Showing posts with label Lanka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lanka. Show all posts

Is Gautama Buddha Avatar of Vishnu

Why does Purana and Buddhist Chronology does not synchronize with each other. While they seem to be saying about the same person. When Analyzing this question. It becomes apparent that we have merged two Buddhas. The Adi Buddha or Avatar Buddha of Vishnu and Shakya Buddha  or Gautama Buddha into One. Let us Analyze

Let us  summarize what we have regarding each Buddha

Adi Buddha
Adi Buddha is avatar of Vishnu was born on 1887BC to Mother Anjana in Kikata (Bodh Gaya).
The Adi Buddha Established the Philosophy of Ahimsa, Non Violence. He preached against ritual Animal Sacrifices that has crept into Vedic Hinduism. He emphasized the divine in all beings and divinity of all souls arousing compassion for all.


Gautama Buddha
Siddhartha was was born around 560BC in Royal Family of Suddhodana and Mayadevi in Lumbini in Nepal. Siddhartha received his name Gautama from his spiritual Master Gautama Muni, who belongs to Kapila dynasty(as per Sundarananda Charita). He left home his royal comforts to find enlightenment. He went to Bodh Gaya to meditate and got enlightenment.
Gautama Buddha philosophy that is Monist (the God, is inert, nonactive and without any characteristic) and that reaching the same inert and non-active state through Nirvana is the goal. For attaining freedom from all suffering and end cycle of rebirths, one should attain Nirvana. Gautama Buddha is the propagator of Bahyatmavada, Jnanatmavada and Sunyavada, three pillars of Atheism. He Went to Bodhgaya to medidate because of its spiritual potency as the birthplace of Adi Buddha.

Buddhist Texts
Threvada Texts refer to six Preceding Buddhas (Those who have been awakened) as Vipasyin, Sikin, krakuccanda, Konagamara and Kashyapa, also they say Maitreya as the Buddha of the future.

Amara Simha Buddhist scholar, who wrote Amarakosha gives eighteen names of Vishnu avatara including the name Sugato (Which Shankara calls Buddha) and seven names of Shakya Simha Buddha without any mention of Sugato. So we can even argue that Shankara talks about avatar Buddha not Shakya Buddha. Amarakosha states the Lord Buddha is also known as Samanta Bhadra, whereas Gautama Buddha is a human being.

In Lalita Vistara, it is described how Gautama Buddha medidated on the same spot as the predecessor Buddha. The original name of Bodhgaya is Kikata, after Gautama attained enlightment there, it came to be known as Buddha gaya. Even today the rituals of worship is preformed by sannyasis of Shankaracharya sect.

Lankavatara Sutra, the famous buddhist work says that Ravana King of Lanka first worshipped Vishnu incarnation Buddha then successive and future Buddha.

Analysing Buddhist texts like Prajna-Paramita sutra, Astasahastrika prajna- paramita sutra, Sata-Shastrika Prajna, Pramita Sutra, Lalita Vistara shows three categories of Buddha namely

Human Buddhas: Like Gautama, who came to be known as Buddha after enlightment.
Bodhisattva Buddhas: Personalities like Samanta Bhadraka who were born enlightened.
Adi(Original-First) Buddha: the Avatar of Vishnu.


Hindu Texts
Bhagavata Purana says "At the commencement of the Kāli-yuga will Vishnu become incarnate in Kikata, under the name of Buddha, the son of Jina, for the purpose of deluding the enemies of the gods."

Puranas say that Adi Buddha was born in Ikshvaku Dynasty.

How Two were merged.
Adi Shankara, in discussion with others treated both of them as one person and did not discriminate between the two. Shankara Sunya philosophy is similar to Buddhist Nirvana. With his Mayavadha philosophy he not only stopped rise of Buddhism in India, but also started its decline.  However acharyas who came after him did not agree and they came with corrections for clear vedic View
Vishnuswami -Suddha Advaitha
Ramanuja - Vasistadvaitha
Nimbarka - Dvaita Advaita
Madhva - Dvaitha
Chaitanya - Acintaya Bheda Bheda

Historical Accounts
Adi Buddha is contemproary of Srenika(Sunika) whose father was Hemajit or Kshemajit or Kshetroja or Ksetrauja. Son of Srenika is Kunika. His son is Dharshaka.

Gautama Buddha is contemproary of Bimbisara(Son of Bhatiya or Bhattiya), King of Magadha with Capital at Rajgirh. Bimbisara made married alliances with many kings of India. His first wife Kosaladevi was the princess of Kosala, daughter of king Mahakoshal and sister of Pasendi or Prasenjit. The marriage ended the hostility between Kosala and Magadha. Ajatsatru was Kosaladevi`s son. Bimbisara conquered Anga and send Ajatsatru as the ruler there. Champa was the capital of Anga. Bimbisara was assasinated by his son Ajathashatru. Gautama Buddha then went to sravasti, Capital of Kosala ruled by Prasenjit. Most of the teachings come from Sravasti. Buddhist, Puranic and Jain Accounts confirm Gautama Buddha to be the contemproary of Bimbisara.

Jain scriptures, described King Bimbisara as a disciple of Mahavira who frequently sought his teachings. As per Jain texts, he is referred to as King Shrenika of Rajgriha (being the possessor of a large army). Bimbisara sent Jivaka to Ujjain for medical treatment of King Pradyata, the king of Avanti.

Mahavamsa traces the Shakya dyansty to Ikshvaku dynasty and starts the dynasty with Ikshvaku.


Let us see the list of Contemproary kings as various religious texts 

Puranas List
Shishunaga(40yrs)(Desposed Pratyodya)
kakavarna(36yrs)
kshemdharman(20yrs)
Khastrojas (40yrs)
Bimbasara (28yrs)
Ajatashatru (25yrs)
Darshaka(26yrs)
Udayin (33yrs)
Nandivardhana (40rys)
Mahanandin (43yrs)

Buddhist List
Sisunaka
Kalashoka (Sons Bhadrasena, Korandavarna, Mangura, Sarvanjaha, Jalika, Ubhaka, Sanjaya, Koravya, Nandivardhana and Panchamaka)
All 10 sons ruled simultaneously.

How Reliable is Buddhist Historical sources

Indologists have been saying Puranas are not reliable, let us see how unreliable Buddhist texts are. It is from Buddhist texts that Indologists arguments come. There two schools of sources. Tibetan and Sinhala. There is Chinese source, which comes later.
Let us take the kings around Buddhas time

Lankan Tradition

Dipavamsa
Bimbisara(52yrs)
Ajatasattu (32yrs)
Udayabhadda (16yrs)
Nagadasa (24yrs)
susunaga (10yrs)
kalasoka
Ten sons of Kalasoka (22yrs)
Candagutta(24yrs)
Bindusara
Asoka (37yrs)

Mahavamsa
Bimbisara (52yrs)
Ajatasattu (32yrs)
Udayabhadda (16yrs)
Anuruddha, Munda (8yrs)
Nagadasaka (8yrs)
Susunaga (18yrs)
Kalasoka (28yrs)
ten sons of Kalasoka (22yrs)
Nine Nandas (22yrs)
Candagutta (24yrs)
Bindusara (28yrs)
Asoka (37yrs)

Burmese Tradition
Bimbisara
Ajatasattu (35yrs)
Udayabhadda (15yrs)
Aururddha, Munda (9yrs)
Nagadasaka (4yrs)
Susunaga (32yrs)
Kalasoka 28yrs
bhaddasena and 8 brothers (33yrs)
Uggasenananda and 8 brothers (21yrs)
candagutta (24yrs)
Bindusara (27yrs)
Asoka

Tibetan Tradition
Asokavardhana
Bimbisara
Ajatasatru
Ujayain or Udayibhadda
Munda
Kakavarnin
Sahalin
Tulakuel
Mahamandala
Presenjit
Nanda
Bindusara
Asoka

Jain Tradition
Srenika
Kunika
Udayin
(Total 60yrs)
Nine Nandas
Candragupta
Bindusara
Asoka

Discussion

Buddhist dates
1)Sources of Buddhist: First Where do Buddhist sources come from, they are not there from time immemorial like Purana or Jain sources. They are from definite time frame that is after Gautama Buddha. Mainly after the state patronage of Buddhism. Now how does Buddhist dates start from Ikshvaku dynasty. They should have got from some source. where else Purana. These Buddhist chronologies before Buddha are from Purana sources. If Puranas are the source of many Buddhist dates, how can Indology scholars choose to reject Puranas and take Buddhist sources.

2)Indian Dates: Dates from Purana or Buddhist or Jain are all Indian dates. Indologists are just playing one against other.

3)Not the Same Kings: Jain and Purana Chronology names does not tally with Buddhist Chronology names on contemporary kings

4) Differences within Buddhist: There are two main dates for Buddhists. One from Sinhala Buddhist and other Tibetan sources. There are two sources from Sinhala. That is Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa. There are differences between the two dates, but let us not overplay the differences.

The Tibetan Buddhist dates are more closer to Puranas date. But there are major differences. Such as when did Buddha lived. Date of Ashoka etc.

There is also Burma (Myanmar), though based on Lankan sources has a mind of its own because it has direct contact with puranic sourcse.

Chinese and Japanese follow Lankan, though they also have direct contact with puranic, so there are differences.

