we have regarding each Buddha

Adi Buddha
Adi Buddha is avatar of Vishnu was born on 1887BC to Mother Anjana in Kikata (Bodh Gaya).
The Adi Buddha Established the Philosophy of Ahimsa, Non Violence. He preached against ritual Animal Sacrifices that has crept into Vedic Hinduism. He emphasized the divine in all beings and divinity of all souls arousing compassion for all.


Gautama Buddha
Siddhartha was was born around 560BC in Royal Family of Suddhodana and Mayadevi in Lumbini in Nepal. Siddhartha received his name Gautama from his spiritual Master Gautama Muni, who belongs to Kapila dynasty(as per Sundarananda Charita). He left home his royal comforts to find enlightenment. He went to Bodh Gaya to meditate and got enlightenment.
Gautama Buddha philosophy that is Monist (the God, is inert, nonactive and without any characteristic) and that reaching the same inert and non-active state through Nirvana is the goal. For attaining freedom from all suffering and end cycle of rebirths, one should attain Nirvana. Gautama Buddha is the propagator of Bahyatmavada, Jnanatmavada and Sunyavada, three pillars of Atheism. He Went to Bodhgaya to medidate because of its spiritual potency as the birthplace of Adi Buddha.

Buddhist Texts
Threvada Texts refer to six Preceding Buddhas (Those who have been awakened) as Vipasyin, Sikin, krakuccanda, Konagamara and Kashyapa, also they say Maitreya as the Buddha of the future.

Amara Simha Buddhist scholar, who wrote Amarakosha gives eighteen names of Vishnu avatara including the name Sugato (Which Shankara calls Buddha) and seven names of Shakya Simha Buddha without any mention of Sugato. So we can even argue that Shankara talks about avatar Buddha not Shakya Buddha. Amarakosha states the Lord Buddha is also known as Samanta Bhadra, whereas Gautama Buddha is a human being.

In Lalita Vistara, it is described how Gautama Buddha medidated on the same spot as the predecessor Buddha. The original name of Bodhgaya is Kikata, after Gautama attained enlightment there, it came to be known as Buddha gaya. Even today the rituals of worship is preformed by sannyasis of Shankaracharya sect.

Lankavatara Sutra, the famous buddhist work says that Ravana King of Lanka first worshipped Vishnu incarnation Buddha then successive and future Buddha.

Analysing Buddhist texts like Prajna-Paramita sutra, Astasahastrika prajna- paramita sutra, Sata-Shastrika Prajna, Pramita Sutra, Lalita Vistara shows three categories of Buddha namely

Human Buddhas: Like Gautama, who came to be known as Buddha after enlightment.
Bodhisattva Buddhas: Personalities like Samanta Bhadraka who were born enlightened.
Adi(Original-First) Buddha: the Avatar of Vishnu.


Hindu Texts
Bhagavata Purana says "At the commencement of the Kāli-yuga will Vishnu become incarnate in Kikata, under the name of Buddha, the son of Jina, for the purpose of deluding the enemies of the gods."

Puranas say that Adi Buddha was born in Ikshvaku Dynasty.

How Two were merged.
Adi Shankara, in discussion with others treated both of them as one person and did not discriminate between the two. Shankara Sunya philosophy is similar to Buddhist Nirvana. With his Mayavadha philosophy he not only stopped rise of Buddhism in India, but also started its decline.  However acharyas who came after him did not agree and they came with corrections for clear vedic View
Vishnuswami -Suddha Advaitha
Ramanuja - Vasistadvaitha
Nimbarka - Dvaita Advaita
Madhva - Dvaitha
Chaitanya - Acintaya Bheda Bheda

Historical Accounts
Adi Buddha is contemproary of Srenika(Sunika) whose father was Hemajit or Kshemajit or Kshetroja or Ksetrauja. Son of Srenika is Kunika. His son is Dharshaka.

Gautama Buddha is contemproary of Bimbisara(Son of Bhatiya or Bhattiya), King of Magadha with Capital at Rajgirh. Bimbisara made married alliances with many kings of India. His first wife Kosaladevi was the princess of Kosala, daughter of king Mahakoshal and sister of Pasendi or Prasenjit. The marriage ended the hostility between Kosala and Magadha. Ajatsatru was Kosaladevi`s son. Bimbisara conquered Anga and send Ajatsatru as the ruler there. Champa was the capital of Anga. Bimbisara was assasinated by his son Ajathashatru. Gautama Buddha then went to sravasti, Capital of Kosala ruled by Prasenjit. Most of the teachings come from Sravasti. Buddhist, Puranic and Jain Accounts confirm Gautama Buddha to be the contemproary of Bimbisara.

Jain scriptures, described King Bimbisara as a disciple of Mahavira who frequently sought his teachings. As per Jain texts, he is referred to as King Shrenika of Rajgriha (being the possessor of a large army). Bimbisara sent Jivaka to Ujjain for medical treatment of King Pradyata, the king of Avanti.

Mahavamsa traces the Shakya dyansty to Ikshvaku dynasty and starts the dynasty with Ikshvaku.


