a preliminary timeline

Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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daverupa
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a preliminary timeline

Post by daverupa » Fri May 13, 2016 3:48 pm

Some quick thoughts on a timeline that would describe some important developments, and otherwise set up a framework for understanding the shapes of Early Buddhism. I'll edit this for accuracy & detail, over time.

---

ca. 455-400 BCE
  • Buddha's teaching career
    relic veneration at cetiyas
    preliminary interaction with spirit cults
    cemetery/park/Rains monasteries
ca. 400-250 BCE
  • continuing efforts to secure lay support
    local consolidations of textual canons
    the development of Abhidhammas
    preliminary references to Metteya
    relic veneration at stupas
    growing monastic roles in funerary rituals & spirit cults
    the ongoing development of Vinayas (e.g. when asked, monks must attend weddings, funerals, stupa dedications, etc.)
    increasingly urban Buddhist monasteries
ca. 250 BCE
  • inter-regional consolidation of textual canons into proto-Agamas/Nikayas
    Asokan missions & inscriptions (Sri Lanka, Nepal, Gandhara, et al)
    early state-monastic relations at a high point
    burgeoning ideas about merit transfer based on filial piety
    established references to past Buddhas
ca. 100 BCE
  • increasing glorification of the Buddha (aggrandized omniscience, etc.)
    proto-Mahayana sentiments (merit transfer "to all beings", book cults, proto-Prajnaparamita, etc.)
    burgeoning traffic along the Silk Road
    first edition of the Milindapanha
ca. 50 BCE
  1. Nikayas written down in Sri Lanka
ca. 100 CE
  1. first anthropomorphic sculptures of the Buddha
ca. 220 CE
  1. China is collecting Buddhist texts of all sorts
  • "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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samseva
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by samseva » Fri May 13, 2016 5:58 pm

Good idea, daverupa! Would you have the references for the dates and events?

Without refernces it is difficult to verify or confirm the dates/events. It is still a good idea to have them, even if they would be or are all correct.

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daverupa
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by daverupa » Fri May 13, 2016 7:41 pm

samseva wrote:Without refernces it is difficult to verify or confirm the dates/events.
References are wafting loose throughout academia & the internet, which isn't so very difficult to peruse; this is more of a summary than an argument. :shrug:

A lot of the work comes from Schopen, Analayo, Sujato, Dutt, Bronkhorst, Ergardt, and Wynne, as well as some other single book items such as that by Neelis, DeCaroli, Collett, & Ronkin.

I've been playing around with the idea of an annotated bibliography of Early Buddhism, but that's a large-ish project...
  • "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]

Sylvester
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by Sylvester » Sat May 14, 2016 8:02 am

daverupa wrote:...

:goodpost:

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samseva
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by samseva » Sat May 14, 2016 12:34 pm

daverupa wrote:
samseva wrote:Without refernces it is difficult to verify or confirm the dates/events.
References are wafting loose throughout academia & the internet, which isn't so very difficult to peruse; this is more of a summary than an argument. :shrug:

A lot of the work comes from Schopen, Analayo, Sujato, Dutt, Bronkhorst, Ergardt, and Wynne, as well as some other single book items such as that by Neelis, DeCaroli, Collett, & Ronkin.

I've been playing around with the idea of an annotated bibliography of Early Buddhism, but that's a large-ish project...
It's a decent summary, it's just that having written down the references as well when having written down the dates and events would make this compilation a very reliable and complete summary. To research all the dates would basically amount to starting all over.

Thanks for the compilation (it is simply that taking the 5 seconds more to also write down the references would make it 5 times better, is all that I'm saying).

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cobwith
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by cobwith » Sat May 14, 2016 4:20 pm

daverupa wrote: ca. 455-400 BCE
preliminary interaction with spirit cults
Is there any evidence of this; or is this just a "theosophistical" inductive likely construct?

What makes you particularly suggest that?
Sā me dhammamadesesi,
khandhāyatanadhātuyo
Thig 5.8

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daverupa
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by daverupa » Sat May 14, 2016 5:04 pm

cobwith wrote:Is there any evidence of this...
This comes via DeCaroli, Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism & certain references therein.
samseva wrote:it is simply that taking the 5 seconds more to also write down the references would make it 5 times better
To just list books here... well, there are "early Buddhism book" lists quite a few places. How do you think I found them to read?
Researching all the dates might indeed be starting over, so I posted my preliminary results here so others didn't have to start from scratch. Someone who saw your suggested list of references & then checked up on them all... would be starting over.

So, ask about things, such as cobwith has done, and I'll bring some relevant references. That way, you only have to check up on individually pertinent things rather than the whole kit 'n' kaboodle.

I'm not gonna write up a Lit Review as part of a Masters Thesis, here...
  • "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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Mkoll
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by Mkoll » Sat May 14, 2016 5:31 pm

samseva wrote:Thanks for the compilation (it is simply that taking the 5 seconds more to also write down the references would make it 5 times better, is all that I'm saying).
Quotations from the references would be helpful as well.