Indology Confusions
By Combining two Buddhas Indology scholars have discredited the Purana accounts and thus Indian History. Whenever the Puranas refers Adi Buddha they will cite Gautama Buddha to discredit and vice verse.

Colonel Kennedy, argues that the Buddha of the Purana and Buddha the founder of the Buddhist system of religion have nothing in common but the name, and that the attempted identification of these two is simply the work of European scholars, who have not been sufficiently careful to collect information, and to weigh the evidence they have had before them.

Jacobi Believes that Kakavarna(Puranas) = Kalashoka (Sinhalese Buddhist Literature) = Udyain (Jain Literature)

The Cambridge and Oxford histories of India accept 483 B.C as the date of Buddha’s nirvana. But, William Jones, on the basis of Chinese and Tibetan records infers that Buddha lived in the 11th century B.C. Historian Fleet, who makes a study of ‘Rajatarangini’, thinks that Buddha lived in the 17th century B.C. Chinese monk Fa-Hien puts Buddha’s Nirvana at 1050 B.C. These contradictory theories may confuse one altogether.

Indology scholars just pick and choose to discredit Purana sources. The history that Buddha lived in the 5th century B.C was propounded by E.J Rapson who writes that the exact date of Buddha’s Nirvana is not known and hence the popularly accepted year of Buddha’s Nirvana is imaginary. Sastry states that Western scholars arbitrarily skipped 12 centuries of Indian history because their ‘hypothesis’ about Alexander’s invasion did not match with centuries-old Indian chronology.

Conclusion
We see that Early Buddhist texts distinguishes the two Buddhas, while the later ones seem to ignored the former. The Rock Edicts of Piyadasi teachings are of Adi Buddha not Gautama Buddha. This clarification actually synchronizes the Buddhist and Purana Chronology and there seems to be no problem in merging the two once we take as two persons. The key is not play puranic , Jain, Buddhist chronology against each other, but synchronize them. The Conclusion is that : Gautama Buddha is not avatar of Vishnu. Avatar of Vishnu is Adi Buddha.

Sources
Were There Two Buddhas By Stephen Knapp
Modern Buddha and Vishnu Avatar Buddha are Different by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja
Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic, by W.J. Wilkins
Index to all Chronology Pages from Indic Studies Foundation
QUEEN CHELNA AND KING SHRENIK from Jainworld
Saisunaga Dynasty- The Third Dynasty of Magadha after the great war. from Kota Venkata Chelam - Ancient Indian History
Buddhist India
Lord Mahāvīra and His Times By Kailash Chand Jain
History of Ancient India: From 4250 BC to 637 AD By J.P. Mittal
The dates of the Buddha

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Date of Buddha

Most of us are taught that Buddha was born around 560 to 550 B.C. However, once we start doing some research, we find evidence that this date may be too late. Buddha may have lived much earlier. Let us see how Buddha is dated.

Let us see the Traditional Theories at arriving date of Buddha.
  1. Long chronology Based on the Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa accounts which state that 218 years difference between Buddha Death and Ashoka Conversion. Which put date of the Buddha’s death is 544/543 B.C.E.
  2. Corrected chronology According to Richard Gombrich, Aśoka’s dates are approximately established by the synchronism between his 13th major rock edict, which is dated by scholars in the 13th year after his consecration, and the five monarchs of the Hellenistic world named therein as reigning at the time. The date of the edict must be 255 B.C., give or take a year; Aśoka’s consecration is accordingly dated 268 B.C. So the Date of Buddha's Death is 483BC
  3. short chronology Many Sanskrit , Tibetan and chinese traditions say the difference between date of Asoka coronation and Date of Nirvana of Buddha to be 100 years and Chinese accounts say 116 years. So the date can be anywhere between 544BC to 440BC depending on which theory you are following.
  4. Dot-ted record. This account, taken from Chi-nese sources and referred to initially by Tao-hsüan in the Ta t’ang nei tien lu, argues that when Upāli, first collected the Vinaya after the Buddha’s death, he marked a dot in the manuscript at the end of the pavarana, and continued the process in each year thereafter. His successors, Dāsaka, Sonaka, Siggava, Moggali-putta, Tissa, Caṇḍavajji, and so forth continued the process. Samghabhadra, who presumably translated the Samantapāsādikā into Chinese, is said to have put the 975th dot on the manuscript during a visit to Canton in 489 C.E., thus establishing the Buddha’s death in 486 B.C.E.
But we are not bothered by this relative chronology based on the date of Ashoka cornation. Since we have seen that Ashoka grandfather chandragupta Maurya is itself is not based on Solid evidence the article Did Megasthanese Meet Chandrgupta. We will go to the root of the evidences to see when he can be dated.

European Account
Since the records of ancient India give only the intervals between events but do not, like later records, date the events themselves, it is necessary in order to establish dates in Indian history to call on Greek historians. Indo-Greek relations developed as a result of the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great (327 BC). About 303 BC, the Indian Emperor Candragupta came to a territorial agreement and entered into diplomatic relations with Seleukos Nikator, Alexander's former general who ruled over Babylonia. Through the reports of the Greek ambassador Megasthenes, who was ambassador to the imperial court of palimbothra , Candragupta ( Sandrokottos ) became known to Greek historians, and through them we are able to date his accession to 321 BC. But this date is now disputed due to various reasons, Further Information on Chandgragupta and Alexander Date follow article Did Megasthanese meet Chandragupta Maurya. How Let us see

Purana Account
The Puranas provide a chronology of the Magadha rulers from the time of the Mahabharata war, Somadhi (Marjari) was the ruler. He started a dynasty that included 22 kings that spread over 1006 years.They were followed by five rulers of the Pradyota dynasty that lasted over 138 years. Then for the next 360years was the 10 rulers of the Shishunag family. Kshemajit (who ruled from 1892 to 1852 B.C.) was the fourth in the Shishunag dynasty, and was a contemporary of Lord Buddha's father, Shuddhodana. It was during this period in which Buddha was born. It was during the reign of Bimbisara, the fifth Shishunaga ruler (1852-1814 B.C.), when Prince Siddhartha became the enlightened Buddha. Then it was during the reign of King Ajatashatru (1814-1787 B.C.) when Buddha left this world. Thus, he was born in 1887 B.C., renounced the world in 1858 B.C., and died in 1807 B.C. according to this analysis.

Further evidence that helps corroborate this is provided in The Age of Buddha, Milinda and King Amtiyoka and Yuga Purana, by Pandit Kota Venkatachalam. He also describes that it is from the Puranas, especially the Bhagavat Purana and the Kaliyurajavruttanta, that need to be consulted for the description of the Magadha royal dynasties to determine the date of Lord Buddha. Buddha was the 23rd in the Ikshvaku lineage, and was a contemporary of Kshemajita, Bimbisara, and Ajatashatru, as described above. Buddha was 72 years old in 1814 B.C. when the coronation of Ajatashatru took place. Thus, the date of Buddha's birth must have been near 1887 B.C., and his death in 1807 B.C. if he lived for 80 years

Professor K. Srinivasaraghavan also relates in his book, Chronology of Ancient Bharat , that the time of Buddha should be about 1259 years after the Mahabharata war, which should make it around 1880 B.C. if the war was in 3138 B.C.

Astronomical Account
A search was made from 1900 BCE to 400 BCE for the sequence of events: winter solstice, lunar eclipse, solar eclipse, followed by Vaisakha poornima, the full moon day of Buddha nirvana. It is found that there are only 14 dates possible for this sequence of events to occur:1807 BCE, 1694 BCE, 1659 BCE, 1510 BCE, 1250 BCE, 1192 BCE, 1138 BCE, 1119 BCE, 1062 BCE, 1007 BCE, 765 BCE, 690 BCE and 560 BCE. If a time limit of about three months (the time that Buddha spends in sravasti before attaining his nirvana) is imposed, then the time intervalbetween winter solstice and vaisakha poornima must be less than 90 days and that vaisakha poornima should occur before the vernal equinox, as winter solstice occurred after his arrival at sravasti. With this restriction, most of the dates do not qualify, leaving only two dates 1807 BCE and 1510 BCE as possible dates. It is interesting to note that the ‘traditionally’ accepted dates, 544 BCE, or 483 BCE, or any of the recently revised dates do not fit the picture. One additional piece of astronomical information is needed to fix the date.

The Samyutta Nikaya , Part I, sugatta Vagga, Book II, Chapter I, Devaputtasa yuttam,suttas contain ten units in all, two of them to relate to kassapa. The others are devaputtas who visit Buddha. Sengupta identifies kassapa with prajapati and hence with winter solstice. He regards the other deities as adityas The first devaputta to visit is to be taken as the lord of the month of the lunar eclipse. We take a hint from a listing of the sons of aditi in taittirya aranyaka dhata aryaman. If we assume as Sengupta did, kassapa as dhataa or prajapati, his visit would indicate the arrival of winter solstice. Aryaman would be the first ‘devaputta’ to visit as the deity of the month, i.e., the presiding deity of the nakshatra of the full moon, where the lunar eclipse occurs. In 1510 BCE the lunar eclipse occurs at uttaraphalguni, whose deity is bhaga. In 1807 BCE, the lunar eclipse occurs at purvaphalguni , with aryaman as the deity. So the year is 1807 BCE

Furthermore, astronomical calculations by astronomer Swami Sakhyananda indicates that the time of the Buddha was in the Kruttika period, between 2621-1661 B.C.