Let us see the list of Contemproary kings as various religious texts 

Puranas List
Shishunaga(40yrs)(Desposed Pratyodya)
kakavarna(36yrs)
kshemdharman(20yrs)
Khastrojas (40yrs)
Bimbasara (28yrs)
Ajatashatru (25yrs)
Darshaka(26yrs)
Udayin (33yrs)
Nandivardhana (40rys)
Mahanandin (43yrs)

Buddhist List
Sisunaka
Kalashoka (Sons Bhadrasena, Korandavarna, Mangura, Sarvanjaha, Jalika, Ubhaka, Sanjaya, Koravya, Nandivardhana and Panchamaka)
All 10 sons ruled simultaneously.

How Reliable is Buddhist Historical sources

Indologists have been saying Puranas are not reliable, let us see how unreliable Buddhist texts are. It is from Buddhist texts that Indologists arguments come. There two schools of sources. Tibetan and Sinhala. There is Chinese source, which comes later.
Let us take the kings around Buddhas time

Lankan Tradition

Dipavamsa
Bimbisara(52yrs)
Ajatasattu (32yrs)
Udayabhadda (16yrs)
Nagadasa (24yrs)
susunaga (10yrs)
kalasoka
Ten sons of Kalasoka (22yrs)
Candagutta(24yrs)
Bindusara
Asoka (37yrs)

Mahavamsa
Bimbisara (52yrs)
Ajatasattu (32yrs)
Udayabhadda (16yrs)
Anuruddha, Munda (8yrs)
Nagadasaka (8yrs)
Susunaga (18yrs)
Kalasoka (28yrs)
ten sons of Kalasoka (22yrs)
Nine Nandas (22yrs)
Candagutta (24yrs)
Bindusara (28yrs)
Asoka (37yrs)

Burmese Tradition
Bimbisara
Ajatasattu (35yrs)
Udayabhadda (15yrs)
Aururddha, Munda (9yrs)
Nagadasaka (4yrs)
Susunaga (32yrs)
Kalasoka 28yrs
bhaddasena and 8 brothers (33yrs)
Uggasenananda and 8 brothers (21yrs)
candagutta (24yrs)
Bindusara (27yrs)
Asoka

Tibetan Tradition
Asokavardhana
Bimbisara
Ajatasatru
Ujayain or Udayibhadda
Munda
Kakavarnin
Sahalin
Tulakuel
Mahamandala
Presenjit
Nanda
Bindusara
Asoka

Jain Tradition
Srenika
Kunika
Udayin
(Total 60yrs)
Nine Nandas
Candragupta
Bindusara
Asoka

Discussion

Buddhist dates
1)Sources of Buddhist: First Where do Buddhist sources come from, they are not there from time immemorial like Purana or Jain sources. They are from definite time frame that is after Gautama Buddha. Mainly after the state patronage of Buddhism. Now how does Buddhist dates start from Ikshvaku dynasty. They should have got from some source. where else Purana. These Buddhist chronologies before Buddha are from Purana sources. If Puranas are the source of many Buddhist dates, how can Indology scholars choose to reject Puranas and take Buddhist sources.

2)Indian Dates: Dates from Purana or Buddhist or Jain are all Indian dates. Indologists are just playing one against other.

3)Not the Same Kings: Jain and Purana Chronology names does not tally with Buddhist Chronology names on contemporary kings

4) Differences within Buddhist: There are two main dates for Buddhists. One from Sinhala Buddhist and other Tibetan sources. There are two sources from Sinhala. That is Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa. There are differences between the two dates, but let us not overplay the differences.

The Tibetan Buddhist dates are more closer to Puranas date. But there are major differences. Such as when did Buddha lived. Date of Ashoka etc.

There is also Burma (Myanmar), though based on Lankan sources has a mind of its own because it has direct contact with puranic sourcse.

Chinese and Japanese follow Lankan, though they also have direct contact with puranic, so there are differences.

Indology Confusions
By Combining two Buddhas Indology scholars have discredited the Purana accounts and thus Indian History. Whenever the Puranas refers Adi Buddha they will cite Gautama Buddha to discredit and vice verse.

Colonel Kennedy, argues that the Buddha of the Purana and Buddha the founder of the Buddhist system of religion have nothing in common but the name, and that the attempted identification of these two is simply the work of European scholars, who have not been sufficiently careful to collect information, and to weigh the evidence they have had before them.

Jacobi Believes that Kakavarna(Puranas) = Kalashoka (Sinhalese Buddhist Literature) = Udyain (Jain Literature)

The Cambridge and Oxford histories of India accept 483 B.C as the date of Buddha’s nirvana. But, William Jones, on the basis of Chinese and Tibetan records infers that Buddha lived in the 11th century B.C. Historian Fleet, who makes a study of ‘Rajatarangini’, thinks that Buddha lived in the 17th century B.C. Chinese monk Fa-Hien puts Buddha’s Nirvana at 1050 B.C. These contradictory theories may confuse one altogether.

Indology scholars just pick and choose to discredit Purana sources. The history that Buddha lived in the 5th century B.C was propounded by E.J Rapson who writes that the exact date of Buddha’s Nirvana is not known and hence the popularly accepted year of Buddha’s Nirvana is imaginary. Sastry states that Western scholars arbitrarily skipped 12 centuries of Indian history because their ‘hypothesis’ about Alexander’s invasion did not match with centuries-old Indian chronology.

Conclusion
We see that Early Buddhist texts distinguishes the two Buddhas, while the later ones seem to ignored the former. The Rock Edicts of Piyadasi teachings are of Adi Buddha not Gautama Buddha. This clarification actually synchronizes the Buddhist and Purana Chronology and there seems to be no problem in merging the two once we take as two persons. The key is not play puranic , Jain, Buddhist chronology against each other, but synchronize them. The Conclusion is that : Gautama Buddha is not avatar of Vishnu. Avatar of Vishnu is Adi Buddha.

