How influential was the Buddha during his own lifetime?

Sep 2014
768
Texas
#11
There is no surprise that Western historians always tried to undermine Eastern religions of Asia.
I bet you I know more about Prince Sidhartha and his abilities as a horse man than you. I don't care if he's real or not, I collect horse stories and he has some good ones.
 
Jul 2014
1,441
world
#13
The fact that the name Asoka is screams forget. Ashoka does not use thatname in the other pillars, and the very name of Ashoka is used in Buddhist sources. In fact, it was just an assumption by the early British scholars that the person who wrote the pillars was the same person as the person referred to as Ashoka in the he Buddhist text. Once you don't accept that identification on blind Flfaith, there is really very long ttle to suggest that he person who wrote the Ashoka pillars is the same person as in the Buddhist religious text, or was even a Buddhist. Nothing in the he vast majority of the so called Ashoka eddicts is particularly Buddhist, Dharma and such are not specific to Buddhism.
Are you for real ? This edict was the confirmation that the Devam Piyadasa ( beloved of gods) and Ashoka was the same man. This edict is world famous in archaeology field
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#14
There is no surprise that Western historians always tried to undermine Eastern religions of Asia.
It was Western historians that rediscoverd Ashoka in the first place. What Eastern religions of Asia don't like is that Western historians apply the same standards and analysis to Eastrn religions that they do ro Western religions, and much of what the Eastern religions of Asia don't stand up to that historical analysis. Most Western historians don't except the accounts of the Bible at face value, and the existence of King David is a matter of intense debate, for example. although later the existence of later Jewish kings has been proven by archeology and non Jewish sources.).

That, when using the very same standards as Western historians use for Western figures the characters the Eastern religions of Asia come short is not because Western historians have any desire to undermine Eastern religions of Asia. They just are not going use a different standard for the Eastern religions of Asia. I know many in Asia are upset by such an approach, but this about history, not religion.
 
Likes: Olleus
Oct 2015
891
India
#15
What does "influence" mean?

Buddha created an organization of monks which imbibed his morals, had the discipline, and the motivation; which changed the world in the centuries to follow.

Buddhism was, as someone said, the first "world religion".

Buddha was the first religious teacher in the world (along with Mahaveera) to induct women as monks - far sighted. Within India, Buddha challenged the established & powerful religion of Vedic time which had become too ritualistic. He challenged the caste system which probably had begun to develop some roots in Indian society.

His religion was spread mostly by peaceful means. It took roots in South East Asia and in East Asia (China, Japan, Tibet) without any political conquests or support. This is the reason "lifetime" achievement with other religions - say Islam - is like comparing apples to oranges. Even Christianity could penetrate & expand in Africa & Afro-Americas, India during colonial period as rulers. Even

Buddha planted the seed, which could not have become a tree during his lifetime, but did become a huge shade giving tree ll the same.
 
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May 2013
1,693
The abode of the lord of the north
#16
Since those dates are before writing existed in India (IVC script long disappears) it is really a guess work to say what the language was like back then.
Ahem.... not really. See, whoever left those Asokan inscriptions there in 3rd century BC, left it there for people to read. And for people to read, they need to know how to read a script, and these edicts aren't localized in a city, rather dispersed along the subcontinent. So one would want to believe writing is widespread by 3rd century BC implying that it would be present at least before a couple of centuries, spreading. As to your point, writing didn't just "exist" in India, words written in shards have been found dating back to 5th century BC, but it would also have been reasonably well developed by the end of 4th century BC. Unless you want to believe Asoka invented writing and a new script and left inscriptions all over his domain, hoping people somehow would magically learn to read it overnight.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#17
Ahem.... not really. See, whoever left those Asokan inscriptions there in 3rd century BC, left it there for people to read. And for people to read, they need to know how to read a script, and these edicts aren't localized in a city, rather dispersed along the subcontinent. So one would want to believe writing is widespread by 3rd century BC implying that it would be present at least before a couple of centuries, spreading. As to your point, writing didn't just "exist" in India, words written in shards have been found dating back to 5th century BC, but it would also have been reasonably well developed by the end of 4th century BC.
But the Edicts were not written in Pali, and we don't have extensive inscriptions written in Pali to compare with the Buddhist works to evaluate on how "archaic" the Pali of the Buddhist literature is. To say that the language of the Pali canon dates from the 4th century BC as claimed, you actually have to have physical copies of text written in Pali that were.actually written in the 4th century BC to compare the language and we don't have that. Short inscriptions on pieces and coins is not sufficient.