Pali and Ceylon Chronicles
Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa , give the traditional figure of 218 years between the death of the Buddha and the conversion of Asoka is best taken as conventional. It amounts to the claim that between the death of the Buddha and the conversion of Asoka, there intervened
  • A first major event occuring after 100 years, this being the standard conventional interval of prediction in the later Buddhist literature
  • A second major event, occurring after another 100 years, this event being the rise of the ruler patron, or the coronation of Asoka.
  • A third event, occurring after a further 18 years. We may note that according to his own inscriptions, it was in the 18th year of his reign that Asoka was persuaded to accept Buddhism.
The alternative interval of 256 years, is based on counting backward from a later date in Asoka's reign, namely, the year of his abdication to pursue a life of virtue. This is the information given by the chronicles , the western scholars have taken the difference in years between ashoka , buddha and Megasthanese – Chandragupta meeting to date Buddha.

The Ceylonese Pali traditions leave out the kings mentioned RockEdicts from list of Asoka’s kingdoms, whereas Rock Edict XIII includes them. In fact, as many scholars have noted, the character of Asoka from Ceylonese and other traditions is precisely (as RK Mukherjee has said) what does not appear in the principal edicts. Rock Edict XIII, the famous Kalinga edict, is identified as Asoka’s. It was, however, Samudragupta’s (Samudragupta was a great conqueror and a devout admirer of Asoka. He imitated Asoka in many ways and also took the name Asokaditya. In his later life, he became a sanyasi).

Tibet Account
The Kalachakra tantra puts the life of Sakyamuni Buddha in the 9th. Century BCE William Jones, on the basis of Tibetan records infers that Buddha lived in the 11th century B.C. A number of Tibetan documents place Buddha at 2100 BC.



China Account

Fa-hsien was in India and at Patliputra c. 410 AD. He mentions a number of kings, but makes not even a fleeting reference to the Gupta, even though according to European scholars he came during the height of their reign. Fa-Hien puts Buddha’s Nirvana at 1050 B.C.

Qin Shi Huang, who is said to have suppressed Buddhism, in the same way that he suppressed all other Chinese philosophy. His reign lasted from 246 BCE to 221 BCE. Han Wei, a noted researcher from the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, found evidence in the Historical Records, which were written in 104 BC. Silk Road archaeologist WANG Jianxin said Han's research sounded "reasonable" .

The Weilüe reports a tradition that an envoy of the Yuezhi king who gave oral teachings on Buddhist sutras to a student in 2 BCE

Greek Accounts
Seven Sages of Greece (Dated 620-550 B.C ) surprisingly give the Buddhist Teachings.

Thyagaraja Aiyer in his book "Indian Architecture" observes," Here lies Indian Sramanacharya from Bodh Gaya, a Buddhist monk taken to Greece by his Greek pupils and the tomb marks his death about 1000 B.C." If the Buddhist monk went to Greece in 1000 B.C., then the Buddha must have lived at least a few centuries earlier.

Somayajulu places Chandragupta Maurya in the 14th century B.C. This puts the Buddha three centuries earlier, i.e., in the 17th century B.C.

Long before the word 'missionary' came to be synonymous with Christianity" Buddhist monks ('dharma-bhanakas') were traipsing across Asia. Travelling the Silk and Spice Routes they spread their doctrines all the way from Khotan in central Asia to Antioch and Alexandria in the west. One such visit is documented in 20 BC in Athens. A Buddhist philosopher, Zarmarus, part of an embassy from India, made a doctrinal point by setting himself alight. His tomb became a tourist attraction and is mentioned by several historians.

It seems the original Therapeutae were sent on an Indian embassy to Pharaoh Ptolemy II in 250 BC. The word 'Therapeutae' is itself of Buddhist origin, being a Hellenization of the Pali 'Thera-putta' (literally 'son of the elder.') Philo Judaeus, a 1st century AD contemporary of Josephus, described the Therapeutae in his tract 'De Vita Contemplativa'. It appears they were a religious brotherhood without precedent in the Jewish world. Reclusive ascetics, devoted to poverty, celibacy, good deeds and compassion, they were just like Buddhist monks in fact. From the Therapeutae it is quite possible a Buddhist influence spread to both the Essenes (a similar monkish order in Palestine).

Gnosticism is Influenced by Buddhism , which was a religion of quite a different order to earlier 'pagan' cults. It was a scriptural religion, making a strong appeal to the emotions. It offered a moral code – and hope. The Gnostic idea of liberating the soul from entrapment in matter is not dissimilar to the teachings embodied in the "4 Noble Truths" of the Buddha.The Greek details presented above are also sometimes dated before Alexander, so the argument that Buddhism came to Greece only after Alexander invasion does not hold water. Greek and some parts of then India like Bactria were part of Persian empire of Darius, so the exchange of ideas is not confined to Alexander era.

Korea Account
Hwanin or Divine Regent is a figure in Korean mythology. Hwanin is an alias of Indra. Hwanin is the name on Buddhism of Indra, this name is widely used in east Asia. We have evidences that Hwanin being used in 3rd Century BC in Korea.

South East Asia Traditions

Japan, Thailand, , Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia follow the Ceylon (Sri Lanka) date.
Christian Account
Apart from similarities between buddha and Jesus Christ, Most Important account has been the Barlaam and Josaphat story, which is the Christianized version of Buddha Story.

Max Muller stated that missionaries also were sent more than thirty years prior to Ashoka's reign

Philo noted the presence of Buddhists in Alexandria, Egypt.
Conclusion
The above accounts say that Buddha can be earlier than the said dates of 560BC and Western and Indology Scholars have not even explained the contradictions in their own calculations. The fundamental sheet Anchor theory (Megasthanese -Chandragupta Meeting) is itself not established. The Indian literary accounts are being dismissed summarily. And Western scholars themselves dont provide any evidence to backup their account. Since Chandragupta Maurya date by Western and Indology scholars is disputable, Buddha Date is also susequently disputable. Regarding what is being said in Ashoka Edicts and what are the claims made on the edicts , we will see in another article. For now Buddha date is nowhere settled. Date by Indian Literary sources and Astronomical calculations is 1807 BC.
Source
  • The Date of the Buddha by E Bruce Brooks
  • Re-establishing the Date of Lord Buddha by Stephen Knapp
  • A short note on the date of Buddha nirvana using planetarium software B. N. Narahari Achar
  • Indian Architecture by Thyagaraja Aiyer
  • Cooking the Buddhist Books by Charles S. Prebish 
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Ancient Pandya kingdom - Location

The Early Pandyas of the Sangam period were one of the three main kingdoms of the ancient Tamil country, the other two being the Cholas and the Cheras. Most of the information about the Early Pandyas comes to us through literary sources. The capital of the Early Pandyan kingdom was initially Korkai, around and was later moved to Kudal (now Madurai) during the reign of Nedunj Cheliyan I. The Medieval Pandyas kingdom is well documented and replete with archeological evidence. But the Early pandyas was not.

Let us analayse the early pandyas, how they came into history.

Sangam LiteratureMaduraikkanci (761-763), by Mankudi Maruthanaar contains a full-length description of Madurai and the Pandyan country under NedunjCheliyan III. Netunalvatai (9th century AD)(in the collection of Pattupattu) give a glimpse into the society and commercial activities. One expert has said, since in one sentence in this poem there is a mention of a vembu flower adorning the spear of the hero, he could be identified to belong to the Pandya dynasty, but it is not certain. until 8th century Kanchi was referred as madurakanchi and Madurai was called Koodal,so we do not know if the said city and dynasty are same.

Descriptions of three major kings of Tamil nadu Chera, chola, pandya and minor chieftains called Velir are found in the Akananuru and the Purananuru collections (both 9th century AD). The second poem by Mudinagarayar addresses the Chera king Uthayan Cheralaathan and praises him for his feeding the armies at the Kurukshetra war. This is an obvious anachronism suggesting a king of the early Common Era Tamil country had a role to play in a mythological battle of the Mahabharata epic. Based on this one poem, there have been attempts at dating the Purananuru poems to around 1000 BCE or older. Which as we can see is full of legends and inaccuracies. Akananuru was compiled by Rudrasarman at the behest of the Pandya king Ukkiraperuvazhuthi. This also contains poems from Perunthevanar(9th century AD).

Silapathikaram and Manimekalai Both these works deal with pandya kings extensively. But dating has always been a issue. refer link1
Epigraphy

Meenakshipuram edictEventhough Meenakshipuram edict is said to refer nedunjeliyan , there is noway to verify authenticity of the inscription. And the inscription does not refer to pandyas or nedunjeliyan.

Ashoka edictAshoka edict mentions coda pada satyaputo , ceraputo. Experts says pada in edict means Pandyas , but we do not know for sure. Since no other evidence suggest this. Kautilya when discussion about his southern country karnataka does not say anything about kingdoms beyond that.

Hathigumpha inscriptionsThe Hathigumpha inscriptions of the Kalinga King, Kharavela, (c. 150 BCE) refers to the arrival of a tribute of jewels and elephants from the Pandu king. We have nothing other than that.

Srilankan
Singhalese chronicle Mahawamsa claims that King Vijaya (c. 543 BCE) married a daughter of the Pandu king Kulasekaran, to whom he was sending rich presents every year. Let us see what dipavamsa(4th century AD) say about this, it says Pandu king kulashekara , does not specify whether he is from tamil nadu or he is tamil king. This might be an attempt to link up with Pandavas.