Sources
Were There Two Buddhas By Stephen Knapp
Modern Buddha and Vishnu Avatar Buddha are Different by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja
Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic, by W.J. Wilkins
Index to all Chronology Pages from Indic Studies Foundation
QUEEN CHELNA AND KING SHRENIK from Jainworld
Saisunaga Dynasty- The Third Dynasty of Magadha after the great war. from Kota Venkata Chelam - Ancient Indian History
Buddhist India
Lord Mahāvīra and His Times By Kailash Chand Jain
History of Ancient India: From 4250 BC to 637 AD By J.P. Mittal
The dates of the Buddha

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Date of Buddha

Most of us are taught that Buddha was born around 560 to 550 B.C. However, once we start doing some research, we find evidence that this date may be too late. Buddha may have lived much earlier. Let us see how Buddha is dated.

Let us see the Traditional Theories at arriving date of Buddha.
  1. Long chronology Based on the Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa accounts which state that 218 years difference between Buddha Death and Ashoka Conversion. Which put date of the Buddha’s death is 544/543 B.C.E.
  2. Corrected chronology According to Richard Gombrich, Aśoka’s dates are approximately established by the synchronism between his 13th major rock edict, which is dated by scholars in the 13th year after his consecration, and the five monarchs of the Hellenistic world named therein as reigning at the time. The date of the edict must be 255 B.C., give or take a year; Aśoka’s consecration is accordingly dated 268 B.C. So the Date of Buddha's Death is 483BC
  3. short chronology Many Sanskrit , Tibetan and chinese traditions say the difference between date of Asoka coronation and Date of Nirvana of Buddha to be 100 years and Chinese accounts say 116 years. So the date can be anywhere between 544BC to 440BC depending on which theory you are following.
  4. Dot-ted record. This account, taken from Chi-nese sources and referred to initially by Tao-hsüan in the Ta t’ang nei tien lu, argues that when Upāli, first collected the Vinaya after the Buddha’s death, he marked a dot in the manuscript at the end of the pavarana, and continued the process in each year thereafter. His successors, Dāsaka, Sonaka, Siggava, Moggali-putta, Tissa, Caṇḍavajji, and so forth continued the process. Samghabhadra, who presumably translated the Samantapāsādikā into Chinese, is said to have put the 975th dot on the manuscript during a visit to Canton in 489 C.E., thus establishing the Buddha’s death in 486 B.C.E.
But we are not bothered by this relative chronology based on the date of Ashoka cornation. Since we have seen that Ashoka grandfather chandragupta Maurya is itself is not based on Solid evidence the article Did Megasthanese Meet Chandrgupta. We will go to the root of the evidences to see when he can be dated.

European Account
Since the records of ancient India give only the intervals between events but do not, like later records, date the events themselves, it is necessary in order to establish dates in Indian history to call on Greek historians. Indo-Greek relations developed as a result of the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great (327 BC). About 303 BC, the Indian Emperor Candragupta came to a territorial agreement and entered into diplomatic relations with Seleukos Nikator, Alexander's former general who ruled over Babylonia. Through the reports of the Greek ambassador Megasthenes, who was ambassador to the imperial court of palimbothra , Candragupta ( Sandrokottos ) became known to Greek historians, and through them we are able to date his accession to 321 BC. But this date is now disputed due to various reasons, Further Information on Chandgragupta and Alexander Date follow article Did Megasthanese meet Chandragupta Maurya. How Let us see

Purana Account
The Puranas provide a chronology of the Magadha rulers from the time of the Mahabharata war, Somadhi (Marjari) was the ruler. He started a dynasty that included 22 kings that spread over 1006 years.They were followed by five rulers of the Pradyota dynasty that lasted over 138 years. Then for the next 360years was the 10 rulers of the Shishunag family. Kshemajit (who ruled from 1892 to 1852 B.C.) was the fourth in the Shishunag dynasty, and was a contemporary of Lord Buddha's father, Shuddhodana. It was during this period in which Buddha was born. It was during the reign of Bimbisara, the fifth Shishunaga ruler (1852-1814 B.C.), when Prince Siddhartha became the enlightened Buddha. Then it was during the reign of King Ajatashatru (1814-1787 B.C.) when Buddha left this world. Thus, he was born in 1887 B.C., renounced the world in 1858 B.C., and died in 1807 B.C. according to this analysis.

Further evidence that helps corroborate this is provided in The Age of Buddha, Milinda and King Amtiyoka and Yuga Purana, by Pandit Kota Venkatachalam. He also describes that it is from the Puranas, especially the Bhagavat Purana and the Kaliyurajavruttanta, that need to be consulted for the description of the Magadha royal dynasties to determine the date of Lord Buddha. Buddha was the 23rd in the Ikshvaku lineage, and was a contemporary of Kshemajita, Bimbisara, and Ajatashatru, as described above. Buddha was 72 years old in 1814 B.C. when the coronation of Ajatashatru took place. Thus, the date of Buddha's birth must have been near 1887 B.C., and his death in 1807 B.C. if he lived for 80 years

Professor K. Srinivasaraghavan also relates in his book, Chronology of Ancient Bharat , that the time of Buddha should be about 1259 years after the Mahabharata war, which should make it around 1880 B.C. if the war was in 3138 B.C.

