Thursday January 18, 2018

Blend of Belief and Science: Lord Buddha was born 300 years earlier than previously thought of

The project was led by Robin Conginham and was supported by National Geographic Channel

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August 14, 2016: Last year in December, 2015, a study was conducted by a team of 40 archaeologists and professors has found traces, that Lord Buddha might have lived 300 years earlier than researched. The discovery was led by the professors of archaeology and a pro-vice-chancellor of Durham University, England; that can perhaps reshape the very face of Buddhism.

The team found the remains of a wooden structure at Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini, Nepal, that suggests Buddha’s presence around the sixth century BC, mentioned the indiadivine.org in a report.

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After researching for more than 3 years at Lumbini’s Maya Devi Temple, the researchers have discovered a shrine which indicates all known Buddhist traces to be as old as 300 years or more. The ancient shrine that was found during the research, was made of timber at the Maya Devi Temple in southern Nepal, that has clues of Buddha’s birth. Legend has it, that Lord Buddha’s mother, Maya Devi, was on her way from her husband’s kingdom to her parents’ home  and in the midway, she gave birth to Buddha, mentioned indiadivine.org.

Maya Devi Temple, Nepal. Image source: Wikipedia
Maya Devi Temple, Nepal.
Image source: Wikipedia

The project was led by Robin Conginham and was supported by National Geographic Channel. It is a blend of tradition, science, belief and archaeology, believes Conginham. But most of what Buddhism constitutes is only oral tradition and legends, and little or no evidence that can state the existence of Lord Buddha. The estimated era of the emergence of Buddhism is more ancient than previously thought because the 6th century BC was the emergence of the middle class, coin system, kinship and ancient urbanisation. As a result, it can be easily believed that this was the time when Gautam Buddha emerged as a preacher who discarded materialistic pleasures such as wealth. Early studies on Buddhism were based on textual remains and oral narratives, which also involved the politics of transmission- where the storytellers modified the stories too.

The estimated era of the emergence of Buddhism is more ancient than previously thought because the 6th century BC was the emergence of the middle class, coin system, kinship and ancient urbanisation. As a result, it can be easily believed that this was the time when Gautam Buddha emerged as a preacher who discarded materialistic pleasures such as wealth. Early studies on Buddhism were based on textual remains and oral narratives, which also involved the politics of transmission- where the storytellers modified the stories too.

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Buddhism is an all-religion tolerant belief or ‘dharma’ that is increasingly gaining popularity all over the modern world. It preaches awakening of the mind and the soul, compassion, and impermanence of wealth and tracing Buddha’s life will have a great impact on his teachings. It is a known fact that his birthplace ‘Lumbini’ was discovered but not maintained after being found; therefore, it turned into a jungle before it was rediscovered in 1896 and now it falls under UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Buddhist statue in Kamakura, Japan. Image source; Wikimedia Commons
Buddhist statue in Kamakura, Japan. Image source; Wikimedia Commons

In a statement, Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO, threw light on the plans to increase tourist attraction in Lumbini by “more archaeological research, intensified conservation work and strengthened site management.”

The next research by Conginham on Buddhism is likely to be Buddha’s childhood places, funded by UNESCO and supported by the Japanese government.

prepared by Chetna Karnani, at NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    This discovery could change the facts about Buddhism for sure… any how faith of the religion is widespread!

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‘Religion’ in India- Types and its Connection to Country’s Civilization

The Ancient religions of India are Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

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Religion
Ancient Religions of India.

India’s economic and political strata in today’s world have reached a great level, but that is still not what the country is known for. The country is known for its diversity and religions because the term ‘religion’ in India is not just a system of belief and worship, but a way of life too. Since ancient times, it has been an integral part of its culture. For the citizens of this country, religion pervades through all the activities of life- from cooking chores to working and politics. The religion we follow plays an important role in our upbringing as well. Our conditioning is done based on the principles of our religion. India is a home to many religions- Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam and others.

How old is the Indian civilization?

The Indian civilization is around 4000 years old, with the existing Indian religions growing in that period. The antiquity of the religions in India begins from the Harappan culture. It’s a secular country which respects all kinds of religion and culture, but during the ancient times, when the Human civilization was developing, there were three main religions native to India- Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The predominant religion during this period was Hinduism, which is said have originated in the Northern India.

Religion wise Indian Population:

  • HINDUISM – about 82%
  • ISLAM – about 12%
  • CHRISTIANITY – about 2.5%
  • SIKHISM – about 2%
  • BUDDHISM – about 0.7%
  • JAINISM – about 0.5%
  • ZOROASTRIANISM – about 0.01%
  • JUDAISM – about 0.0005%   (stated by adaniel.tripod)

Hinduism

Religion
Brahma                                                                                                                                                          Pixabay

Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. Its followers worship several deities. Unlike the other religions, this religion does not have one teacher. Its followers, the ‘Hindus’ believe in a supreme divine spirit called ‘Parama Brahma’. The concept of Parama Brahma states that Brahma is omnipresent.

Hindus believe in vasudhaiva kutumbakam, which means the whole world is a single family. They also believe in Sarva dharma Sama Bhava, which means all religions are equal. The practice follows the ideas of mercy, charity, compassion, benevolence, non-violence and mercy. It believes the concept of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion.

The sacred writings of Hinduism include the Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Upanishads.

Also Read: The history and development of Indian Handicrafts

Jainism

Religion
Lord Mahavira                                                                                                                                                   Pixabay
According to tradition, the founder of Jainism was first Tirthankara Adinatha. However, the religion was widely propagated by the 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira. He was born in Vaishali, Bihar, who belonged to the clan ‘Licchavi’. Mahavira was moved by the sufferings of people, and therefore, left his home at the age of 30 to seek the truth. He supported the teachings of the previous Tirthankaras, and added his own beliefs to the teachings.
He believed in the ideology of leading a good life and not doing any wrong. He did not encourage the practice of needing the help of God for everything.
Doctrines of Jainism:
  1. Ahimsa (Non-violence)
  2. Satya (Truth)
  3. Asteya (Non-stealing)
  4. Brahmacharya (Chastity)
  5. Aparigraha (Non-possession)

Buddhism

Religion
Lord Buddha                                                                                                                                                    Pixabay
Buddhism is a religion which consists of different kinds of beliefs and practices based on the teachings of Lord Buddha. Buddha’s name was Siddhartha. He was the son of the Shakya clan’s leader. It is believed that Siddhartha made three observations, which changed his life:  a feeble old man; a person suffering from disease; and a dead body being taken for cremation. This propelled him in finding the true meaning of life. He left his home at an early age and attained ‘enlightenment’ in Bodhgaya.
He also prescribed the four noble truths and eight fold path.
Four noble truths are:
  • Dukkha (truth of suffering)
  • Samudāya (truth of the suffering’s origin)
  • Nirodha (the truth of suffering’s cessation.)
  • Magga (Direction to eight-fold path)

The eight fold path are- Right aims, Right beliefs, Right conduct, Right speech, Right effort, Right occupation, Right meditation and Right thinking.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at twitter @ImMeghaacharya.