Showing posts with label Tibet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tibet. 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)
Khastrojas (40yrs)
Bimbasara (28yrs)
Ajatashatru (25yrs)
Udayin (33yrs)
Nandivardhana (40rys)
Mahanandin (43yrs)

Buddhist List
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

Ajatasattu (32yrs)
Udayabhadda (16yrs)
Nagadasa (24yrs)
susunaga (10yrs)
Ten sons of Kalasoka (22yrs)
Asoka (37yrs)

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
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)

Tibetan Tradition
Ujayain or Udayibhadda

Jain Tradition
(Total 60yrs)
Nine Nandas


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.

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.

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
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

The Dynasties Before Alexander
Kalpadeep Holidays
Hare Krsnas
grifter a splendidthing
Katinka Hesselink
Related Posts
Date of Buddha
Buddha Image
Date of Shankara
Did Megasthenes Meet Chandragupta Maurya
Kanishka Era
Dating Indian History
Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas Feudatories of Imperial Guptas?
India by Indologists
Alexander Invasion of India
Who is Diodotus

Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas Feudatories of Imperial Guptas?

We are looking at the question "Are Mukharis , Malwa Gupta's, Gaudas and Maitrakas" feudatories of Imperial Gupta's? All these dynasties ruled between 500 and 700 AD. This we can date from Harsha Vardhana, who is historically datable. We are looking at the inscription and other references to see whether any Imperial Gupta presence is there.

Mukharis (Maukhari)
Maukhari has been found in Ashoka inscriptions as Mukhalinam. But First official inscription is of Anantavarman in Barabar Nagarjuni hill cave inscription. We learn a line of Mukhari chiefs starting from Yajnavarman , his son king samanta cudamani sri Sardula and his son king Anantavarman. These Inscriptions are undated. There is not much we can prove here as evidence, except these early Mukharis ruled Northern Magadha and were earlier than the mainline mukharis,whom we are going to talk now.

Maukhari and Malwa Guptas
Let us start the Mukharis with Yajnavarman. His Son Sardula was most ferocious and was death to many rulers. At the same time another Dynasty of Malwa Guptas were rising in West with Krishna gupta. Jivitagupta I clipped the wings of Anantavarman. This Mukhari line went into decline. But at the same time another Mukhari line Harivarman was rising around 500AD. Harivarman was contemproary of Krishnagupta. Adityavarman son of Harivarman married Harshagupta daughter of Krishnagupta. Adityavarman was followed by his son Isvaravarman who has married another Gupta Princess UpaGupta. Third member of the lines both Isvarvarman of Mukhari and Jivitagupta I of Guptas made conquests and brought fame to the dyansties. JivitaGupta I defeated Mukhari Anantavarman and conquered Magadha. Isvaravarman son Isnavarman assumed title Maharajas. Haraha inscription refers to his victories over Andhra (Vishnukundin), Sulki(Chalukya) and Gaudas. The Campaign against Gaudas must be placed in 550AD. After this that Isnavarman takes Imperial Titles, who is styled as Maharaja in the Asirgarh inscription, as Rsitipati in the Haraha inscription, and as Nrpati in the Jaunpur inscription. This conquests alarms his Malwa Gupta Contemporary KumaraGupta and Clash follows between allies. According to Apahad inscription the first round goes to Kumaragupta. Next Attack came from Survavarman son of Isnavarman. Damodaragupta eventhough repulsed the attack succumbed to his injuries (562AD). Sarvavarman declares himself emperor of Magadha. Damodara Gupta was succeeded by Mahasenagupta. Mahasengupta goes for a alliance with AdityaVardhan of Pushyabhutis. But his challanges were huge. Chalukya Kirtivarman (567-597AD) declares that he won victories over Anga, Vanga and Magadha. His Adversary is Mahasenagupta. Guada King occupied South Magadha and Tibetan king Sron Btson gambo (581-600AD), Mana Dynasty has established independent kingdom between Midnapur and Orissa. With so many troubles Mahasenagupta retired to Malwa(582AD). But Peace was not there Kalachuris took over Malwa. Soon Chalukyas dislodged Kalachuris and Mahasenagupta rival DevaGupta unsurped throne and Prabhakaravardhana has to resuce Kumaragupta and Madhavagupta sons of Mahasenagupta (602-603AD). Harsha Vardhan appoints MadhavGupta as the ruler of Magadha. Adityasena(Apshad Inscription) son of Madhavagupta became king of Magadha can be said as the first Independent Malwa Gupta to rule Magadha and rise of Later Guptas.