Astronomical Account
A search was made from 1900 BCE to 400 BCE for the sequence of events: winter solstice, lunar eclipse, solar eclipse, followed by Vaisakha poornima, the full moon day of Buddha nirvana. It is found that there are only 14 dates possible for this sequence of events to occur:1807 BCE, 1694 BCE, 1659 BCE, 1510 BCE, 1250 BCE, 1192 BCE, 1138 BCE, 1119 BCE, 1062 BCE, 1007 BCE, 765 BCE, 690 BCE and 560 BCE. If a time limit of about three months (the time that Buddha spends in sravasti before attaining his nirvana) is imposed, then the time intervalbetween winter solstice and vaisakha poornima must be less than 90 days and that vaisakha poornima should occur before the vernal equinox, as winter solstice occurred after his arrival at sravasti. With this restriction, most of the dates do not qualify, leaving only two dates 1807 BCE and 1510 BCE as possible dates. It is interesting to note that the ‘traditionally’ accepted dates, 544 BCE, or 483 BCE, or any of the recently revised dates do not fit the picture. One additional piece of astronomical information is needed to fix the date.

The Samyutta Nikaya , Part I, sugatta Vagga, Book II, Chapter I, Devaputtasa yuttam,suttas contain ten units in all, two of them to relate to kassapa. The others are devaputtas who visit Buddha. Sengupta identifies kassapa with prajapati and hence with winter solstice. He regards the other deities as adityas The first devaputta to visit is to be taken as the lord of the month of the lunar eclipse. We take a hint from a listing of the sons of aditi in taittirya aranyaka dhata aryaman. If we assume as Sengupta did, kassapa as dhataa or prajapati, his visit would indicate the arrival of winter solstice. Aryaman would be the first ‘devaputta’ to visit as the deity of the month, i.e., the presiding deity of the nakshatra of the full moon, where the lunar eclipse occurs. In 1510 BCE the lunar eclipse occurs at uttaraphalguni, whose deity is bhaga. In 1807 BCE, the lunar eclipse occurs at purvaphalguni , with aryaman as the deity. So the year is 1807 BCE

Furthermore, astronomical calculations by astronomer Swami Sakhyananda indicates that the time of the Buddha was in the Kruttika period, between 2621-1661 B.C.

Pali and Ceylon Chronicles
Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa , give the traditional figure of 218 years between the death of the Buddha and the conversion of Asoka is best taken as conventional. It amounts to the claim that between the death of the Buddha and the conversion of Asoka, there intervened
  • A first major event occuring after 100 years, this being the standard conventional interval of prediction in the later Buddhist literature
  • A second major event, occurring after another 100 years, this event being the rise of the ruler patron, or the coronation of Asoka.
  • A third event, occurring after a further 18 years. We may note that according to his own inscriptions, it was in the 18th year of his reign that Asoka was persuaded to accept Buddhism.
The alternative interval of 256 years, is based on counting backward from a later date in Asoka's reign, namely, the year of his abdication to pursue a life of virtue. This is the information given by the chronicles , the western scholars have taken the difference in years between ashoka , buddha and Megasthanese – Chandragupta meeting to date Buddha.

The Ceylonese Pali traditions leave out the kings mentioned RockEdicts from list of Asoka’s kingdoms, whereas Rock Edict XIII includes them. In fact, as many scholars have noted, the character of Asoka from Ceylonese and other traditions is precisely (as RK Mukherjee has said) what does not appear in the principal edicts. Rock Edict XIII, the famous Kalinga edict, is identified as Asoka’s. It was, however, Samudragupta’s (Samudragupta was a great conqueror and a devout admirer of Asoka. He imitated Asoka in many ways and also took the name Asokaditya. In his later life, he became a sanyasi).

Tibet Account
The Kalachakra tantra puts the life of Sakyamuni Buddha in the 9th. Century BCE William Jones, on the basis of Tibetan records infers that Buddha lived in the 11th century B.C. A number of Tibetan documents place Buddha at 2100 BC.



China Account

Fa-hsien was in India and at Patliputra c. 410 AD. He mentions a number of kings, but makes not even a fleeting reference to the Gupta, even though according to European scholars he came during the height of their reign. Fa-Hien puts Buddha’s Nirvana at 1050 B.C.

Qin Shi Huang, who is said to have suppressed Buddhism, in the same way that he suppressed all other Chinese philosophy. His reign lasted from 246 BCE to 221 BCE. Han Wei, a noted researcher from the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, found evidence in the Historical Records, which were written in 104 BC. Silk Road archaeologist WANG Jianxin said Han's research sounded "reasonable" .

The Weilüe reports a tradition that an envoy of the Yuezhi king who gave oral teachings on Buddhist sutras to a student in 2 BCE

Greek Accounts
Seven Sages of Greece (Dated 620-550 B.C ) surprisingly give the Buddhist Teachings.

Thyagaraja Aiyer in his book "Indian Architecture" observes," Here lies Indian Sramanacharya from Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist monk taken to Greece by his Greek pupils and the tomb marks his death about 1000 B.C." If the Buddhist monk went to Greece in 1000 B.C., then the Buddha must have lived at least a few centuries earlier.

Somayajulu places Chandragupta Maurya in the 14th century B.C. This puts the Buddha three centuries earlier, i.e., in the 17th century B.C.