Foreign sources
The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (c. 60 - 100 CE) describes the riches of a 'Medura Regia Pandionis ': ...Nelcynda is distant from Muziris by river and sea about five hundred stadia, and is of another Kingdom, the Pandionis. This place also is situated on a river, about one hundred and twenty stadia from the sea....

The Chinese historian Yu Huan in his 3rd century text, the Weilüe, mentions a The Kingdom of Panyue:"...The kingdom of Panyue is also called Hanyuewang. It is several thousand li to the southeast of Tianzhu (Northern India)...The inhabitants are small; they are the same height as the Chinese..."

The Roman emperor Julian received an embassy from a Pandion about 361.

The 1st century Greek historian Nicolaus of Damascus met, at Damascus, the ambassador sent by an Indian King "named Pandion or, " to Caesar Augustus around 13 CE.

PandionPandion Historians dispute term pandion and they say it is porus that is mentioned not pandyas

Pandu
There are numerous pandu kings in India , both Big and small. Each is an attempt to link up with Pandavas in mahabharata.


Pandyas of West Coast of karnataka
Pandya Bhutala pandya devipandyaAs per Bhutala Pandya Charitam – A Sanskrit book with 13 chapters - Bhutala Pandya’s rule begins at 77 A.D in Barkur as capital in south canara district of Karnataka. Their rule also included parts of Kerala. They are also mentioned in Puranas. Many claim the western sources and the indian sources mentioned refer to Pandyas in south canara. It is interesting to note that the kingdom of Bhutala Pandya was the first to have a delegation of Chinese traders in this part of the Vijayanagar Empire. Chinese porcelain relics can still be found in the temple built by Bhutala Pandya in Barkur (now in Udupi district). Many argue that the ambassador to Rome was from Bhutala pandya kingdom.

Siri Paddana
Antiquity of the Siri paDdana dates back to the period of Tamil Sangham literature. There are several Pali proper nouns in the Siri paDdana that show the backdrop of Buddhism during the composition of the oral epic. Buddhist elements have also been recognized in the environs of Tamil Sangham. The word Sangham (=association) itself is a word associated with. Analogy between the Siri paDdana and the story of Kanaki in Sangham literature suggests that both epics were two different regional versions been built on the same story element. As noted by Peter Claus “there are some tantalizing similarities between the Siri cult and that of Pattini, and also between the Siri legend and that of Kanagi (Pattini)”.The similarity of story element in the Sangham Kanaki and Tulu Siri, leads us to conclude that the composition of Siri paDdana was contemporary of Tamil Sangham literature. Many words in cilapathikaram are of tulu origin.

Barkur in Tulu nadu.
Greek and Roman sources say lot of about the ports of barkur, Kalian, Malpe,Olokhoira(which tamil scholars mention as korkai, tulu people call it as alavakhedu in South canara)

Medieval chera kingdom is Tulu
Medival chera kingdom we know is a Tulu origin. The Namboodaries are from Tulu nadu and they established the chera kingdom. Many of the sangam works are by Chera kings.

Chetty (chettiyar) Tale
The Nagarathar are migrated towards Pandya kingdom(707AD). The reason is that one of the Chola kings fell in love with one of the nagarathar girl, but the King refused to marry her. The nagrathars requested the King to marry her, but the king was very stubborn. Therefore the whole women community gave up their life and the men moved to the Pandya kingdom. The Pandian welcomed the Nagarathars and asked them where they wanted to live in his land. The nagarathars opted for the Chettinad Area. The Pandian wanted the community to grow and therefore he requested the nagarathars to marry again. Therefore they married the girls from the Saiva Vellalar community from Tirunelveli area. May be that is the reason they still have the practice of addressing the dad as Appachi, mom as Aatha, granny as Appatha / Aaya & granddad as Ayya.

Nagarathar, presently known as Nattukottai Nagarathars, are believed to have originated from Chandrapuri in the former Naganadu. There appears to be no authentic record in writing for said belief, excepting what has been handed down to our ancestors by word of mouth, especially 'Thalattu Padal' which itself has taken twist and turn over the years and has lost its originality. Our 'Isaikudimanam' (marriage deed) also bears testimony to our origin wherein it refers to 'Nagavalla…..' Location of former Naganadu is also debatable. Some of our Nagarathars say it is the border between Kerala and Tamilnadu. So many argue that it is the evidence of ancient trade with Rome Greece and South canara

PandavasThe most famous Panadavas has been mentioned in many literary souces , many are pronounced differently. Many say most of the ancient inscriptions refer to pandavas.

so we are not able to come to any conclusion on Ancient pandyas. Many of Sangam literatures who mention Pandyas are after written after 7th century AD. Many of the inscriptions referring to pandyas may not refer to pandavas. Many similar sounding names and trying to attach themselves to Pandavas has made the task of seprating myth and reality very difficult.

Myth of Mother Sanskrit Theory

Is sanskrit mother of all Languages. Various theories are being floated. Let us see them.

Mother Sanskrit theory is a Myth
  1. Vedas - The word `Sanskrit' does not occur anywhere in the Vedas. Not a single verse mentions this word as denoting a language.
  2. The Vedic language was referred to as Chandasa even by Panini himself [ Chatt., p. 63 ], and not as `Sanskrit'.
  3. The Buddha was advised to translate his teachings into the learned man's tongue - the `Chandasa' standard [ Chatt., p. 64 ], there is no mention of any `Sanskrit'. The Buddha refused, preferring the Prakrits. There is not even a single reference in any contemporary Buddhist texts to the word `Sanskrit'. This shows that Sanskrit did not even exist at the time of the Buddha.
  4. The word `Sanskrit' occurs for the first time as referring to a language in the Ramayana : "In the latter [Ramayana] the term `samskrta' "formal, polished", is encountered, probably for the first time with reference to the language"
  5. The first inscriptions in Indian history are in Prakrit and not in Sanskrit. These are by the Mauryan King Ashoka (c. 273 BC - 232 BC ), and number over 30. The script utilised is not `sacred' Devanagari, and the language is not `Mother' Sanskrit. They are mostly in the Brahmi script, while 2 inscriptions are in Kharoshtri. They are in various Prakrits and some in Afghanistan are in Greek and Aramaic [ Bas,. p. 390-1 ]. In fact all inscriptions in India were in Prakrit till the early centuries AD : "[T]he earlier inscriptions up to the 1st century AD, were all in Prakrit"
  6. The Satavahanas, the first historical dynasty of the Deccan, also used a Prakrit language. There is no usage of Sanskrit.
  7. The Nanaghat cave inscriptions in Poona distt. are in Prakrit and are the work of the Satavahana Satakarni I. They have been dated to the first half of the 1st century BC. The contemporary relgiion of this region was Vedic. Indra and Vasudev are mentioned as the Vedic gods then worshipped [ Bas, p. 395 ]. The later cave inscriptions of Nasik in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD are in the local Prakrit [ Bas, p. 395 ]. Thus, although the Vedic religion was followed in the Satavahana regions, Sanksrit was not in use.
  8. Kharavela's Kalingan inscription of the 1st century BC were in a Prakrit of the east indian type.
  9. First Sanskrit Inscription : 150 AD - The earliest inscription in Sanskrit is by the Saka
  10. Brajbuli dates to 1000 BC - A central assumption of the MST is that all Prakrit vernaculars must be of a very late date. With the first mention of `Sanskrit' in a Ramayana dating to the ealy centuries AD, any Prakrit existing prior to this necessarily contradicts the Mother Sanskrit Theory. Brajabuli, the precursor to the modern Braj Bhasa, is said to have been used by Krishna and the gopis of Vraja (Vrindavan, whence Braj) and it was thus popular amongst Vaishnava poets [ Assam, p. 422. n3 ]. Krishna is dated to ca. 1000 BC, and this internal evidence would imply that Braj Bhasa dated to 1000 BC. Recently, Krishna's city, Dvaraka, has been excavated, showing that he probably was a historical person. The stories are hence based on fact, and this evidence cannot be dismissed as a `myth'.
  11. Prakrit' = Vernacular - The term `Prakrta' or Prakrit means `common', `natural', while the term `Samskrta' or Sanskrit natural means `polsihed, refined' [ Up. 164 ]. Thus Prakrit refers to any of the natural languages, while Sanskrit refers to the `purified' language. This etymology itself indicates that Sanskrit is derived from Prakrit rather than the other way around. This necessarily implies that Sanskrit is, like Old Church Slavonic, a polished version of various vernaculars.
  12. Apabrahmsa is a Prakrit - Apabrahmsa, which in the MST is seen as a derivative of Prakrit, is in fact itself a Prakrit known as Abhiri. It was actually comtemporary with all the other Prakrits, and the view that it succeeded Prakrit is wrong. Several dramas have characters speaking Apabrahmsa and Prakrits side by side. This shows that Apabrahmsa is not the second stage in the development from Sanskrit, but was merely another Prakrit dilect.
  13. As per the MST, the Prakrits are all dead languages, having `degraded' into the modern Indo-Aryan tongues. However, Prakrits never disappeared. All the modern Indo-Aryan (IA) languages are Prakrits (Bengali, Marathi etc.). The ancient Prakrits are the direct precursors of the modern languages, thus Vangi - Bengali, Odri - Oriya, and Maharastri - Marathi. All these so-called `Prakrits' such as Vangi, Odri and Maharastri, can all be understood by the speakers of their respective IA languages with the same ease with which a modern speaker of English can understand Anglo-Saxon. This fact alone is sufficient to refute the MST. Far from being dead, Prakrit is still spoken in all parts of India just as it has been for thousands of years. The word Prakrit itself merely means `natural' and refers to all the Indo-Iranian languages as spoken by the common man in India. Thus, even the literal meaning of the word `Prakrit' implies that it is far from dead.
  14. Prakrit Older than Sanskrit - The MST claims that Sanskrit is older than Prakrit. However, it is Prakrit which is older than Sanskrit, since several features of Prakrit can be traced to the Rig Veda, which are not found in Sanskrit.
  15. Pali poses another problem for the MST. As per the MST, it is an independant derivation from Sanskrit, and is not a Prakrit. However, Pali is in fact a dialect of Magadhi Prakrit and not a separate language as evidenced by the mutual comprehensibility between these two tongues.
Sanskrit is the mother of all languages
  1. The sound of each of the 36 consonants and the 16 vowels of Sanskrit are fixed and precise since the very beginning. They were never changed, altered, improved or modified. All the words of the Sanskrit language always had the same pronunciation as they have today. There was no ‘sound shift,’ no change in the vowel system, and no addition was ever made in the grammar of the Sanskrit in relation to the formation of the words. The reason is its absolute perfection by its own nature and formation, because it was the first language of the world.
  2. The morphology of word formation is unique and of its own kind where a word is formed from a tiny seed root (called dhatu) in a precise grammatical order which has been the same since the very beginning. Any number of desired words could be created through its root words and the prefix and suffix system as detailed in the Ashtadhyayi of Panini. Furthermore, 90 forms of each verb and 21 forms of each noun or pronoun could be formed that could be used in any situation.
  3. There has never been any kind, class or nature of change in the science of Sanskrit grammar as seen in other languages of the world as they passed through one stage to another.
  4. The perfect form of the Vedic Sanskrit language had already existed thousands of years earlier even before the infancy of the earliest prime languages of the world like Greek, Hebrew and Latin etc.
  5. When a language is spoken by unqualified people the pronunciation of the word changes to some extent; and when these words travel by word of mouth to another region of the land, with the gap of some generations, it permanently changes its form and shape to some extent. Just like the Sanskrit word matri, with a long ‘a’ and soft ‘t,’ became mater in Greek and mother in English. The last two words are called the ‘apbhransh’ of the original Sanskrit word ‘matri.’ Such apbhranshas of Sanskrit words are found in all the languages of the world and this situation itself proves that Sanskrit was the mother language of the world.
I feel the debate will continue for a long time, as there is a absence of written records. But here distinction should be made between vedic and sanskrit. Sanskrit starts with Panini which he calls Chandas.