As Dave said, this is just a skeleton that he will flesh out over time.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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cobwith
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by cobwith » Sat May 14, 2016 6:48 pm

daverupa wrote:
cobwith wrote:Is there any evidence of this...
This comes via DeCaroli, Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism & certain references therein.
[/quote]
As I can see on his faculty page:
The majority of this work deals with early (3rd c. BCE - 5th c. CE) aspects of South Asian material culture and its interaction with forms of regional religious practice.

-----

On the page of the faculty page Oxford scholarship online (affiliated with the Oxford University Press), we have this abstact:

Although Buddhist monasteries are commonly understood as being institutions dedicated to non‐attachment and transcendence, the architectures of the earliest known monasteries are overwhelmingly decorated with sculptural images of minor deities and spirits directly associated with wealth, health and worldly success (yakshas, nagas, etc). This text refutes the notion that the presence of these deities is linked to periods of decline in Buddhism by demonstrating how the inclusion of these semi‐divine figures was part of an intentional process by which the Buddhist monastic community managed to attract adherents and expand into new regions. Specifically, the incorporation of these supernatural beings into Buddhist contexts provided the Buddhists with a social role as the tamers and keepers of potentially dangerous and unpredictable spirits. This new social relevance ensured Buddhist patronage after the cessation of royal support (c. 200‐100 bce) and provided the monastic community with a strategy for expansion.

-----

ca. 455-400 BCE
preliminary interaction with spirit cults

ca. 400-250 BCE
growing monastic roles in funerary rituals & spirit cults

!?!?!?

Would you have other references on facts that early Buddhism (the Buddhism as taught by the Buddha,) had anything to do with spirit cults?
Or some references in the early suttas, that would lean to believe that the early Buddhists that had known the Buddha, or those who knew the latter, could have initiated such an endeavour after his death.
Sā me dhammamadesesi,
khandhāyatanadhātuyo
Thig 5.8

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daverupa
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by daverupa » Sat May 14, 2016 7:09 pm

cobwith wrote:Would you have other references on facts that early Buddhism (the Buddhism as taught by the Buddha,) had anything to do with spirit cults?
Schopen has written a number of papers on this topic, collected in two volumes: Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India & Buddhist Monks and Business Matters: Still More Papers on Monastic Buddhism in India.

There are numerous books about modern Buddhism that discuss spirit cults in Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, China... all over the place - and there is no indication that these constellations of practice differ in significant ways from earlier traditional forms. For example, you could read chapter 6, "Folk Religion and Cosmology: meeting of two thought worlds" in The Sociology of Early Buddhism by Greg Bailey & Ian Mabbett, which also touches on these issues.

You might also consider reading the book by DeCaroli, instead of simply arguing with the abstract... honestly, why ask for citations & references if you aren't going to follow up? This is a preliminary exploration, no need to get your knickers in a knot. But, I can tell you've got one or another ahistorical narrative about early Buddhism in your head, so maybe this thread simply isn't for you.

:pig:
  • "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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cobwith
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by cobwith » Sat May 14, 2016 8:47 pm

daverupa wrote:
You might also consider reading the book by DeCaroli, instead of simply arguing with the abstract... honestly, why ask for citations & references if you aren't going to follow up?
The following is what we all seem to expect on this forum - Me included.
samseva wrote: Thanks for the compilation (it is simply that taking the 5 seconds more to also write down the references would make it 5 times better, is all that I'm saying).
Mkoll wrote: Quotations from the references would be helpful as well.
Quotations would be very helpful indeed, so that we can put our hands on facts, and not just surmisals.

Reading all these books (you are referncing,) will be as painful as reading Bronkhorst's litany of speculations.
Maybe you could be kind enough to provide us with hard facts, on that particular case.
You've got somewhat the burden of proof on what you are saying.
daverupa wrote:
I can tell you've got one or another ahistorical narrative about early Buddhism in your head
That is a pure guess.

As far as history is concerned, I am wondering how so much can be said, (with such a self-assertiveness,) from such a factual void of evidence (6th to 4th century BC).
These are all conjectures, and I wish someone could provide facts, instead of hypothesis that are passed, accepted or rejected back and forth from each others, by a bunch of so-called academicians.
I have been taught that you should have at least two facts, from two independant sources, to call that "history".
Facts; not conjectures - That is what is required. Otherwise, it is called low-standard academia.

I reiterate my question: "is there some theosophical bias in all this?"

:zzz:
Sā me dhammamadesesi,
khandhāyatanadhātuyo
Thig 5.8

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mikenz66
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by mikenz66 » Sat May 14, 2016 9:42 pm

Hi Cobwith,
cobwith wrote: Reading all these books (you are referncing,) will be as painful as reading Bronkhorst's litany of speculations.
Perhaps this thread, and the Early Buddhism section in general, isn't for you then.

If you are not interested in reading, engaging with, and discussing the arguments of the authors of the texts Dave provides, there is little point in asking questions, or making statements, on this thread.

