Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

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diptych4
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Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by diptych4 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:15 pm

The sites of the Buddha's birth (Lumbini) hometown (Kapilavastu) and death (Kusinara) have now been seriously called into question: see http://www.lumkap.org.uk for the details. Does this matter? Well yes, I believe it does. Stephen Batchelor and others have remarked that Buddhism (and the Buddha) have yet to be subjected to the so-called Higher Criticism of Renan, Strauss, and others which saw Christianity (and Jesus) demythologised and firmly placed in an historical setting (the result leading to very different versions of these matters than those formerly held for centuries). If Buddhism is to take root in a Western scientific setting, then both it - and its founder - must inevitably be held up to the selfsame relentless scientific/historical scrutiny, and its details assessed accordingly. We want no relic-worship here, thank you.

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:41 pm

All I see here is one academic's case for his own interpretation of the archaeological facts. I don't see how this throws the existence of the Buddha, his relics or the version of events we have "held for centuries" into doubt.

According to the link, the proposed sites for the birth and parinibbana of the Buddha were only fixed in 1896 which is hardly centuries. In short, I don't see much of a problem here although the title of the post did make for a catchy headline.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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daverupa
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by daverupa » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:47 pm

Is this argument some sort of Nationalism? It looks like some sort of Nationalism...
  • "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Anagarika
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Anagarika » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:56 pm

The suggestion that Buddhist history hasn't undergone rigorous "higher criticism" is not true; there have been many scholars that have invested much time and effort into studying the textual, historical and archeological evidence related to the life of the Buddha and his monks. Does it matter that the exact place of the Buddha's birth is not known? It really doesn't, and the fact that there is no absolute certainty to this issue does not take away from the significant body of evidence as to the early record of the teachings of the Buddha, nor the historical record which is, as scholars like Ajahns Sujato and Brahmali have investigated, quite accurately depicted in the Pali Canon.

The historicity of Jesus is a completely different story.None of the texts concerning the life of a Jesus were written contemporaneous with his existence, and there is no record anywhere of a peer acknowledging his existence. To compare the two, from an evidentiary basis, is inappropriate...the same way comparing the fossil record of dinosaurs with Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting supposed "ancient astronauts" would be an absurd evidentiary comparison.

Even it it were proved that the Buddha was not a histoprical person ( and there is no serious scholar that argues that these days), how would that fact diminish the value of his ( or the monks') core pragmatic teachings? It would not. In any case, I often get the impression that the more that authors like Stephen Batchelor chip away at the status of the historicity of the Buddha, the more they are trying to open doors for their own versions of a "reformed" or "new Buddhism," from which they profit quite nicely.

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:13 pm

Anagarika wrote:The suggestion that Buddhist history hasn't undergone rigorous "higher criticism" is not true; there have been many scholars that have invested much time and effort into studying the textual, historical and archeological evidence related to the life of the Buddha and his monks. Does it matter that the exact place of the Buddha's birth is not known? It really doesn't, and the fact that there is no absolute certainty to this issue does not take away from the significant body of evidence as to the early record of the teachings of the Buddha, nor the historical record which is, as scholars like Ajahns Sujato and Brahmali have investigated, quite accurately depicted in the Pali Canon.

The historicity of Jesus is a completely different story.None of the texts concerning the life of a Jesus were written contemporaneous with his existence, and there is no record anywhere of a peer acknowledging his existence. To compare the two, from an evidentiary basis, is inappropriate...the same way comparing the fossil record of dinosaurs with Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting supposed "ancient astronauts" would be an absurd evidentiary comparison.

Even it it were proved that the Buddha was not a histoprical person ( and there is no serious scholar that argues that these days), how would that fact diminish the value of his ( or the monks') core pragmatic teachings? It would not. In any case, I often get the impression that the more that authors like Stephen Batchelor chip away at the status of the historicity of the Buddha, the more they are trying to open doors for their own versions of a "reformed" or "new Buddhism," from which they profit quite nicely.
Well said.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

The Stoic Buddhist: https://www.quora.com/q/dwxmcndlgmobmeu ... pOR2p0uAdH
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com

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Kusala
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Kusala » Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:26 pm

diptych4 wrote:The sites of the Buddha's birth (Lumbini) hometown (Kapilavastu) and death (Kusinara) have now been seriously called into question: see http://www.lumkap.org.uk for the details. Does this matter? Well yes, I believe it does. Stephen Batchelor and others have remarked that Buddhism (and the Buddha) have yet to be subjected to the so-called Higher Criticism of Renan, Strauss, and others which saw Christianity (and Jesus) demythologised and firmly placed in an historical setting (the result leading to very different versions of these matters than those formerly held for centuries). If Buddhism is to take root in a Western scientific setting, then both it - and its founder - must inevitably be held up to the selfsame relentless scientific/historical scrutiny, and its details assessed accordingly. We want no relic-worship here, thank you.
Buddhism would remain what it is even if it were proved that the Buddha never lived.