The oldest physically copies of the Pali date from around the 5th century AD, close to a thousand years later. It would like finding medieval Latin document and asserting that it must have been written in 1 AD, when we didn't have a single ancient Latin inscription or piece of ancient writing to compars it to, and every single Latin document and inscriptions we had was made in the middle ages. How could we be certain the Latin used was ancient Latin rather than just medieval Latin? We could guess, but not be certain that the Latin was ancient if we had no known ancient Latin to compare it to. (But we do have lengthy ancient Latin inscriptions, and even ancient letters to compare our medieval text to.)

Likewise, on the Ghandharan birch bark Buddhist text from the 1st century AD, we don't have any Ghandharan text made from the 3rd century BC that we can compare them to to tell when they were composed. Unless you have actual text written in the 4th century BC for comparison, it becomes a mere personal opinion that a text written in the 1st century AD reflects the language of the 4th century BC.

Ashoka didn't write in any of the languages that the earliest of the Buddhist text were written in, so.we can't use his edicts in most cases for comparison, and he was writing centuries after Buddha anyways.

Unless you want to believe Asoka invented writing and a new script and left inscriptions all over his domain, hoping people somehow would magically learn to read it overnight.
It could be that Ashoka was an early using of writing by Indians, the lack of extensive writing before his time indicates that writing was re-introduced into India shortly before his time. And perhaps he did re-introduce writing into India. The conquest by Alexander and establishment of the Greek-Batri is kingdoms would have exposed the Indians to people who had a long history of using writing extensively. That might have inspired the Indians to re-invent writing. Ashoka also wrote in Greek and Aramaic, and those writings existed long before his time.

And once writing is invented, it can spread quickly. When Sequoyah invented writing for the Cherokee people, it spread very quickly in mere decades, and Sequoyah was not a powerful king like Ashoka. A powerful ruler like Ashoka could certainly do as well as Sequoyah in spreading writing.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#18
Are you for real ? This edict was the confirmation that the Devam Piyadasa ( beloved of gods) and Ashoka was the same man. This edict is world famous in archaeology field
Or it is a confirmation that he edixt is an ancient forgery.

Please provide a detailed, word by word and line by line analysis of this edict to the other ediicts to show that except for the word Ashoka, this edict is consistent with the language of the other ediicts.

It is clear to.me that that the lantuage is different from the other ediicts. For one thing, why is the name Ashoka used here but not in the other ediicts? If your entire proof of the identity as Ashoka being the creator of the eddicts, that is an extremely weak proof.

The vast majority of the eddicts have no specifically Buddhist references in them, words and concepts mentioned in them lik Dharma are not exclusively Buddhist and could be from other India religions. They lack specific Buddhist references like the 4 Noble Truth, the 8 Fold Path, or the name of Buddhist. The couple of Edicts with specific Buddhist references in them could be later forgeries. A Buddhist reading the edicts centuries after they were written and true author forgotten, but still in ancient times, might have decided they were written by the same person as the Ashoka of Buddhist literature, even though that was not the case. That Buddhist could have created a couple of his own edicts to add specific Buddhist references he felt was lacking in the originals.