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Myth of Murugan the Tamil God

I have dealt with theories in murugan origin in a seprate article. Now let us see one of the common held misconception that of
  1. Muruga is tamil god and of tamil only.
  2. Muruga patronized tamil language and literature.
We have seen that murugan is not tamil origin and various theories surrounding murugan origin. So that question is settled now that murugu is all India god as any.
Next let us see how muruga started patronizing tamil. Let us see the history.
There is no reference to Murugan in tamil literature until Kanda puranam got written in tamil from skanda purana in 14th century AD. All the legends come later. Eventhough there is talk of murugan in Sangam age , there is no evidence of that.

Kartikeya - Differences in puranic and Tamil traditions

There seems to be some intriguing differences in the traditions associated with Kartikeya in the Puranic and Tamil. The Sanskrit epics and Puranas seem to indicate that he was the eldest son of Shiva, as the tale of Shiva's marriage to Parvati indicates. In the Shiva-Purana, he is seen helping Shiva fight the newly born Ganesha, Shiva's other son, when Ganesha stopped Shiva from entering his home in Kailasa. Tamil tradition states he was the younger of the two. In the north, he is generally seen as a bachelor hence the name kumara whereas the southern tradition has him married to two wives.

History shows that the legend comes from sanskrit and puranic traditions , with imperfect translations and introducing legends of their own while doing so. The translation Kanda puranam and Thiruvilayadal and susequently Thirupugazh has fundamentally altered the Kanda- Karthikeya story to Tamil Murugan. Until 14th century the karthikeya was obscure in tamil divinity and was worshipped in a similar way to being worshipped in other parts of India and srilanka. So around 15th century and subsequently dravidian- aryan ideology has made Murugan the cult figure in tamil.



To quote Paripadal


"Oh God of Kadamba wreath! "
This line shows that muruga came to tamilnadu with kadamba rulers. Lord Subramanyawhich is present in kadamba territory is transported to Tamil Nadu as Murugan.

skanda, muruga, karthikeya, Shanmuga origin legend

In the words of zevelibil the following are the most common myths attached with Muruga, which he claims is no way exhaustive list.

· In the field of physical geography, the myths of Murugan account for the vision of Tamilnadu as his sacred realm. Mythical, puranic space-time is as if spread over the concrete land of the Tamils in the past, present and future.

· In the field of social structure. Murugan's marriage to Devasenā and Valli reflects and legitimizes the cakkalatti 'co-wife' institution.

· On the level of historical development of religion in South India, Murugan's marriage to Devasena and Valli may have been an attempt to consolidate the unity of the Hindus irrespective of whether they were Saivites or Vaisnavites.

· On the level of culture, the myth of Murugan supports the claim that Tamil is of divine origin, and accounts for divine patronage of Tamil literature.

· On the cosmological level and in the mythological order, the myth reflects the struggle between the cosmic forces of order and chaos, creation and annihilation, good and evil - a permanent topic of Hindu mythology.

· On the metaphysical level. Murugan the teacher of Brahma and Siva is revealed as the expert in esoteric knowledge of the most sacred domain.

Let us see the Myths related to origin
Kalidasa version
According to one legend, he was the son of Uma and Maheswar. He was burn only to put an end to the astocities of Taraka, a cruel demon, who perpetrated countless wicked acts ondevas for years. When the entire amarakula was totally debilitated, they sought help of Lord Srimannarayanan, who counselled that the son born to Lord Siva alone would kill that remorseless Danava. But Siva was doing penance after the self - immolation of Sati, reborn as Parvathi and was in full bloom at this time. and she was offering worship to Lord Siva at the behest of her father Himavan.
They utilised the services of manmatha to awaken his love instincts. Poor Manmatha was burnt to ashes, when the Lordopened his third eye as punishment for disturbing his tapes, yet in the end Siva was wedded to Parvathi and the son begotten to them became the Chief-marshal of Amarasena, who vanquished Taraka; and devas breathed freely. Devendra gave his doughter Devasena to the valorous Subrafmanya in wedding then. This legend was immortalised by Kalidas in his Kumarasambhava.

Valmiki VersionThe Balakanda of Ramayana has a different version, though Karthikeya in his role of Army-General killed Taraka. According to it. Gods wanted Siva to preserve his energy for denavasamhara. though Siva applauded the request, he admitted that he had already discharged his seed.
Gods then requested the Earth. Agni and Vayu to receive the seed and enter it. Agni at once entered the seed which turned into a white mountain from which Karthikeya was born. He was the aspect of Siva and so inherited invincibility that destroyed the Asurakula.

Vyasa version
The Vanaparva of Mahabharatha has yet another legend. It narrated that once Devasena was put to route by Kesin, a dreadful demon of unusual powers. And he carried the Devasena pesonified as Lady. Devasena had a asister called Daitysena.
They were Prajapati's daughters. When Brahma was invoked for help by Devendra, he said that Subrahmanya alone could kill that Danava and promised a valorous life partner for Devasena, who would become War Lord of the Devaloka. The later stroy - Subrahmanya was born to Uma and Maheswar and killing etc, is same as above, and neet not be repeated

Krithika episode
Yet one more: Another fantastic legend narrated that once Agni appeared before Siva and Parvathi, when they were absorbed in the act of copulation. the sudden appearance of Agni made Siva discharge his seed abruptly. Angry Parvathi asled Agni to bear that seed. He humbly accepted, infear of severe consequences, but he could not bear it longer. He threw it into the river Ganges and the later transferred it to the six enchanting young girls called Kritikas, who were bathing in it. they gave birth to children, each one. All the six were combined into one with six heads and twelve arms but with one neck and one belly. Later his peerless career crowned him with the generalship of his celestial army along with Devendra's daughter as wife.

saravanabhavaAnother legend narrates that was also called Saravanabhava due to the fact of the seed of Siva thrown into the forest of Sara of seeds, where he was born according to another story.

Agni episode
It happened once the Saptarishis performed a great yagna. Agni then had the accasion of seeing the Munipatnis closely. And for long since he was carrying the ablations to the gods. their sublime charm enkindled love in him. He could not fulfil his lust due to chastity strictly practiced by them. So he was found despaired now and then. Just during this period Swaha, the lovely daughter of Daksha, who was in deep love for Agni contrived a plan to marry him by fulfilling his desire.
Accordingly, she assumed the forms of the wives of the Rishis and consorted with Agni, who ignorant of the trick felt elated. Except Arunadathi, she took the forms of the six rishipatnis and pleased him, and was pleased too. Every time she consorted with him, she used to keep the seed in a golden receptacle on a white mountain. This happened six times. The child thus born to them was called Skanda, since he came into the world with the seed of Agni and women. He had six heads and twelve arms, but one neck and a belly. Agni and Swaha later brought up their child.