Long before the word 'missionary' came to be synonymous with Christianity" Buddhist monks ('dharma-bhanakas') were traipsing across Asia. Travelling the Silk and Spice Routes they spread their doctrines all the way from Khotan in central Asia to Antioch and Alexandria in the west. One such visit is documented in 20 BC in Athens. A Buddhist philosopher, Zarmarus, part of an embassy from India, made a doctrinal point by setting himself alight. His tomb became a tourist attraction and is mentioned by several historians.

It seems the original Therapeutae were sent on an Indian embassy to Pharaoh Ptolemy II in 250 BC. The word 'Therapeutae' is itself of Buddhist origin, being a Hellenization of the Pali 'Thera-putta' (literally 'son of the elder.') Philo Judaeus, a 1st century AD contemporary of Josephus, described the Therapeutae in his tract 'De Vita Contemplativa'. It appears they were a religious brotherhood without precedent in the Jewish world. Reclusive ascetics, devoted to poverty, celibacy, good deeds and compassion, they were just like Buddhist monks in fact. From the Therapeutae it is quite possible a Buddhist influence spread to both the Essenes (a similar monkish order in Palestine).

Gnosticism is Influenced by Buddhism , which was a religion of quite a different order to earlier 'pagan' cults. It was a scriptural religion, making a strong appeal to the emotions. It offered a moral code – and hope. The Gnostic idea of liberating the soul from entrapment in matter is not dissimilar to the teachings embodied in the "4 Noble Truths" of the Buddha.The Greek details presented above are also sometimes dated before Alexander, so the argument that Buddhism came to Greece only after Alexander invasion does not hold water. Greek and some parts of then India like Bactria were part of Persian empire of Darius, so the exchange of ideas is not confined to Alexander era.

Korea Account
Hwanin or Divine Regent is a figure in Korean mythology. Hwanin is an alias of Indra. Hwanin is the name on Buddhism of Indra, this name is widely used in east Asia. We have evidences that Hwanin being used in 3rd Century BC in Korea.

South East Asia Traditions

Japan, Thailand, , Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia follow the Ceylon (Sri Lanka) date.
Christian Account
Apart from similarities between buddha and Jesus Christ, Most Important account has been the Barlaam and Josaphat story, which is the Christianized version of Buddha Story.

Max Muller stated that missionaries also were sent more than thirty years prior to Ashoka's reign

Philo noted the presence of Buddhists in Alexandria, Egypt.
Conclusion
The above accounts say that Buddha can be earlier than the said dates of 560BC and Western and Indology Scholars have not even explained the contradictions in their own calculations. The fundamental sheet Anchor theory (Megasthanese -Chandragupta Meeting) is itself not established. The Indian literary accounts are being dismissed summarily. And Western scholars themselves dont provide any evidence to backup their account. Since Chandragupta Maurya date by Western and Indology scholars is disputable, Buddha Date is also susequently disputable. Regarding what is being said in Ashoka Edicts and what are the claims made on the edicts , we will see in another article. For now Buddha date is nowhere settled. Date by Indian Literary sources and Astronomical calculations is 1807 BC.
Source
  • The Date of the Buddha by E Bruce Brooks
  • Re-establishing the Date of Lord Buddha by Stephen Knapp
  • A short note on the date of Buddha nirvana using planetarium software B. N. Narahari Achar
  • Indian Architecture by Thyagaraja Aiyer
  • Cooking the Buddhist Books by Charles S. Prebish 
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Origin of Ikshvaku Dynasty

The Ikshvakus (Sanskrit इक्श्वाकू Telugu ఇక్ష్వాకులు) were one of the earliest dynaties of Andhra pradesh. They ruled the eastern Andhra country along the Krishna river during the later half of the second century CE. Their capital was Vijayapuri (Nagarjunakonda). Some scholars have suggested that this dynasty was related to the ancient Ikshvakus of Hindu mythology. Rama of Ramayana, who is considered as the incarnation of Vishnu belonged to the line of Ikshvaku. According to Hindu mythology, Ikshvaku, who was the Manu and father of Kukshi, was the founder of the Suryavanshi dynasty, reigning from Ayodhya at the commencement of the Treta Yuga. Archaeological evidence has suggested that the Andhra Ikshvakus immediately succeeded the Satavahanas in the Krishna river valley. Ikshvakus have left inscriptions at Nagarjunakonda, Jaggayyapeta, Amaravati and Bhattiprolu.

Let us see the facts and determine the Andhra Ikshvaku Dynasty.
Literary Sources
A Kannada poem Dharmamrita states that the Ikshvakus of Andhra were the descendents of the renowned Ikshvakus of northern India. The oriental scholars like Buhler and Rapson expressed the view that the northern Ikshvakus might have migrated south. According to the Vayu Purana, Manu, the great patriarch of ancient India had nine sons of whom Ikshvaku was the eldest. His capital was Ayodhya. He had one hundred sons, and the eldest Vikushi succeeded his father as the ruler of Ayodhya. Of the rest, fifty sons founded small principalities in Northern India. Forty eight of his sons migrated to the south and carved out kingdoms for themselves. Buddhist literature refers to the penetration of the Ikshvakus into South India and declares that they founded the Asmaka, Mulaka and other principalities. These Kshatriyas settled down in the south and became merged with the races there. In Dharmamrita a reference was made that during the lifetime of the 12th Tirthankara, a prince named Yasodhara hailing from the Ikshvaku family came from the Anga kingdom to Vengi in the south. We are informed that the prince was so impressed with beauty of the region, and the fertility of the soil that he made it his permanent home and founded a city called Pratipalpura. It is believed that Pratipalapura is the modern Bhattiprolu, a town in Guntur District.