The argument that Buddhist would never, ever lie or make forgeries and that all Buddhist and Indians are all morally perfect is without justification. Buddy St suffer from the same weaknesses as the rest of mankind, and forgery is ways a possibility. To determine whether these Edicts with the specifically Buddhist references to them are actually genuine requires a detailed analysis and comparison of these Edicts with the other ones, and I find no evidence that that kind of detailed analysis has been done. It seems that everyone is just assuming the eddicts are genuine.

Now, I am not saying these Edicts are forgeries or that Ashoka didn't write them all or that Buddha didn't exist. I am saying they are possibilities that doesn't seem to have been seriously explored.
 
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Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#19
What does "influence" mean?

Buddha created an organization of monks which imbibed his morals, had the discipline, and the motivation; which changed the world in the centuries to follow. [/Quore]

The question of the thread Buddha influential in his life, nor whether he was influential. At the time of his death, did his followers just number a few hundred monks ignored by the rulers, or were Buddhist already a force to be reckoned with during Buddha's own lifetime? That eventually Buddhism became influential, but at what time? Perhaps Buddhism was an insignificant religion until Ashoka adopted it and promoted it? It was Ashoka&s son that spread Buddhism Sri Lanka , and the Mauryan Empire that spread it to what is now Afghanistan.

Buddha was the first religious teacher in the world (along with Mahaveera) to induct women as monks - far sighted. Within India, Buddha challenged the established & powerful religion of Vedic time which had become too ritualistic. He challenged the caste system which probably had begun to develop some roots in Indian society.
Many time things that evolved over time get ascribed to the founder. When were the documents written claimed Buddha inducted women as monks? The first biography of Buddha was not written until the 500 years after he lived, and practices that arose from a later time might have been ascribed to Buddha.

Buddha planted the seed, which could not have become a tree during his lifetime, but did become a huge shade giving tree ll the same.
Buddhist lived to be 80, and that is enough time for a sampling to become a good size tree. Some trees, like a Pin Oak, can grow 2 ft a year and could reach a good size of 70 ft in just 40 years. So Buddha lived long enough that a tree could have become a good size tree in his lifetime.
 
Jul 2014
1,441
world
#20
Or it is a confirmation that he edixt is an ancient forgery.

Please provide a detailed, word by word and line by line analysis of this edict to the other ediicts to show that except for the word Ashoka, this edict is consistent with the language of the other ediicts.

It is clear to.me that that the lantuage is different from the other ediicts. For one thing, why is the name Ashoka used here but not in the other ediicts? If your entire proof of the identity as Ashoka being the creator of the eddicts, that is an extremely weak proof.

The vast majority of the eddicts have no specifically Buddhist references in them, words and concepts mentioned in them lik Dharma are not exclusively Buddhist and could be from other India religions. They lack specific Buddhist references like the 4 Noble Truth, the 8 Fold Path, or the name of Buddhist. The couple of Edicts with specific Buddhist references in them could be later forgeries. A Buddhist reading the edicts centuries after they were written and true author forgotten, but still in ancient times, might have decided they were written by the same person as the Ashoka of Buddhist literature, even though that was not the case. That Buddhist could have created a couple of his own edicts to add specific Buddhist references he felt was lacking in the originals.

The argument that Buddhist would never, ever lie or make forgeries and that all Buddhist and Indians are all morally perfect is without justification. Buddy St suffer from the same weaknesses as the rest of mankind, and forgery is ways a possibility. To determine whether these Edicts with the specifically Buddhist references to them are actually genuine requires a detailed analysis and comparison of these Edicts with the other ones, and I find no evidence that that kind of detailed analysis has been done. It seems that everyone is just assuming the eddicts are genuine.

Now, I am not saying these Edicts are forgeries or that Ashoka didn't write them all or that Buddha didn't exist. I am saying they are possibilities that doesn't seem to have been seriously explored.
Yes everything is forgery ..ancient forgery in this case. Tell it to the the historians if you are right. you will be world famous.

BTW it is not only the Ashokan pillar that links Ashoka with Devam Piyadasi.
 

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