Mukhari Line is as follows.
Magadha line
king samanta cudamani sri Sardula

Kannauj Line
Isanavarman (530-554 A.D.)
Sarvavarman (560-5 to 585.)
Anantivarman (A.D. 585-600)
Grahavarman (600-605 A.D.),

Malwa Guptas
Jivitagupta I
Kumaragupta III
Deva Gupta
Visnu Gupta
Jivita Gupta II

Rise of Harshavardhana
According to Harsha-Charita, a royal line was founded by one pushyabhuti, a devout Saivite, some where near Thaneswar in the Ambala district of Harayana. Nothing much is known about this ruler. It was only the fourth ruler prabhakaravardhana that the title Maharajadhiraja was assumed. A few details of Prabhkarvardhana are to be found in Harshacharita. He was the great General, who possibly defeated the Hunas also. Bana also mentions that he was the devotee of the sun. Prabhakaravardhana had two sons, Rajhavardhan and Harshavardhana and one daughter Rajyasri. Grahavarman of the Maukhari dynasty was married to Rajyasri. After the death of Prabhakaravardhan in 605AD, Rajyavardhan ascended the throne. Soon bad news came, Mukhari Grahavarman was killed by the Malwa Gupta ruler Deva Gupta. Rajyavardhan went after the Malwa ruler. The Malwa king Deva Gupta was defeated and possibly killed. On his return Rajyavardhana was confronted by Sasanka(Sasanaga), Guada king of Bengal. All the available authorities declare that Rajyavardhana was killed by Sasanka(Shashanika) throught they differ in details. After his death, Harsha succeeded to the throne of Thaneswar and Kanauj with the title of Rajputra and style of Siladitya in 606AD. This is how Harsha Vardhan came to the throne. With Malwa under his arm as his mother was Malwa Princess and Magadha was occupied by Sasanka. Until Sasanka died Harsha could not do anything there. Once Sasanka died, Harsha vardhan got Magadha and Orissa and his ally Baskaravarman of Kamarupa got Guada. As brother in law of Grahavarman he also got the Magadha kingdom.

Guada Kings
Rise of Sasanka
Guada kings were confined to Guada by Later Guptas until the time of MahaSenaGupta. Increasingly the Mahasenagupta faced difficulties from Mukharis, Gaudas, Chalukyas and Tibetans. Gaudas under invaded western and Central Bengal including Karnasuvarna and occupied them. The Mukhari rulling at that time was Avantivarman, son of Sarvavarman. After death of Avantivarman, the Mukharis split into Two amd Jayanaga predecessor to Sasanaga invaded and occupied the southern part of Magadha under Sarva Varman. After the death of Jayanaga, sasanaga came to the Gauda throne. In 601AD Sasanka(Soma) became king of Gauda and he invaded Kamarupa under Baskarvarman and made it subordinate. He also invaded Orissa, defeated Mana king and annexed it. Thus he became the most powerful ruler in the region. Grahavarman seeing the rise of Gauda king should have been alarmed and offered marital relations with Prabhakaravardhana of Pushayabutis and married his daughter Rajyashri. Prabhakaravardhana should have been under threat from Deva Gupta coming on the Malwa throne. With Defeat of Kalachuris by Chalukyas, there was no contest from that space. It is in this scenario that marriage was concluded and their concerns were proved right after the death of Prabhakaravardhan. From 601-625AD, nobody could do anything to Sasanka. Guada Kings eventhough call themselves Mahasamantas do not mention any overlords, neither do Mana rulers.