Kartikeya - In the Tamil landIn the Tamil, it is a different story. Kartikeya, known as Murukan, has enjoyed continuos popularity with all classes of society right from the Sangam age. This lead to the more elaborate accounts of his mythology in Tamil.
The most popular and eruduite, the Kanda-Puranam (Sanskrit Skanda-Puranam), is by Kacchiappa SivachariyAr(1350-1420 A.D.). A scholar in Tamil and Sanskrit he was votary of Shaiva Siddhanta. Based mainly on the Sanskrit Skanda-purana, this Tamil epic, makes Kartikeya the destroyer of Taraka but also of his elder and more powerful demonic brothers, Shoorapadman and Simha-mukhan. Shiva let out a stream of fire from his third eye on his forehead, that split into six streams. Each landed on a lotus in a lake called Saravana Poigai. Six women, called Karthigai Pengal (literally Woman of the Pleiades) saw the babies and each took one with her to look after. On the day of Karthigai, Parvati united the six children into a six-headed child, unable to cuddle all of them together. This is also the origin of a common Tamil name of the deity, Arumugan or Shanmugan, which literally means "one who has six faces". Apart from the festival of Karthigai, the Thaipusam festival, celebrated by Tamil communities worldwide, commemorates the day he was given a vel (lance) by his mother Parvati in order to vanquish the demons.
He married two deities, Valli and Devayani. The latter is identical to Devasena and the former is a daughter of a tribal chief. However, other Hindu legends he is unmarried, and call him Kumaraswami (Kumara meaning a bachelor and Swami meaning God)
Kartikeya rides a peacock and wields a bow in battle. The spear (called "vel" in Tamil) is a weapon closely associated with him. The flag of his army depicts a rooster. In the war, Shoorapadman was split into two, and was granted a boon by Kartikeyan, to become the peacock, and the rooster.
As Karttikeya is worshipped predominantly in south India, many of his names are of Tamil origin. These include Senthil (the "Red" or formidable one); "Arumuga" (the six-faceted one); "Muruka"; "Guha"; "Maal-Marigan" (nephew of Vishnu) and many others.

Who are ancient Kambojas and their Land

There have been many controversies about the precise location of ancient Kamboja Mahajanapada or Kamboja country as mentioned in our ancient Sanskrit and Pali texts or which finds mention in the classical writings of the Greek, Roman, Chinese or Moslem writers. The footprints of Kambojas have been found in Iran, Bukhara, Balakh, Fargana, Sogdiana, Pamirs, Badakhshan, Hindukush, Kashmir, Kabol Valley (Paropamisadean region/Kaffirstan), Kandhar, Gazni, Sindh, Balochistan, Gujrat/Kathiawad, Mathura, Ayudhya, Tibet, Nepal, Assam, Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pardesh, in South India, Sri Lanka, Indochina (Cambodia) etc. So the various scholars, Indian and foreign, have tried to locate their KAMBOJA country, in South India, Gujrat-Kathiwad, Sindh-Sauvir, Balauchistan, Nepal, Tibet, Assam, Kandhar/Gazni, Kaffirstan, Pamir/Badakshan as also in Central Asia, comprising southern parts of Russian and Chinese Turkestan, according as, where they had found the foot prints of the Kamboja people, during the phase of history under their study. But unfortunately, still, the scholars are not unanimous in their location of Ancient Kamboja Mahajanapada which stands mentioned numerously in our Sanskrrit and Pali Texts.

Says Dr Moti Chander : " The Kambojas were important people, but strange as it may look the Indologists are not at all unanimous in their location of this ancient country" (Geographical and Economic Studies in the Mahabharata Upayana Parva, JUPHS, Vol. XVI, Pt. II., p 42). Let us start to unfold the story of location and identification of Kamboja from the beginning.

ANCIENT KAMBOJA OF SANSKRIT/PALI LITERATURE:

Vayu Purana (V) [I 45.118], Brahmanda Purana (V) [ I, 2.16.49), Markandeya Purana [57.36] and Vamana Purana [13.40] etc describes the Kamboja tribes in the Udychya or Uttarapatha.

Markendya (58) [Markendya 58.30.32], Vishnu Dharmottara [I.9.6] mention them as tribes of south-west. Brahta Samhita also mentions them in the South-west near Gujarat/Sorasher (Brahta Samhita XIV, 17-19). Markendya (55/30-33) groups them with the Pahlavas, Sindhus and Sauviras and Vishnu Dharmottara groups them with Strirajya (Bahlika) and the Yavanas, it goes without saving that these texts refer to the countries of northg-west of India.

Later some time, when many clans of these tribes were located near Saurashtra/Gujarat (after 2nd c/1 ist c BC), they find mention in Garuda Purana (55.13) in Dakshinapatha.

Brahata Samhita (14/17-19) mentions them near Gujarat in south-west division in association with Sindhu SauvirSorashter Dravid etc.

In his Arathshastra, Brahaspati, has shown Kamboja as a great country, associated with the Dasrana country in south-west [IHQ., Vol XXVI-2, 1950, p 127].

Very interestingly, Agni Purana mentions two Kambojas...Kamboja and Kambhoja located somewhere in South and South west division (Dr J. L. Kamboj).

Rajvilas, a mediaeval age Text also associates Kamboja with SorashterGujarat and Kachch countries. [Rajbilas 1/112].

Balmiki Ramayana locates Kamboja in general in the Uttarapatha of Indian peninsula but does not give us its precise location. Per BALMIKI RAMAYANA, Sugariva figures as directing the monkeys to go to Uttarapatha, the lands of the Kambojas, Yavanas, Sakas and the Vardas (Pardasa?) (Ramayana Kishakanda Saraga, 43.12). Thus Ramayana places Saka, Kamboja Yavana etc tribes as neighbors in the extrem north beyond Surasena, Prasthala, Bharatas, Kurus and Madrakas.

Further, in Vashista-Vishwamitra war over Kamdhenu, which was probably fought over in Afghanistan, the Kambojas, Sakas, Yavanas etc tribes are again shown to have participated as allies or supporters of Vashista against Vishwamitra. As Sakas, Yavanas etc are the well known tribes of the Uttarapatha, their Associates, the Kambojas are also qualify to have been their Uttarapathian neighbors. All these tribes are shown as having been jointly `created by the divine powers of Kamdhenu' on special plea by Vashist. See below:

tasyA humbhAravAjjAtAH kAmbojA ravisaMnibhAH . Udhasastvatha sa~njAtAH pahlavAH shastrapANayaH .. 2..\ yonideshAchcha yavanaH shakR^iddeshAchchhakAstathA . romakUpeShu mechchhAshcha harItAH sakirAtakAH .. 3..\ (Ramayana 1/52-55).

Mahabharata also associates Kambojas with Sakas, Yavanas tribes at several places and also counts them amongst the Uttarapathian tribes:

Saka-Yavana-KAMBOJAstasta: Kasatrya Jatyah: Vrishaltam parigta brahmanahnamdrashnaat (MBH 13/33/22)

But in the following Shloka of Mahabharata, the Kambojas are shown as belonging to western region of India.

ShakAnAM pahlavAnA.n cha daradAnAM cha ye nRipAH. KAmbojA RiShikA ye cha pashchimAnUpakAshcha ye// (Udyogaparvam-4/15)

So much so, in Mahabharata war, the Saka, Kamboja and Yavana tribes had fought to gather under the joint command of Kamboja king Sudakshina Kamboj. See evidence below:

Viduymano vatain bahurup ivambuda:/ Sudakshinashach Kambojo Yavanaishach shakaistha// (MBH 5/19/23) This undoubtedly verifies the Kambojas to have been the neighbor and friends of Sakas/Yavanas and hence living somewhere in the Uttarapatha division of Ancient India. MUDRARAKHASA DRAMA (II.2).

Kambojas, Sakas etc have also been portrayed as the tribes of Uttarapatha in Mudrarakasha drama of Buddist texts and they are shown to have jointly formed core of the Chander Gupta Maurya's composite army of Uttarapathian warriors which had decisively defeated the Magadha dynasty of Nandas/Nandins. e.g.

Asti tava Shaka-Yavana-Kirata-Kamboja-Parsika-Bahlika parbhutibhi: Chankyamatipragrahittaishach Chander Gupt Parvateshvar Balairudadhibhiriv parchalitsalilaih: Samantad uprudham Kusumpuram (Mudrarakshasa II.2)

All these examples points out at fact that the Kambojas who were the allies and neighbors of the well-known Uttarapathian tribes like Sakas, Parthas, Yavanas etc were most probably also located in the Uttarapatha somewhere.

Ashoka's Rock edicts (R.E. V (Yona-Kamboj-Gamdharnam...), R.E. XIII (Yona-Kambojesu), & Shar-I-Kunha Inscriptions of Kandhar (Aramic/Greek version representing Yonas and Kambojas respectively) document some Kamboja population in Kandhar, and Kandhar/Kabul/Lamghan/Swat valley (testified by linguist traces) but it does not talk about the Kambojas of Central Asia..Obviously the people in mind in Asoka's rock edicts were the Paropamisadean Republican Kambojas who had crossed the Hindu Kush range and had occupied the Paropamisadean region (south of Hindukush) a little before times of Ashoka. The republican Asvakyan (Ashvak/Ashmak) and Asvayana (Asapas) Kambojas of the Puranic literature and Panini's Ashta-dhyai belong to this class.