Analysis
  • Finding lineage to ancient Mahabhrata and Ramayana dynasties is not a new phenomenon, All kings all over the country has done this.
  • Dharmamrita is a 12th century work and Ikshvaku rule existed in 3rd and 4th centuries. So this book is just quoting the legends.
  • The word Ikshvaku means bitter gourd, these myths may have been attempt to glorify their background by linking their name to Legendary Ikshvakus.
  • Vayu purana dated between 6th and 8th centuries talks mainly of Manu ikshvaku's and nothing about Andhra Ikshvaku's
  • Inscriptions refer to Ikkhaku kings
  • Asmaka , Mulaka existed before Satavahans, there is no evidence to support Ikshvaku existed prior to Satavahans. Asmaka , Mulaka were republics(Mahajanapadas), may be they were presided by Buddhist councils, so this can be attempt by Buddhist literature to link the two as Ikshvaku patronised Buddhism.
There is very little evidence to show who they are ,but they are legendary, so we see the Telugu chodas linking to them, so does many others. But may be they are just a local dyansty, we never know.

Kannada origin
It is generally accepted that Ikshvaku's are Telugu origin ,but their diety happens to be Virupaksha which shows kannada origin.

khaipnaka, Sagaraipnaka formed from Vitokha, Sagara are used for daughters of the kings which show ikshavakus as karnata /Kuntala origin. Ikshvaku princess Kodabalisiri , was possibly the queen of a Cutukula Satakarni of Banavasi.

Also the inscriptions of Nagarjunakonda have kannada influence, May they came from west that is Karnataka.

Also the Dialect shows the influence of Kannada like Kanda(kannada)- child, Chali(kannada)- cold, talava (Kannada) - Leader

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Where is Dakshinapatha

There is various places referred to as Dakshinapatha. There is no argument on the definition that road leading to south India is Dakshinapatha later on whole of south called Dakshinapatha, it is based on who says it and in what context.

Buddhist
Ancient Buddhist and Brahmanical texts use the term Dakshinapatha as a name for both the southern high road of the Indian subcontinent, and for the region lying south of Majjhimdesa or middle India. It is derived from the two Sanskrit roots dakshina for south, and patha for road.

Vedic
The first reference to Dakshinapatha occurs in the Rig-Veda where it refers to the region of exile. In the opinion of several scholars, this means the South beyond the limits of the Saptasindhu-- the region of the culture of the Rig Veda.

Panini
Dakshinapatha is referred to by Panini. Baudhyana mentions Dakshinapatha or Dakshinatya in association with Saurashtra.

Jataka
Jataka and Vinaya Pitaka use the name Dakshinapatha coupled with Avanti as in Avantidakshinapatha where it seems to refer to the janapada of Avanti, and implies its location in Dakshinapatha. The Sutta Nipata commentary seems to explain Dakshinapatha as the road leading to the Dakshinajanapada, the latter name referring to a Janapada located to south of the Ganges. In the same Sutta Nipata, the name Dakshinapatha also refers to a remote settlement located on the banks of the upper Godavari.A Kosala Brahmin named Bavari had left Savathi (capital of Kosala) to set up his hermitage at the junction of river Mula and Godavari, midway between the kingdoms of Assaka and Mulaka (in modern Maharashtra), which place has been noted as lying in Dakshinapatha.

MahaBharata
In the Mahabharata, Dakshinapatha is placed beyond Avanti and the Vindhyas, and to south of the kingdom of Vidarbha and southern Kosala, the latter being located on the banks of Wardha and Mahanadi. In Dighvijayaparva of Mahabharata, Dakshinpatha is distinguished from the Pandya country to the south.

RamayanaWhen Rama set out from Ayodhya into his voluntary exile, he took a route which extended from Ayodhya into Dakshinapatha or the southern direction.

Ashoka
Kautilya's of Dakshinpatha mentions southern part of the mauryan empire as dakshinapatha (Karnataka)

Purana
According to Puranic accounts, the janapadas of Asmaka, Mulaka, Vaidarbha, Kalinga, Andhra, Pundra, Pulinda, Dandaka, Kuntala, Kerala, Pandya, Chola and others lay in the Dakshinapatha.
Southern SourcesIn the Petavatthu commentary, the Damila i.e Dravida country is included in the Dakhinápatha.
On their way to Rajagriha, the pupils of the ascetic Bavari from Dakshinapatha (Godavari) had followed a route which led them through Pratishthana (modern Paithan), Mahesvar, Ujjaini, Gonaddha (Gond country), Bhilsa (Bhil country), Kosam, Saketa (Faizabad), Savathi, Setavya, Kapilavastu, Kusinara, Pava, Bhoganagar, Vaisali and then to Rajagriha (in Magadha).

Thus, initially, Dakshinapatha, as high road, ran between Rajgriha and Pratishthana. Later, it also extended further into the south running parallel to west-coast and following probably through Bijapur, Bangalore and Madura to either Rameshwaram or to Kanyakumari, the southern tip of India.