Break up of Mukharis
Sarvavarman conquered Magadha around 575AD. Sarvavarman is first Mukhari ruler to be recognized as the soverign of Magadha. The Malwa Guptas were feudatories of Mukharis. He was master of Uttarpradesh. Marriage of his granddaughter Vasata(Suryavarman's Daughter) to prince of Mahakosala Harshagupta brought him closer to deccan. Mahakosala ruler Chandragupta has just inherited the throne from his father Trivaradeva who was defeated by Vishnukundin ruler Madhavavarman I around 570AD. Sivagupta son of Harshagupta came to throne after death of Chandragupta in 596AD. Sarvavarman's Mukhari Empire extended from Punjab to Narmada in South.We have seen that breakup of Mukharis into two resulted in weakening of the empire and resulted in disappearance. Let us reconstruct this scenario. Sarvavarman has approinted his brother suryavarman as the incharge of Magadha. Suryavarman strengthened his position by marrying his daughter to Harshagupta of Mahakosala. Suryavarman son was Bhaskaravarman. Normally Baskaravarman would have succeeded Suryavarman. But instead Avantivarman appointed his younger son Suca(Sucandravarman or Suvartavarman) as the governor of Magadha. After the death of Avantivarman Grahavarman succeeded in Kannauj. Suca declared himself ruler of Magadha. This was not liked by Bhaskaravarman son of Suryavarman. With taking over of the throne by Suca the Magadha and Kannuaj became independent of each other and thus lead to invasion and occupation of Magadha by Guadua king soon after.

The Maitrakas ruled over Saurashtra from their capital of Valabhi from about 500to 700AD. The founder of the dynasty was Senapati Bhattarka. They have made grants in which they call themselves Mahasamanta. The Mahasamanta is said by Indology scholars as feudatory position. According to the scholars they must be feudatory to none else but Imperial Gupta. We have to see here that Maitrakas do not mention Guptas.,The phrase Parama Bhattaraka Pandanudhyata(dated 183) occurs in the reoords of the Valabhi ruler Dhruva sena I, who ruled till 545AD. Valabhi Kingdom was visited by Hiuen Tsang in 640 A. D. . He states the that the king was a Kshatriya his name being Dhruvasena, and that he was son-in-law to Harsha the Emperor of India and king of Kannauj. The Gurjaras of Broach use in their grants the Traikutaka otherwise called the Kalachuri era ( starting point 249 A. D. ) Their grants are also written in the Gujarati version of the southern Brahmi character(Satavahana-Kadamba style) while the royal signature at the end is Norther Brahmi. Here again Indologists equate Parama Bhattaraka as Imperial Gupta Monarch. In all these places Era's mentioned by the kings are equated with Gupta era, even though there is no evidence.

In Jaunpur Inscription Isvaravarman describes himself who estinguished the spark of fire coming from dhara. Yasodharman is also of same period. Yasodharman Mandasur inscription is 532AD(589 Vikrama samvat). Yasodharman defeated Huna Mihirkula around 515AD(Mihirkula came to Malwa throne in 510AD). Now here Dhara is equated with Yashodharman. Here we have to know that Dhara is a city (Modern Dhar), while Yashodharman is a person.

We have established the scenario, Now let us come to our Questions
Are Maukharis and Malwa Guptas feudatories of Imperial Guptas?
Nowhere we see in any inscriptions, Imperial Guptas being mentioned. Neither does Imperial Guptas mention Mukharis. So we have to say Imperial Guptas and Mukharis did not know each other. Same goes for Malwa Guptas, they don't mention any Imperial Guptas, neither does Imperial Guptas mention them. Neither of them use Gupta Era. The main claim by indologist is they use the term Mahasamanta in their inscription, which will mean a feudatories.
AsirGarh Copper Plates does not give any Overlord
Haraha Inscription - Does not give any Overlord
Juanpur Inscription - Does not give any overloads
All use Malwa Samvat - Even though there is Gupta Overlords?