In Dhammapada's commentary on Petuvathu, Dvarka is associated with Kamboja as its Capital or its important city. (ref: The Buddhist Concepts of Spirits, p 81, Dr B. C. Law). See evidence below:

"Yasa asthaya gachham Kambojam dhanharika/ ayam kamdado yakkho iyam yakham nayamasai// iyam yakkham gahetvan sadhuken pasham ya/ yanam aaropyatvaan khippam gaccham Davarkaan ti// [Buddhist Text Khudak Nikaya (P.T.S)]

ANCIENT KAMBOJA LOCATION ACCORDING TO DIFFERENT INVESITIGATORS:

Based on this evidence of Buddhist Jatakja, Dr. T. W. Rhys David locates Kamboja somewhere in Northern India (Uttarapatha) and fixes its Capital as Davarka. (Buddhist India, p 17).

ANCIENT KAMBOJA IN SAURASHTRA/GUJARAT(?)

Dr S. K. Aiyanger agrees with Dr. Rhys David that Davarka was the Capital of Kamboja and locates this Kamboja country in modern Sindh and Gujrat region with ancient Dvarvati or Dvarka located in Gujrat as its Capital But the Davarka of Dr T. W. Rhys David was located in Central Asia across the Oxus river (Ancient India, p 7).

Dr. P. N. Banerjee also locates his Kamboja Mahajanapada in modern Sindh and Gujrat and states Davarka as its Capital ( Public Administration in Ancient India, p 56).

Nagendra Nath also supposes that the ancient Kamboja was the same as Kambhey of Gujarat (Vager Jatya Itihaas (Bangla), Rajanya Kanda.

ANCIENT KAMBOJA IN TIBET (?):

According Nepali Pt B. H. Hodgson, the name Kamboja desha applies to Tibet. This fact has also been supported by two MSS (No 7763, and 7777) described in the Catalogues of Sanskrit and Prakrit MSS in the library of India Office, Vol II., part II; History of Bengal, I 191, by Dr R. C. Majumdar, Distt Gazetteer (rajashahi), 1915, p 26, Some Historical Aspects of the Inscriptions of Bengal, p 342, f.n. 1 by Dr B. C. Sen).

According to French Indianist Alfred Foucher, "......the Kohistan, a mountainous area near Kabul might be the land of the Kambojas, of which we know very little, except that they were more Iranian than Indian and raised fine horses" .(La Vieille route de I'nde, p271, Dr Alfred Foucher)

But at another place , Dr Alfred Foucher states that according to Nepali traditions, the name Kamboja desha applies to Tibet. (Iconographie Buddhique, p 134).

Dr Charles Eliot also locates the Kamboja Mahajanapada of the Sanskrit and Palli texts in Tibet country. (Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I, , p 268). In another volume of the same work, Charles Eliot calls them, an ambiguous race, who were perhaps the inhabitants of Tibet or its borderlands" (Hinduism and Buddhism,Vol III, p 6, fn 5).

Dr G. G. Gokhale locates ancient Kamboja in Tibet. (Ancient History of India 1952, by Dr G. G. Gokhale).


Also compare:

Dr V. A. Smith seems to locate Kamboja in Tibet or within the Hindukush mountains ranges. (Early History of India, Ed IV, p 193). Dr Smith further states that the ancient Kambojas are supposed to have spoken an Iranian tongue. (op. Cit, p 184, fn).

OR WAS ANCIENT KAMBOJA OF SANSKRIT/PALI TEXTS LOCATED IN INDO-CHINA (???). A CONFUSION AMONG SOME INVESTIGATORS: Cf: "Dr R. D. Banerjee refers to a KAMBOJA or KAMBODIA on the east side of Samatata , East Bengal.Vanglar Itihasa, Vol I, p 95). But can hardly be our Kamboja Mahajanapada which is invariably associated with Gandhara in the Uttarapatha of India" (Some Kasatrya Tribes of Ancient India,p 235 , Dr. B. C. Law)

Cf: A Tribute to Hinduism - Suvarnabhumi; "... the ruins of a metropolis hidden in the jungles of Cambodia (formerly known as KAMBOJA). One of the largest cities of the ancient world, Angkor was built by ... " http://www.atributetohinduism.com/Suvarnabhumi.htm [More Results From: www.atributetohinduism.com]

Cf: "As the Hindu culture spread to far east, temples were built in His Honor in many places like Java, Champa ( Indo-China), KAMHOJA ( present day Cambodia) and in the adjoining areas of the now south east Asian countries." http://hinduwebsite.com/siva/sivaintrod.htm

Cf: "Myawaddy (from Amaravati), dvaravati (to be found in Thailand as well as here at one time), Ayuthia (from Ayoddhya or Ayujjha), Cambodia (from KAMBOJA) are some that come readily to mind. The name "Erawati is evidently one of them. Harvey himself provides the clue when he mentions that" `The name of the Irrawady . http://www.nagani.com/travel/ayeyarwaddy/ cf: "...The period in which Cambodia has permanent significance in the history of the world runs from the Tenth Century to the Fifteenth and is the era in which the Khmers, the native population, came under the cultural dominion of India, adopted the religions of both Hinduism and Buddhism, and accepted Sanskrit as the language of the educated ruling class, itself of Hindu or mixed Hindu and Khmer stock. The very name of Cambodia is Sanskrit (KAMBOJA). This era ends with the sack of Angkor Thom by the Siamese and the consequent decadence of the nation...". [by Professor Revilo P. Oliver (Liberty Bell, October 1988] http://www.atributetohinduism.com/Suvarnabhumi.htm

cf: ".....The surviving archeological evidences of this period are seen in the imposing ruins of Angkor Vat in Cambodia (KAMBHOJA of the ancient Sanskrit texts)..............................Even present-day names like Singapore (derived from the Sanskrit Simha Pura meaning Lion City) and Java (derived from the Sanskrit Yava Dwipa meaning (island of grain), remind us of Hindu influences over this part of the globe....". http://sudheerb.tripod.com/landrajnamavali.html

cf: "Indians were avid travellers and settled in distant lands. The Cholas encouraged and organized expeditions through which the religion and culture of the land was carried beyond India's borders. The ancient name for Java is Yava Dvipa, the Island of Millet - the Indian word for millet is Java. Cambodia was once called KAMBHOJA, named after the Indian city in ancient Gandhara in today's Kabul region. The epic, Ramayana, is a part of mythology of Thailand and Indonesia, Balinese and Thai dance forms are of Indian origin///". http://www.anand.to/india/history.html Also look at the following: "... asia were ruled by kings of Indian descent, and had Indian names. If Kamboja was the ancient name for Kampuchea / Cambodia, what was knon in ancient times as ... " http://www.kcircle.com/q101110.html

COMMENT: Thus all the above investigators locate KAMBHOJA/KAMBOJA of ancient Sankrit Texts in Mekong Basin (=modern day Kambodia). But this is not the our Kamboja mahajanapada mentioned in our ancient Sanskrit/Biddhist texts.

A WAY OUT? "Kamboja, a country referred to by Emperor Asoka in his inscriptions, is generally believed to be to the west of India. It could, however, also be identical with the Cambodia of today, and it is conceivable that two Kambojas existed" [Dr Roger Bischoff] http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/bischof1.htm#13 http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/bischof2.htm

Thus this investigator (Roger Bischoff) supposes two KAMBOJAS...One Kamboja on north of India mentioned in Ashoka's Rock Edicts while the second KAMBOJA was in the present day Kambodia/Cambodia in Mekong Basin in Indo-China. And Roger Bischoff is indeed right in his supposition.

ANCIENT KAMBOJA IN UTTARAPATHA DIVISION:

Dr James Philip states that researcher Wilford always locates Kamboja in the mountains of Gazni in all his essays, but what is the basis of his fixation of Kamboja in Gazni is never clarified or explained (JASB., Vol VII, 1838, p 237).

".......The earlier settlements of the Kurus were situated, as Zimmer has shown, near Kamboja in the territory of Kashmir. (H. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 102)..................." http://sarasvati.simplenet.com/angirasa.htm This above Kamboja may refer either to the country adjoining the Dardas (Kamboja Country) or the Trans-Himalaya Kamboja neighbor of Uttara-Kurus/Uttara Madras of the Aitraya Brahmana (ParamaKamboja). ".............. Ancient Buddhist literature mentions 16 great republics (Mahajanpadas) of northern India, and Afghanistan (Gandhara) and Central Asia (Kamboja) are included in them......." http://www.tribuneindia.com/20010308/mailbag.htm This author puts the Kambojas in Central Asia.

".....While Magadha was establishing their way over northern India, the regions of west, Punjab, Sind and Afganistan were divided into many states. Kamboja and Gandhara are two of the sixteen Mahajanapadas mentioned in the Buddhist scriptures". http://www.webindia123.com/history/ANCIENT/period%20of%20conquest%20and%20religious%20upheavel/period%20.htm This puts Kambojas somewhere in Pakistan Punjab.