Gupta period
Dakshinaptha as a region extended from the land of the Kosalas to the kingdom of Kanchi. In later times however, it had embraced the whole of Trans-Vindhya India from Setu (Rama's Bridge) to the Narmada.

Conclusion
Ancient Dakshinapatha later gave its name to modern Deccan or Dekkan. From the above, it is clear that, in the earlier literature at any rate, the word Dakshinapatha did not mean it initially comprised the whole country in the modern word Dekkhan or Deccan.Dakshinapatha should be understood in relation to Uttarapatha the northern high road and later the northern division of Puranic Jambudvipa.

Myth of Murugan the Tamil God

I have dealt with theories in murugan origin in a seprate article. Now let us see one of the common held misconception that of
  1. Muruga is tamil god and of tamil only.
  2. Muruga patronized tamil language and literature.
We have seen that murugan is not tamil origin and various theories surrounding murugan origin. So that question is settled now that murugu is all India god as any.
Next let us see how muruga started patronizing tamil. Let us see the history.
There is no reference to Murugan in tamil literature until Kanda puranam got written in tamil from skanda purana in 14th century AD. All the legends come later. Eventhough there is talk of murugan in Sangam age , there is no evidence of that.

Kartikeya - Differences in puranic and Tamil traditions

There seems to be some intriguing differences in the traditions associated with Kartikeya in the Puranic and Tamil. The Sanskrit epics and Puranas seem to indicate that he was the eldest son of Shiva, as the tale of Shiva's marriage to Parvati indicates. In the Shiva-Purana, he is seen helping Shiva fight the newly born Ganesha, Shiva's other son, when Ganesha stopped Shiva from entering his home in Kailasa. Tamil tradition states he was the younger of the two. In the north, he is generally seen as a bachelor hence the name kumara whereas the southern tradition has him married to two wives.

History shows that the legend comes from sanskrit and puranic traditions , with imperfect translations and introducing legends of their own while doing so. The translation Kanda puranam and Thiruvilayadal and susequently Thirupugazh has fundamentally altered the Kanda- Karthikeya story to Tamil Murugan. Until 14th century the karthikeya was obscure in tamil divinity and was worshipped in a similar way to being worshipped in other parts of India and srilanka. So around 15th century and subsequently dravidian- aryan ideology has made Murugan the cult figure in tamil.



To quote Paripadal


"Oh God of Kadamba wreath! "
This line shows that muruga came to tamilnadu with kadamba rulers. Lord Subramanyawhich is present in kadamba territory is transported to Tamil Nadu as Murugan.

Origin of Satavahana Andhra Myth

Satavahana Dynasty is also called Andhra’s. Let us analyze this

Who is Satavahana dynasty?
The Satavahanas were the political successors of the Mauryas in the Deccan and their rule lasted for four and a half centuries from about 230 B.C. their empire seems to have extended from the Konkan Coast in the West to the Godavari and Krishna Deltas in the East, while to the South it must have reached as far as Chandravalli.

Where is this claim made?
If we search the various sources. We can see this claim comes only with reference to Puranas.Those who claim Satavahana as Andhra’s cite the Puranas as the only source. Let us see the various Puranas.

1. No where in the Puranas Satavahana’s is mentioned.
2. No where we have any references to Satavahana kings.

So what does the purana’s tell?

Matsya Purana: Sisuka Vishnu Purana: Sipraka
Vayu Purana: Sindhuka Bhagvatha Purana: Vrsola Bali (i.e. Strong Sudra)
Brahmanda Purana: Chismaka

All this is supposedly to refer to King Simuka who established Satavahana dynasty.

All Purana’s refer second king as Krishna

Third is given as
Matsya: Sri-Mallakarni Vayu, Brahmanda, And Vishnu: Sri Satakarni
Bhagvatha: sri-Santakarna


The List of Names in Matsya Purana
1.Sisuka (Chimuka)-23 years, 2.Krishna-18 yrs, 3.Sri Mallakarni (Satakarni I)-10yrs, 4.Purnotsanga-18 yrs, 5.Skandhastambhi-18 yrs, 6.Satakarni (Satakarni II)-56 yrs, 7.Lambodara-18 yrs, 8.Apilaka-12 yrs, Meghasvati-18yrs, 0.Svati-18 yrs, 11.Skanasvati 7 rs, 12.Mrgendra Svatikarna-3yrs, 13.Kuntala Svatikarna 8 yrs, 14.Svatikarna-1 yr, 15.Pulumavi (Pulumavi I)-36 yrs, 16.Riktavarna-25 yrs, 17.Hala-5 yrs, 18.Mandalaka-5 yrs, 19.Purindrasena-5 yrs, 20.Sundara Satakrna-1 yr, 21.Chakora Svatikarna-6 months,22.Sivasvati-28 yrs,23.Gautamiputra Satakarni-21 yrs,24.Pulumavi(Pulumavi II)28 yrs,25.Sivasri-7 yrs,26.Sivaskanda Satakarni-7 yrs,27.Yajnasri Satakarni-29 yrs,28.Vijaya-6 yrs,29.Chandasri Satakarna-10 yrs, and 30.Pulumavi(Pulumavi III).

