How influential was the Buddha during his own lifetime?

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
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.
In the Minor Pillar Edicts, the Lumbini pillar and the Nigali Sagar Edict, did not say they were written by Ashoka or the Beloved of the God. The Bahbra inscription lacks the standard Beloved of God greeting. Other Minor Edict Pillars talk of schisms and monks, which doesn't have to be Buudhist schisms or monks.

Note, there could be more than one forgery, and more than one forger.. the Ashoka Edicts were standing outside for centuries for anyone to read. The Lunbini inscription does not use the typical "I" found on the Major edicts. It is noted that the quality of the inscription on some of the Minor edictx was inferior to those of the of the Major Edicts, which could be evidence of the inferior hand off the forger, compare the better inscription of the genuine inscriptions of the king.

The Major Edicts tend to be consistent in their language, while the Minor edits are less consistent in language and content, perhaps indicating the real difference is that the Major Edicts are genuine, while the Minor Edicts could be forgeries.

Forgeries claiming to the written by someone when they were not is a common occurrence. In religious writings, and spurious documents is quite common in the ancient world. Al-Dhahabi claimed the Hadith scholar Bukhari reportex knowing 200,000 hadiths that were not authentic, for example. To claim that Indians are uniquely immune to activity is simply not justified. That some of he Ashoka Edicts might be forgeries is a possibility that should be at least consider instead of rejecting out of hand as you do.

The Minor Edicts that mention Ashoka or Buddha have all the tell tale signs of possible forgeries to me:

- Different wording from the typical Major Edicts. The Major edicts have s Beloved of the God greeting which some of the he Minor edicts lack or have modified.

- The Major Edicts have the Beloved of God speaking in the first person, while several of the Minor Edicts mentionk g Buddha or Ashoka refer to Beloved of God/Ashoka in the 3rd person.

- The quality of the inscriptions on some of the Minor inscriptions is inferior. I know the explanation given for the fact is that they were written earlier Ashoka's reign and the inscribers were new to writing. But we don't have evidence that these Edicts were in fact carved earlier than all the Major Edicts

I will tell you this , that had these Edicts been subjected to the same scrutiny and standards as Wstern scholars apply to inscriptionz found in the West, many scholars would have rejected a number of Edicts as fogeries.

Now I think we have derailed the topic of the thread long enough. Obviously, if Buddha wasn't a real person, he couldn't have been influential during his life.

However assuming for the moment that even if Buddha was a real person, there is no evidence he had any major influence on society at large, or outside a small group of followers.
Mar 2019
There is no evidence that Prince Sidhartha was a real man. Like Jesus faith goes a long way.
there is no evidence alexander ''the great'' was real as well, the alexander narration was written not earlier the four hundred years after his death.


to the question, yes buddha was very influential figure even during his lifetime, he was first of all from shakya clan and coins discovered prove that the kingdom of shakya was infact prosperous as it minted its own coin, secondly bimbisara was a famous magadh king whose legacy would result in mauryan empire, entire battles were waged based on the remains of the Buddha, the sanchi relief tells the story, we do also have a long history of the life of buddha from the very core of pali canon, the theravada sutras, the mahayana sutras as well, all these documents converge at the very living period of the buddha himself, it should also be noted that these languages like pali canon, buddhist hybrid may even predate the actual prakritic languages and maybe a transitional languages which maybe much older than buddha himself, these languages along with few others like paishachi, gandhara and few others are considered very old languags in prakritic categories. About the buddha's biography, its not important when his biographies were written, but, buddhist sutras have been excavated from atleast 1 BC and mauryan inscriptions much earlier as well, alexander's biography was also not written until roman period in the first millennium.

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