Buddha dating controversy


26-Jan-2020 02:55

Statements like this are found in many books of world history, Indian history and history of religions.

If this claim were correct, then it would be the earliest accurate date known in Indian history.

On top of this, there are two different chronologies used to date the life of the Buddha: the so-called short chronology (attested by Indian sources and their Chinese and Tibetan translations) and the long chronology (based on the testimony of the Sinhalese chronicles).

This first one is sometimes referred to as the Indian chronology and the second one as the Ceylonese chronology.

The dates proposed by a group of experts who attended goes from 486 BCE to 261 BCE for the decease of the Buddha.

The sequence of events in these centuries is somehow obscure and complex, which is why dating the Buddha’s life is not so simple.

The Theravada tradition claims that the death of the Buddha occurred in 544 or 543 BCE: this calculation is based on the long chronology (Ceylonese).

When scholars came to know the exact dates for Emperor Ashoka, it turned out to be obvious that this chronology had some errors and the dating of the Buddha based on this chronology was no longer acceptable.

A recent dirt-bike accident had shredded Levine’s knee and left him hobbling on crutches.Prior to Ashoka Buddhism was a relatively minor tradition in India and some scholars have proposed that the impact of the Buddha in his own day was relatively limited.Archaeological evidence for Buddhism between the death of the Buddha and the time of Ashoka is scarce; after the time of Ashoka it is abundant.This is based on the short chronology (Indian) and it suggests the Buddha died on 370-368 BCE.

There is a lot that favours this later date, since it would mean only a hundred years between the death of the Buddha and the reign of Ashoka and would increase the value of the abundant Ashokan and post-Ashokan evidence in understanding early Buddhism.This view favours a date closer to a hundred years before the time of Ashoka’s reign: a nearly 220 year gap (which is the amount of time suggested by the corrected long chronology) seems to be too much time for only five patriarchs.