Personally I don't have time for reading all those books either. No shame in that, but it's something Dave has put a lot of effort into, and he has shared some of what he has learned.

:coffee:
Mike

srkris
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by srkris » Sat May 14, 2016 10:43 pm

daverupa wrote: ca. 400-250 BCE
  • continuing efforts to secure lay support
    local consolidations of textual canons
    the development of Abhidhammas
    preliminary references to Metteya
    relic veneration at stupas
    growing monastic roles in funerary rituals & spirit cults
    the ongoing development of Vinayas (e.g. when asked, monks must attend weddings, funerals, stupa dedications, etc.)
    increasingly urban Buddhist monasteries
Perhaps here you can include Pyrrho (who accompanied Alexander to North-Western India at around 326 BCE) and his encounter with Buddhists there, and his evident conversion to Buddhism, which philosophy he took back to Greece (and which formed the core of his teachings and fame, now called Pyrrhonism).

He is reported by his friend Philo (in the accounts of Diogenes Laertius) to be continually saying: "But as the race of falling leaves decay, such is the fate of man." Source: http://www.classicpersuasion.org/pw/dio ... pyrrho.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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daverupa
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by daverupa » Sat May 14, 2016 11:05 pm

Oh yeah, sorta forgot the Greeks. Maybe I'll mention the Persian Royal Road he used, which might complement the Silk Road & Milindapanha notes further down... maybe even ending up with Faxian & Xuanzang... but that's maybe too much to cover...

I haven't read it yet, but this may be the source to use:

Rabens & Wick (ed.)
  1. Religions and trade : religious formation, transformation, and cross-cultural exchange between East and West
  • "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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daverupa
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by daverupa » Mon May 16, 2016 2:17 pm

Some references; I look forward to finding out how this is deficient in spite of the fact that 'preliminary' is a word "denoting an action or event preceding or done in preparation for something fuller or more important" - oh well, too many sacred cows scattered about to bother worrying about stepping on a few.

---

Bailey & Mabbitt
  1. The sociology of early Buddhism
Bronkhorst
  • Greater Magadha: Studies in the Culture of Early India
    Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India
    Buddhism in the Shadow of Brahmanism
Collett
  1. Women in Early Indian Buddhism
Cousins
  1. "The Dating of the Historical Buddha: A Review Article" in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
DeCaroli
  1. Haunting the Buddha : Indian popular religions and the formation of Buddhism
Dube
  1. Cross currents in early Buddhism
Dutt
  1. Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India
Ergardt
  1. Faith And Knowledge In Early Buddhism
Neelis
  1. Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks: Mobility and Exchange Within and Beyond the Northwestern Borderlands of South Asia
Pande
  1. Studies in the origins of Buddhism
Ronkin
  1. Early Buddhist Metaphysics: The Making of a Philosophical Tradition
Schopen
  • Bones, Stones, and Buddhist Monks: Collected Papers on the Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Texts of Monastic Buddhism in India
    Buddhist Monks and Business Matters: Still More Papers on Monastic Buddhism in India
    Figments and Fragments of Mahayana Buddhism in India: More Collected Papers
Sujato
  1. Sects and Sectarianism
Sujato & Brahmali
  1. Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts
Williams
  1. Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations
Wynne
  • The Origin of Buddhist Meditation
    The Historical Authenticity of Early Buddhist Literature: A Critical Evaluation
---

And of course various articles that I'll add later on. Or not.
  • "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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tiltbillings
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by tiltbillings » Mon May 16, 2016 9:23 pm

Where are A.K. Warder, E. LaMotte, Lalmani Joshi, Heinz Bechert, Richard Gombrich, Hajime Nakamura?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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daverupa
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by daverupa » Mon May 16, 2016 10:49 pm

Not really sources I used for this, so they aren't cited.

But, nevermind; I thought this would be helpful or interesting, but it's caused naught but head pain and stress for me. So I'm gonna let this stupid thing die, and we can all move on.
  • "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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tiltbillings
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by tiltbillings » Mon May 16, 2016 11:28 pm

daverupa wrote:Not really sources I used for this, so they aren't cited.
I shrug my shoulders. Obviously you did not use them. My point is that you have with these authors some significant historical discussions, which would be useful for your project.
But, nevermind; I thought this would be helpful or interesting, but it's caused naught but head pain and stress for me. So I'm gonna let this stupid thing die, and we can all move on.
Peter Harvey's excellent An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices has done much of this work, and would be a great resource.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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samseva
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Re: a preliminary timeline

Post by samseva » Tue May 17, 2016 7:10 pm

daverupa wrote:But, nevermind; I thought this would be helpful or interesting, but it's caused naught but head pain and stress for me. So I'm gonna let this stupid thing die, and we can all move on.
Thanks for the resource. It's just that without the references and without knowing your workflow, it isn't really possible to completely rely on the accuracy of the dates and events you provided. I'm guessing you would probably think similarly if it were someone else posting a compilation without any references.

Take care.

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