Buddha dating controversy
Essentially, the dates for Emperor Ashoka in the long chronology are miscalculated by around 60-70 years.
Therefore, the dates of the Buddha had to be recalculated and most Western Indian scholars moved the date of the Buddha’s death to 487 or 486 BCE.
What seems to be certain is that the Buddha died approximately at the age of eighty some time between 410 and 370 BCE.
Any date between these two means that the Buddha passed away about 140-100 years before the reign of Emperor Ashoka.
On top of this, there are two different chronologies used to date the life of the Buddha: the so-called short chronology (attested by Indian sources and their Chinese and Tibetan translations) and the long chronology (based on the testimony of the Sinhalese chronicles).
This first one is sometimes referred to as the Indian chronology and the second one as the Ceylonese chronology.
All early Buddhist accounts agree that there were only five patriarchs between the death of the Buddha and the reign of Emperor Ashoka.
Dating the Buddha’s life based on the succession of patriarchs seems to be a much more reliable method of calculation than basing it on any dates which are often inaccurate and contradictory.
There is a lot that favours this later date, since it would mean only a hundred years between the death of the Buddha and the reign of Ashoka and would increase the value of the abundant Ashokan and post-Ashokan evidence in understanding early Buddhism.Within a few weeks he’d have a new way to get around, a customized golf cart, tricked out with slogans familiar to the Levine faithful: “Against the Stream,” which is the name of both one of his books and the sangha (Buddhist community) that he founded, and “FTW,” which Levine translates as both Buddha’s admonition to “Forsake the World” and the more colloquial “Fuck the World.” Cool rides and punk-skater threads are integral to the heavily tattooed 48-year-old’s image (who often flips the bird) as well as his message that has brought many young people into the fold.Beneath a Facebook photo of Levine—Vans, shades—tilting his new ride on two wheels, a young woman wrote, “I’m keeping this picture for when people ask me how I got into meditation.”Levine founded Against the Stream more than ten years ago on antisexist and antiracist principles, with great emphasis on ethical practices—an irony Jezebel noted when it broke the story last summer that a woman Levine had dated accused him of sexual assault.The reality is that there is not a unanimously accepted date for the historical Buddha’s life amongst scholars.In 1988 CE a symposium named “The Dating of the Historical Buddha” took place in Gottingen, Germany.