Wednesday October 17, 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!

Next Story

400-year-old Ship Wreckage Filled With Indian Spices Found in Portugal

The wreck was found as part of a 10-year-old archaeological project backed by the municipal council of Cascais, the navy, the Portuguese government and Nova University of Lisbon.

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A divers takes photos of some of the items found after the discovery of a centuries-old shipwreck, in Cascais, Portugal. VOA

Archaeologists searching Portugal’s coast have found a 400-year-old shipwreck believed to have sunk near Lisbon after returning from India laden with spices, specialists said on Monday.

“From a heritage perspective, this is the discovery of the decade,” project director Jorge Freire said. “In Portugal, this is the most important find of all time.”

In and around the shipwreck, 40 feet (12 meters) below the surface, divers found spices, nine bronze cannons engraved with the Portuguese coat of arms, Chinese ceramics and cowry shells, a type of currency used to trade slaves during the colonial era.

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One of the nine nine bronze cannons engraved with the Portuguese coat of arms found by divers around a shipwreck near Cascais, Portugal. VOA

Found on Sept. 3 off the coast of Cascais, a resort town on the outskirts of Lisbon, the shipwreck and its objects were “very well-preserved,” said Freire.

Freire and his team believe the ship was wrecked between 1575 and 1625, when Portugal’s spice trade with India was at its peak.

In 1994, Portuguese ship Our Lady of the Martyrs was discovered near Fort of Sao Juliao da Barra, a military defense complex near Cascais.

“For a long time, specialists have considered the mouth of the Tagus river a hotspot for shipwrecks,” said Minister of Culture Luis Mendes. “This discovery came to prove it.”

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The wreck was found as part of a 10-year-old archaeological project backed by the municipal council of Cascais, the navy, the Portuguese government and Nova University of Lisbon. (VOA)