Question of Samanta
We may note that even in the Arthasastra, the word samanta has often the meaning “neighbour”, without alternative — as for example in Arth. 3.9 when transfer of title to houses and plots of land is in question. However, in every single case, Samanta can consistently be translated as neighbour, whether royal or commoner, without incompatibility. There is no samanta baron in the Manusmrti. The earlier Guptas rule over no samantas in their inscriptions; the posthumous Harisena inscription of Samudragupta on the Allahabad pillar mentions no Samantas. Dharasena of Valabhi who appears as the first mahasamanta is an independent king friendly to the Guptas (from the tone of his inscriptions), not a peer of the realm. The Mandasor pillar inscriptions of Yasodharman, who drove Mihirakula and the Huns out of Malwa, say that the king defeated and humbled all the samantas, which can only mean neighbour kings. But the Visnusena charter, takes samanta only in the sense of petty feudal viscounts who might press labour for corvee, or infringe upon the rights and immunities of merchants to whom the charter was granted. Thus, the change in meaning falls within a period around 600AD. It is confirmed by the Ten Princes of Dandin,where samanta can only mean feudal baron, though the author shows remarkably close reading of the ArthaSastra as of many other works. The copper plates of Harsa, supported by Chinese travellers Hieun Tsang accounts prove that feudal relationships and samanta “ baron” had come to stay in the seventh Century AD.

Kuvalayamala(700Saka- 778AD), the Jain Account of Toramana tells, He is Soverign of Uttarapatha and his guru was Hari Gupta. The most extensive account is by Hiuen Tsang. Huns led by Mihirkula as per Hiuen Tsang are dated some centuries before 633AD, when he visited Sakala. Watters points out Chinese agree with this view. Both Toramana and Mihirkuala are Staunch saivites. The end of Gupta empire is predicted on Huns, we don't know whether these two are Huns or Kushana chiefs. The territories identified by Huns and the two kings also differs. Beal Identifies areas Tokharistan, Kabulistan and Zabulistna and Chavannes adds according to chinese history (by Sung-Yun), the only Indian Countries under Huns are Gandhara and Chitral. But Toramana and Mihirkula are in a entirely different plane. I dont consider Toramana , Mihirkula and Yashodharman relevant here as Mukharis , Yashodharman, Malwa Guptas and Imperial Guptas ruling whole of North India invisible to one another.

The other place Scholars mention about Imperial Guptas is when Hieun Tsang mentions Baladitya as the one who defeated and eliminated Huns. Baladitya has been identified with the conqueror of Mihiragula. Baladitya captured Mihirakula but later released him on his mother’s request. Paramartha also mentions that Baladitya was sent to Vasubandu to study Buddhism by his father. Hence it is possible that Mihirakula’s move against Buddhism would provoke Baladitya to take strict steps. Mihirakula’s reign is assigned to about 520 CE. Could the Baladitya of Hiuen Tsang same as Narasimhagupta Baladitya of the Gupta dynasty? As per Indology dating there is a gap of fifty years in the current proposed date of Narasimhagupta and the date of Mihirakula which is very hard to justify. Even if we assume that Narasimhagupta was ruling in 520 CE, would it be possible for him to wage war against Mihirakula at that very old age? A N Dandekar mentions that Baladitya of Hiuen Tsang is not Narasimhagupta but someone else. But the existence of several Baladityas renders this identification doubtful.

Yashodharman, Toramana, Mihirkula, Aulikharas and Huns, we will see in different Article.

Mukharis, Malwa Guptas, Gaudas, Maitrakas all had their origin in early part of 6th century AD. According to Indologists Imperial Guptas were still ruling North India and specifically Malwa, Magadha. But we don't find any evidence to the same. So our conclusion is Imperial Guptas are not overlords or Contemproaries of Mukhari, Malwa Gupta, Gaudas and Maitrakas.

Dynastic History Of Magadha By George E. Somers
Rise and fall of the imperial Guptas By Ashvini Agrawal
History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest By Rama Shankar Tripathi
Vakataka - Gupta Age Circa 200-550 A.D. By Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, Anant Sadashiv Altekar
The imperial Guptas and their times By Dilip Kumar Ganguly
Ancient India: History and Culture By Balkrishna Govind Gokhale
Rise and fall of the imperial Guptas By Ashvini Agrawal
Indian History and Architecture

Related Posts
Reign of Vishnukundins
Reign of Salankayana
Who are White Huns 
Dating Indian History
Did Megasthanes Meet ChandraGupta Maurya
Date of Kalidasa - Gupta Myth

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.
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.
  • 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 
Related Posts