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Thread: Buddha may be 300 years older than thought

  1. #1
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Buddha may be 300 years older than thought

    Interesting article in the Guardian today:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...y-nepal-durham

    "Last week it emerged that a team led by Coningham, a professor of archaeology and pro-vice-chancellor at Durham University, had made a startling discovery about the date of the Buddha's birth, one that could rewrite the history of Buddhism. After a three-year dig on the site of the Maya Devi temple at Lumbini in Nepal, Coningham and his team of 40 archaeologists discovered a tree shrine that predates all known Buddhist sites by at least 300 years."

    I don't know anything about the dates at which the Pali Canon were set down, but if there are firm dates for that, then this means a much longer gap between Buddha's death and their recording.

  2. #2
    Hi Kirk,

    This came up on another thread this week. Most expert reviews seem pretty skeptical of the report so far, and believe the media is hyping.

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post116372

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    #SAT TODAY!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    Q: How is Buddha and media bullshit different?

    A: Buddha is beginingless and endless; media is stupid and endless.^^


    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

  4. #4
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi,
    It is not unusual for earlier religious sites to be appropriated by new religious movements. That could be what has been found: a sacred site of tree worship that predates the Buddha. Maybe Siddhartha choose an already ancient sacred site to sit?
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

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

  5. #5
    Hello Myozan,

    that was my first guess too. Some neo pagans exaggerate the number of Christian churches built on more ancient sacred sites, but on the whole this is true. This kind of building tactic has been used numerous times throughout history and throughout different cultures and has always been very successful, because most peoples didn't and don't care about theology, but they get really upset if you change the festival calendar too much or change the venue for worhipping "the sacred"

    Gassho,


    Hans Chudo Mongen
    Chudo Mongen, Ordained Novice Priest-in-Training

  6. #6
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    who cares?

    Yesterday, today, tomorrow.

    you would tell me that Buddha never existed...It's OK.

    one bright moon has no name, no place.

    gassho

    T.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  7. #7
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Hi Taigu,
    You're right. And I guess the Buddha (as we think of him) never existed! :-)

    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

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

  8. #8
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    as we think of him...this is the key.

    gassho

    T.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  9. #9
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    older, younger
    Times or Guardian
    right or left
    ...

    nice haiku

    T.
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  10. #10
    Friend of Treeleaf Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Perfect symmetry too:
    Old/ Times/ right
    Young/ Guardian/ left
    Gassho
    Myozan
    Myozan Kodo
    Ordained Soto Zen Priest in Training
    Dublin, Ireland

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

  11. #11
    Senior Member Clark's Avatar
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    My thoughts exactly. Buddha is timeless. And didn't Buddha teach that there are many Buddhas out there Past and future. Space and time is a big place
    Gassho
    C

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    who cares?

    Yesterday, today, tomorrow.

    you would tell me that Buddha never existed...It's OK.

    one bright moon has no name, no place.

    gassho

    T.
    T.
    Gassho,... seriously Gassho.

    Part of me is interested in this sort of stuff from a historical perspective. I've been reading Stephen Batchelor's Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist and Karen Armstrong's Buddha (just started that one actually).

    And I have to say, it is very interesting to read about Shakyamuni's life and how it fits in with his teachings, and how much of a radical he was at his time. I mean, when your culture believes in a plethora of gods and superstition, and you come forth with a philosophy and practice so foreign to that and dedicate your life to it.. something no one did before him, it's incredible.

    At the same time, I realized how much I had an image of the Buddha in my mind that had to adhere to my ideals. I didn't realize how much of a false idol I had set up for myself until I read Batchelor's book. I viscerally felt disappointed at one point when I heard about how Mahakyasappa sort of took over even though Ananda had been with the Buddha for years, and Mahakyasappa sort of just appeared and told a story of how the Buddha transmitted his old robe to him. After I got past my own preconceived BS, I realized and something that Batchelor points out that without there actually being someone to take over that these teachings would have never likely reached us... me.

    I like to fit things into these neat boxes, and I honestly step away (more like run away as a coward) when they don't match what I want. It's sort of a spoiled child syndrome. I felt this desperation, like "what am I doing?" The sangha helps reinforce what I'm doing.

    I'm sorry for the rambling, but these topics hit home. I think from that history is very important, at least for me. I have a habit of idolizing things; to use Jundo's favorite word, I can be very susceptible to the "hagiographies" of these old zen/buddhist teachers. It's so clean and pristine, these old stories. It's easy to want to practice when you think of imaginary mountains with god-like robots meditating in them vs. having to practice right here, now, with the bills and the dog shitting in the house, etc.

    I didn't realize that I had this huge, fake Buddha there all along in my head. I don't want to be dramatic but this idolizing can be very dangerous for me; like I said, I caught myself in my self-sabotage if that makes sense.

    Anyway,

    Gassho,

    Risho
    Last edited by Risho; 12-02-2013 at 11:38 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    who cares?

    Yesterday, today, tomorrow.

    you would tell me that Buddha never existed...It's OK.

    one bright moon has no name, no place.

    gassho

    T.

    I totally agree, Taigu. I feel the same about Jesus. In fact, i feel way more of a connection to Jesus now, than I did as a Christian. It's the story, the teaching that has more meaning than what is true or not.

    Gassho,
    Treena

  14. #14
    Whether its 2500 or 3000 years, the amazing thing is that the Buddha's teaching and practice have been passed to us.



    Kind regards. /\
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    who cares?

    Yesterday, today, tomorrow.

    you would tell me that Buddha never existed...It's OK.

    one bright moon has no name, no place.

    gassho

    T.
    WOW! loved this Taigu. Thanks.

    I feel the same about this matter.

    Gassho

    kb
    Dancing between stillness and motion I find peace.

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