Buddhism in Asia

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Since Dr. Jurewicz’s article has been published, I shall not here attempt to reproduce her very rich argument, but only to give its gist.

As an example, I quote from publications of a modern Buddhist author from Sri Lanka, G.H. de Zoysa.

and as Heinz Bechert asserts, is “accepted by the Sinhalese Buddhists of Sri Lanka as well as by Theravada Buddhists in Southeast Asia.”

to which we will return

Space obviously would not permit a full review of the wide range of papers included in these volumes. Let us then simply note that

… “that Buddha died within a few years of 480 B.C.” – to quote from the Cambridge History of India

In addition to the individuals cited above, studies by Etienne Lamotte, Hajime Nakamura, P.H. Eggermont, Gananath Obeyesekere, Akira Hirakawa, K.R. Norman, Oskar von Hinuber, Richard Gombrich, David Seyfort Ruegg, and many others are considered.

Therefore various attempts have been made to read a workable consensus, but the majority of South Asian and Western scholars on the one hand and that of Japanese scholars on the other remain divided over the issue.

.. the number of years that passed between the death of the Buddha and the appearance of Asoka was 116

In his learned paper, he discusses the history of research in this field with rich bibliography information

not before the first century BC is there any evidence that the years of events were recorded in well-defined eras

In this context, I should also like to quote the relevant remark by T.W.Rhys Davids in The Cambridge History of India:

Here we read:

A few salient facts about the history of NE Thailand must be set out before we can examine the millennialism that occurred in the area.

We shall illustrate this with the case of Ceylon.

This statement is generally intertwined with a story that the Buddhist teachings would have survived for a full 1,000 years, were it not for the Buddha’s decision to admit women to the monastic order.

With regard to Buddhism, Weber himself referred to the assimilation …

These types however, as Weber formulated them, were pure theoretical types: and ‘only a few religions of salvations’, he emphasized, ‘have produced a single pure solution’

‘Whenever such a pure type was produced’, he observed, ‘it lasted for only a little while

In this paper we shall concentrate our attention on Theravada

Both the belief in the Bodhisattava Maitreya and the belief in “persons-who-have-merit” obviously lend themselves to millennial interpretation.

It is also noteworthy that this day was the full-moon day of Veśākha (Wesak), reference to which "recurs consistently throughout the chronicles at moments of “significant occurrences" (Greenwald 15).

The later reckoning, the Buddhavarsha or “years of Buddha”, with its initial point in B.C. 544, does not figure in the Dipavamsa and the Mahavamsa.

Before answering these questions, we are of the opinion that we should have a better understanding of the background as to how this episode came into being. To achieve this end, we can do no better than refer the reader to the original statement made by Fei Chang-fang in 597 A.D., in the 11th chapter of his Li-tai san-pao chi (15a). A translation of the relevant passage is given below:

The second is even more interesting. For here, our attention is brought back to the cremation-rites mentioned above:

convenient / dependable unit of time

In the introduction, I discussed the representations of the medieval polity by the historians Southern and Swanson. I will here briefly revisit that discussion to suggest how the distinction between the terms religion and secular, on the one hand, and sacred and profane, on the other, might help the modern reader to get a clearer picture of that polity.

It will still only be an act of the imagination, to be sure, but I believe it does bring greater—if only relatively greater—clarity.

Of particular relevance for the manuscript tradition is...
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