Let us see what the coins and inscriptions say
Chimuka, Krishna, Satakarni I, Satakarni II, Sata, Apilaka, Hala, Gautamiputra Satakarni, Vasistiputra Sri Pulumavi, Vasistiputra Sivasri Satakarni, Vasistiputra Satakarni, Sivasri Pulumavi, Skanda Satakarni, Gautamiputra Yajna Satakarni, Vijaya Satakarni, Vasishtiputra Chandra Satakarni, Pulumavi, Kausikiputra Satakarni, Saka Satakarni, Rudra Satakarni, Kumba Satakarni and Karna Satakarni.

Let us see when the purana’s are written?
Puranas were written between 300AD to 1000AD. A difference of around 500 years, significant time for discrepancies to creep in. which is why it misses out on many names and many characteristics of Satavahana’s. The reason why they were Andhra’s has crept in.

Some writers like V.S. Sukthankar, H. C. Raychaudhury and K. P. Jayaswal have not accepted the identification of Satavahanas with the Andhras.They have argued that the inscriptions mention these rulers as Satavahanas and not as Andhra’s, and that the language of the inscriptions is Prakrit and not Andhra. Moreover, the early evidences of the Satavahanas rule are not found in Maharashtra, and they might only have drifted into Andhradesa towards the end of their rule.

Some of these kings are not listed in the Puranas. It may be relevant to note that except for Chimuka no other Satavahana king called himself as Satavahana. Most others called themselves as Satakarnis or Pulumavis after their great early rulers of that name. No purana ever mentioned a king by the name as Satavahana or Sadavahana.

Let us see other evidences.

1. Contemporary inscriptions at Hathigumpha (150BC) referred to them as
Satavahanas
2. Line four of Hathigumpha inscription refer him as Satakamni
3. Epigraph of Visitthiputta Ananda of (1st Century BC) refer him as Satakani
4. Nasik Inscription of (1st century BC) refer him as Sadakani
5. Nanghat inscription refer Satakani
6. Coins issued by Satavahanas refer as Satakani, Satakamni


Vahana and kanni means same that is son, so we can reasonably assume sata as dynastic name. It means Sata’s Son

You can see none them refer them as Andhra’s, only in purana’s you can see Andhra Tag that is also not to the same names. So we can clearly see Satavahana’s are not Andhra’s.

So if they are not Andhra’s who are they?
1.Satavahan’s have their capital in Paithan. The ancient city of Pratisthan
now Paithan was the seat of Satvahana dynasty who ruled from 2nd century
BC to 2nd century AD. This is in ancient kuntala (kanara country) and not
Andhra.
2.Chutu’s (another line of Satkarnis) occupied most of the western Karnataka
with a capital at Vaijayantipura (Banwasi). Even though one more line of
Satakarni’s ruled Andhra, but chutu’s are called Kannada rulers.
3.Kuntala Satakarni denotes the king is from kuntala not Andhra.
4.Satavahanas never called themselves Andhra’s
5.Sukthankar held the view that Bellary district was the original home of
the Satavahanas
6.Satavahan’s were more interested in western region than in eastern Andhra
region showing they were not from the region


So Satavahan’s are of Kuntala and Kannada origin not Andhra Origin

Kuntala
In ancient times the areas south of the Godavari river including southern districts of modern Maharashtra, northern districts of modern Karnataka and south Karnataka districts of Shimoga and Chitradurga were collectively called Kuntala. An inscriptional passage the upper valley of the Krishna points to this theory [Ep. Ind., Vol. XII, p. 153. See Mirashi, Studies in Indology,]. In the Sanskrit work Udayasundarikatha of Soddhala (11th cent. A.D.) Pratishthana on the Godavari is said to be the capital of the Kuntala country. In early times Kuntala was probably included in the larger country called Maharashtra. The Aihole inscription of Pulakeshi II includes all these areas mentioned in Kuntala as Maharashtra. This designation of the entire area seems to be confirmed in Chinese notes as well. During these times, Kuntala came to denote the predominantly Kannada-speaking country, further corroborating views of historians such as Dr. Altekar and Dr. P.B. Desai. The Early Chalukyas of Badami and the Later Chalukyas of Kalyani were known as Kuntaleshvaras or lords of Kuntala. All their inscriptions are in Kannada and Sanskrit and their regal capitals at different times, Badami, Manyakheta(Malkhed in Gulbarga district) and Kalyani were also in present day Karnataka, which historically would be southern Kuntala. During these times however, the districts of Kolhapur, Satara, Sholapur, Ahmadnagar and Bid which are now Marathi-speaking, were included in Kuntala, indicating that Kannada country spread much further north of today's political boundaries. The Kannada classic Kavirajamarga calls the entire region between the Godavari and Kaveri rivers as Karnataka indicating Kannada country at one time extended far north and east of present day boundaries. Perhaps this was the region that embraced Hale Kannada as the official language. It is well known that during these times, Kannada and Telugu were written in Hale Kannada script. The Early Rashtrakuta, who were ruling over this territory as feudatory of the Chalukyas, were known as Kuntaleshvaras as well and their inscriptions call their overlords at that time as Karnataka Bala. Much later their imperial empire would rule large parts of India from regal capital Manyakheta in present day Karnataka, though as their empire grew they had many provincial capitals.
Their oldest inscription is found in Satara district of Maharashtra belonging to 6th century. In it Rashtrakuta king Avidheya has donated a village to learned Brahmins. The inscription is in Sanskrit written in Brahami script. This has confirmed their origin at above place generally called Kuntala. From above theories it is clear that the ancient regional names such as Kuntala, Karnata or Maharshtra may have covered large common areas in the deccan at different times in Indian history