"Much of the early history of the South Asian region that has been recorded comes from the painstaking effort to put together historical documents (such as traveler accounts), archeological evidence and the interpretation of literature and moral texts of the times. These accounts lead a student to scattered stories of the populations that lived in the region between Kamboja and Gandhara in the North (modern day Northern Pakistan and Southern Afghanistan), their encounters with the Greeks and the multiple "States" that were spread out all across the lower reaches of the Himalayas and the Gangetic plain , extending down to the Narmada and Godavari rivers further south. It is from within such a milieu of multiple "States" that the Mauryan empire emerged in the fourth century B.C." (B. Mathew) http://www.foil.org/history/sacaste.html

According to Encylopedia Brittanica, the ancienr Kamboja adjoined Gandhara and was located in north Afganistan and Central asia. (look at map of Ancient India, Encylopedia Brittanica).

"The Kambojas were a native population in the WEST OF THE MAURYAN EMPIRE, speaking a language probably of `Iranian origin". (Observations made at the International seminar on early Buddhist art of Central Asia, Gandhara, India and Sri Lanka, Colombo, 1998).) This author places his Kamboja in the west but is not specific where in the west of the Mauryan Empire.

According to A. K. Warder, Kamboja was located in the extreme north west, the capital then was Dvaraka ( Indian Buddhism-A.Kwarder)

" Not only in Madagascar but also in various places of North India, from Kamboja in Afghanistan to Anga (along the vast Gangetic Plains which were then mostly covered with shal forest) by 6th to 10th centuries BC, the practice of human sacrifice was a common phenomenon................. (human sacrifice)"....

Leaving other things apart, this writer also places ancient Kamboja in Afghanistan.

"Kamboja is a country referred to by Emperor Asoka in his inscriptions. It is generally believed to be in the West of India. It could, however also be the Cambodia of today. It is also conceivable that two Kambojas existed" (BUDDHISM IN MYANMAR, A Short History by Dr Roger Bischoff).

Thus Dr Roger locates one of his KAMBOJAS IN WEST OF INDIA, but where is in the west??

"...........Kamboja and Gandhara were the outermost regions in the north-west India and they had by the fifth century BC already developed significant relations with the Persian Empire. Evidence exists of tributes being paid to Cyrus of Persia and armies recruited from the two regions battling against the Greeks......." . (B. Mathew) Here again the Kamboja is placed in the north-west in general.

Rodney Lingham in his article `THE TRUE ORIGIN OF ZOROASTRIANISM' writes about the kambojas: "The Kambojas were a people who lived in the upper reaches of the Indus valley in the present eastern Afghanistan, western Pakistan, or Rajauri Kashmir. The King `Vistashpa' may be the Iranian rendering of King "Vishwamitra", the Asuric-like Sage-King of ancient India. He was the King of the ancient Vedic-Land of `Kanyakubja', descending from the Lunar-Dynasty of Illa and Pauravas. This relates to the Kambojas, the people of Western India, Kashmir or Afghanistan". (THE TRUE ORIGIN OF ZOROASTRIANISM ;Rodney Lingham). Thus Rodney Lingham places the ancient Kamboja in Kashmir. http://www.hinduweb.org/home/general_sites/essays/compculture.html ... be only a memory in India, just as the Hindu Communities of Gandhara and Kamboja are in present day Afghanistan. What is the reaction/observation of the ... http://www.hinduweb.org/home/general_sites/essays/compculture.html Here the Kamnboja is located in Afghanistan. Kambojas are from West Punjab, Yavanas from Afghanistan and beyond (not necessarily the Greeks) while Dravidas refers probably to people from the southwest of India and the South. http://www.vamndemataram.com/html/aryan/arti2.htm

Thus the Kamboja is placed in undivided Punjab here.

Dr Nando Lal Dev states that according to Dr Loh, the Shiaposh tribes of Hindukush are the descendents of the Kambojas and according to him Afghanistan or at least its north-east part constituted ancient Kamboja Mahajanapada. ((Geographical Dictionary of Ancient and Medieval India, p 87).

Dr Stein locates Kamboja in the eastern parts of Afghanistan (Note on Rajatarangini, Vol, IV, 165, p 136).

According to Dr McCrindle, ancient Kamboja was Afghanistan, the Kaofu or Kambu of Hiun Tsang (Alexander's Invasion of India, p 38). According to him, the name Afghanistan evidently evolved from Ashvaka or Ashvakayan or Assakenoi of the classical writers.( Megasthenes and Arrian, p 180; Alexander's Invasion of India, p 38). Thus, according to McCrindle, also the Ashvaks of the Paropamisadean region were the Kamboja people.

According to Dr H. M. Eliot, "The Sanskrit name for Kabol is Kamboj and this so similar to Kamboh (Kamboj) that on the authority of their own traditions, these people may safely be regarded to have been the ancient inhabitants of Kabol" (Supplementary Glossary, p 304).

Dr R. K. Mukkerjee places Kamboja in Afghanistan. He observes: "The horses ...had been recruitedc from various places which are thus named by Kautalya (II.30); Kamhoja (Afghanistan, the Kaofu /Kambu of Hiuen Tsong), Sindhus (Sindh), Aratta (Punjab), Vanayu (Arabia) Bahlika (Balkh)..............." (Chander Gupta Maurya and His times, Madras, 1943, p 280 Dr Mukerjee).

Dr V. A. Smith seems to locate Kamboja in Tibet or within the Hindukush mountains ranges. (Early History of India, Ed IV, p 193). Dr Smith further states that the ancient Kambojas are supposed to have spoken an Iranian tongue. (op. Cit, p 184, fn).

According to Dr Dr S. M. Ali, ancient Kambojas lived around Kunar river in N.W.F. India. According to him, the Puranas no where locate the Kambojas in the Sindh valley or its any parts... somewhere. The Puranas only talk about the Kamboja ganhas or sanghas (Kamboja Republics) of the Kambojas (Kambojana-cha-ye-ganahas). And this seems true because, their country Kamboj desh or Kamdesh or Kaffirstan was located on the northern of Kunar. Later, these people might have advanced further towards Kunar valley whereby we find their mention in the Puranas (The Geography of Ancient Puranas, p 143).

Accordingly, the book Multan-History and Architecture, by Ahmed Nabi, tells how the Sub-Continent was made up of as many as 16 political units or states in the 6th century BC. Out of these, Kamboja and Gandhara were two units, which covered the area now known as Pakistan. Kashmir and Takshasila formed part of the Gandhara kingdom. (The rest of the northern region including ancient Multan) is believed to have been part of Kamboja until it merged with the Achaemenian Empire. (ref: Multan-History and Architecture, by Ahmed Nabi; Humsafar PIA's inflight Megazine).

D. D. Kosambi identifies the ancient Kambojas as a farmer warrior tribe and locates them in north-west frontier country.

Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru locates the ancient Kamboja as a city located in Gandhara or in Kabol valley in Afganistan (Discovery of India, 1967, p 210 , J. L. Nehru).

"...Cambodia was once called Kambhoja, named after the Indian city (Kamboja) in ancient Gandhara in today's Kabul region......." http://www.anand.to/india/history.html

"The names that were given to these settlements were old Indian names. Thus Cambodia, as it is known now, was called Kambhoja, which was a well-known town in ancient India, as was Gandhara in (present day Afghanistan)". http://www.atributetohinduism.com/Suvarnabhumi.htm

Both the above authors locate their ancient Kamboja of the Sanskrit literature in West Punjab/Afghanistan but erroneously they indentify the Sanskrit Kamboja/Kambhoja as a `city' in Gandhara. These authors seem not to have done their home work well. According to Hari Krishan Devsare, ancient Kamboja was located in Pamir Badakshan in Central Asia: ".....In India, people have been using wool since prehistoric times. There is a prayer in Rigveda for the deity of shepherds, called 'Pashma', entreating the deity to make wool white and help in its knitting. In Mahabharata, it has been mentioned that when Pandavas performed 'Rajsuya Yagna', Yuddhisthir was presented woollen clothes having golden embroidery by Kambojs (people of Badakhan and Pameer)." Dr MADHAV DESHPANDE (Michigan State University, USA): Kambojas were from Iranian affinities. See also the text below from Deshpande:

`In addition there is also palatal s`' ' (hacek plus accent aigu on top)which developed from the equivalent of Vedic cy i.e. the famous Nirukta case of Kamboja (= East Iranian) s'avati for Young Avestan s`' 'auua(i)ti. ~ Vedic Cyavate'.

"...In any case, Kamboja in this context refers to the region of Eastern Iranian borderlands, which are referred to in Sanskrit texts like Yaaska's Nirukta....

Szavatir gatikarmaa kamboje.sv eva bhaa.sito bhavati, vikaara enam aaryaa bha.sante zava iti.

`The verb 'zav' in the sense of going is used only in the region of Kamboja, the Aryas use only the noun zava- in the sense of a dead-body". The same passage occurs also in Patanjali's Mahabhasya. ...' .

Patanjali is effectively quoting from Yaaska's Nirukta and has statements identical with Yaaska. The statement is:

zavatir gatikarmaa kamboje.sv eva bhaa.sito bhavati, vikaara enam aaryaa bha.sante zava iti"

`The verb 'zav' in the sense of 'going' is used only among the Kambojas. The same verb in the nominal form 'zava' is used by the Aaryas in the sense of 'transformation'." The reference in Patanjali's Mahaabhaa.sya is p. 9, in vol. 1 of Kielhorn's edition'.

Thus we see that Dr Madhava Deshpande identifies the Kambojas in East Iran.

Article by L. S. Thind