- Christmas Humphreys
"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

SarathW
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by SarathW » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:13 pm

Do you have to believe in Einstein or his birth place to split the atom.
Only you need is to understand the formula E=Mc2
The same way it is not important to know whether Buddha was there or what was his birth place.
What you need is to practice Dhamma.
You experience the results here and now!

:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammanando
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:05 pm

diptych4 wrote:Does this matter? Well yes, I believe it does.
It will no doubt matter to historians specialising in that particular period, but there is no reason why it should matter to a person engaged in Buddhist practice. From the point of view of Dhamma it's a lot of fuss about nothing, to which the line from Christmas Humphreys quoted earlier by Kusala will suffice as a retort. Humphreys' line is in fact a modern restatement of a classical Buddhist response to questions about whether the Buddha ever existed and whether his life and character accurately match that of the protagonist of the Suttas. It's an approach to the question found in writers as diverse as Nāgasena and Dharmakīrti, and will serve as a fine riposte to all your jejune posts aimed at arousing doubt in Buddhists.
  • "We have an efficacious Dharma that leads to the end of suffering. If it didn't come from Gautama then it must have come from somebody else. From whomsoever it came, him we call 'the Buddha'."
    — Dharmakīrti (sorry no source; I'm just paraphrasing from memory)
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

diptych4
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by diptych4 » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:37 pm

So what's wrong with raising doubts with Buddhists? And judging by the acerbity of some of the responses, it looks like I might just be disturbing a few moths, and I'll happily settle for that.

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Bundokji
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:40 pm

Many believe - for instance- that Socrates is nothing more than the imagination of Plato, but who cares!

I have my own doubts about the historical Buddha especially when I look at the striking similarities between his story and that of Mahavira, but that does not affect my faith in the teachings. :smile:
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Bundokji
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Bundokji » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:51 pm

Kusala wrote:Buddhism would remain what it is even if it were proved that the Buddha never lived.

- Christmas Humphreys
:anjali: :anjali: :anjali:

The Buddha himself has not given his own existence any great importance:
Now the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "It may be, Ananda, that to some among you the thought will come: 'Ended is the word of the Master; we have a Master no longer.' But it should not, Ananda, be so considered. For that which I have proclaimed and made known as the Dhamma and the Discipline, that shall be your Master when I am gone.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:58 pm

diptych4 wrote:So what's wrong with raising doubts with Buddhists?
Nothing if one's motive is good and one does it well. But in your case, though I don't care to guess at what your motive might be, I can say with confidence that you're not doing it very well. Neither as a scholar, nor as a Socratic gadfly. In your thread about the Buddha's last meal you revealed yourself as a careless reader of texts, and in the present thread you show a complete lack of understanding as to what is important to Buddhists and what is not.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:29 am

Itivuttaka 92 - Sanghatikanna Sutta

"Because he see the Dhamma. Seeing the Dhamma he sees me."

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/sutta/It.92.php
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. http://translate.google.com.br

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

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ryanM
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by ryanM » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:43 am

:candle:
Last edited by ryanM on Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
sabbe dhammā nālaṃ abhinivesāya

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Mkoll
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Re: Lumbini, Kapilavastu, Kusinara sites now in doubt.

Post by Mkoll » Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:38 am

diptych4 wrote:And judging by the acerbity of some of the responses, it looks like I might just be disturbing a few moths, and I'll happily settle for that.
In other words, you're admitting that your purpose in making this thread is to troll. And judging from your other posts, your purpose in posting on this site at all is to troll. You get your jollies off of deliberately getting other people riled up, seeing that you're happy at the outcome. Surely there are better ways to get your jollies?
Wikipedia: internet troll wrote:In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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