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Thread: Article: Religious roots of Buddha's birthplace

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Article: Religious roots of Buddha's birthplace

    Hi all,

    Interesting article about archaeological research being done in Lumbini, Nepal:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/relig...ars-2D11648772

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

  2. #2
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Very interesting and exciting!

    This will shed more light about traditions and real history surrounding Buddhism.

    I wonder if they'll be able to find human remains... that would be cool since rest of utensils, food and clothing could help even more to set the historic background.

    Thanks for sharing, Dosho!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  3. #3
    Senior Member Oheso's Avatar
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    . . .angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold-
    only saps buy vowels

  4. #4
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Great catch!

    Thank you.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  5. #5
    Great article Dosho ... good share. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  6. #6
    Buddha is also born right now and right now and right now, right here and right here and right here.

    The True Lumbini Temple is in one's heart.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Thanks Dosho - very interesting,

    Gassho

    Willow

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    When was Buddha Born

    This article suggests the 600BC date. A new documentary slated to view in February details the latest findings

    http://www.nbcnews.com/science/relig...ars-2D11648772

    gassho, Shokai
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  9. #9
    Right now.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Thank you Dosho for the interesting post. Thank you Jundo for the teaching.

    Gassho
    C

  11. #11
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
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    I was just a tad late seeing that

    thanks and gassho
    gassho, Shokai, still learning the way and knowing nothing
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    Just another itinerant monk; go somewhere else to listen to someone who really knows.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Right now.

    Gassho, J


    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  13. #13
    Ven. Shravasti Dhammika, a very scholarly and sensible Western born Theravada monk, offers this balanced assessment of the story ... I feel he is right ...

    Until recently 563 BCE was thought to be the more likely date of his birth. However, in 1988 an international conference was held at Gottingen University in Germany to review all the evidence pertaining to the Buddha’s dates and there was wide consensus among scholars that he was born later than 563, perhaps as much as a 100 years later. More research is needed before we can be sure. All the papers read at the conference can be read in Heinz Bechert’s 1995 When Did the Buddha Live?
    Of course, uncertainty about the Buddha’s dates has no bearing on the veracity of his Dhamma. Nonetheless, a certain date would allow us to have a better understanding of the forces that influenced the Buddha’s teaching and how he presented it. I have not read the archaeological report that contains these new findings and the press reports of it so far give very few details. The main evidence seems to be this; that digging under the foundations of the Maha Maya Temple in Lumbini where Prince Siddhattha was born has revealed the remains of what appears to be a tree shrine and wood from this shrine has been carbon 14 dated at aprox. 600 BCE. Siddhattha’s birth took place under a tree and the assumption is that the actual remains of the tree have been located. There are more than a few problems with these conclusions. Is there any evidence that the tree was worshipped by Buddhists? The tree around which the shrine (if that’s what it is) was built could have been alive for several hundred years before Buddhists started worshiping it. Etc, etc, etc.
    Some scientists and researchers nowadays are in the habit of announcing headline-grabbing accounts of their discoveries long before they have actually been confirmed. Before we start getting too excited about these new discoveries let’s wait until the jury is in.

    http://sdhammika.blogspot.jp/2013/11...t-lumbini.html
    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-27-2013 at 03:44 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sekishi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Right now.

    Gassho, J
    Deep bows.
    Eric

    髭 Sekishi / Eric

  15. #15
    Very interesting.

    Gassho,

    Risho

  16. #16
    Just an update on this. From what I am seeing, archaeologists and Buddhist scholars are lining up right and left to denounce all this publicity as overblown and pre-mature "hype".

    Here is one typical assessment I have from someone who has looked at the published paper.

    There is *no* indication that the wood is connected with the Buddha in any way shape or form. It is logical to think that a tree shrine on the spot considered to be the birthplace of the Buddha could easily have predated anything about Buddhism ... I'm sure it will be spun for all it's worth, but there's nothing there, except perhaps (and even this is not 100% clear) some evidence that, despite an earlier botched excavation by a Japanese team (which, the authors imply, threw away valuable evidence), the traditional spot rebuilt by Asoka had earlier a wooden structure upon it. What that structure may have been, and whether it could conceivably have had any connection with the Buddha--no evidence at all!

    J. Silk
    Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
    The following is interesting reading if one has any interest in archaeology, even if the conclusion is that there is little evidence the the find is related to the Buddha:

    There is no doubt whatever that the find at Lumbini is significant and fascinating. But Coningham et al (and Coningham himself) have overstated the claims for what this find signifies. In particular it tells us nothing whatever about the dates of the Buddha. What it tells us about is the dates of human occupation and use of the site at Lumbini. This is intrinsically interesting, but is only an outline that requires considerable filling in. Specifically it tells us nothing about who the occupants were. The authors of the article seem to have been carried away by the minutiae of the discovery and the assumption that all archaeology on an Asokan site is ipso facto Buddhist.

    We have no indication that the underlying layers were in fact Buddhist. Such evidence as is presented -- e.g. that the site may have been a tree shrine -- is ambiguous, and in most cases the language of the article, contra the press release, is carefully hedged and qualified as one would expect in a scientific paper. Such questions as the alignment of the different layers at the site; the unknown fate of the tree in the shrine; and the type of fence suggested by the post holes; all seem to point away from a strong connection to the Asokan layer or a relationship with other Buddhist structures. If anything the evidence suggests a discontinuity. If the suggestion is that the layers under the Asokan structure represent the activity of Buddhists, some extraordinary evidence will be required. Something far more typical of Buddhists must be linked with the layers in question. Until then there is no question of revisiting the dates of the Buddha. There seems to be false reasoning linking all activity on the site with Buddhism because Asoka thought that Lumbini was the birthplace of the Buddha. Even the Buddhist tradition allows that the Śākyas had lived in the area for some time, so why should the activity be pre-Buddhist? Were the Śākyas unlikely to build tree shrines or even temples? Though I have speculated that they might have had residual Zoroastrian beliefs we in fact no nothing for certain about the tribe the Buddha was born into. But they must have had beliefs and acted them out since all humans do.
    http://jayarava.blogspot.jp/2013/11/...st-shrine.html
    So, no reason to change the Buddha's Birthday ... Timeless anyway.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #17
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that Jundo. As you stated my interest in this is all purely historical/archaeological. Either way I agree Buddha is born now, here. Makes no difference what they find or don't find.

    Gassho
    C

  18. #18
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Jundo,

    Like all science, I see this find as an offering of evidence that leads to a hypothesis of an earlier birth for the Buddha. Unfortunately the media presents such hypotheses as pieces of evidence themselves, not as something to be tested. However, until the media starts explaining to people what a hypothesis is I am sure there will be confusion.

    As in all things, we will see.

    Gassho,
    Dosho
    Shudo Dosho - Ordained Priest-in-Training
    With your help and guidance from Jundo & Taigu
    I am learning, but please take what I say with a
    grain of salt, especially in matters of the Dharma.

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