Vedic and Buddhism-- the other end of the timeline

JR Gardner jgardner at BLUE.WEEG.UIOWA.EDU
Fri Nov 6 22:03:12 UTC 1998

As the current thread on wheels and such probes and posits itself deeper
and deeper into the abstractions of ancient inferrences, I'm curious about
the other temporal "direction" of the question:  perhaps tracking the
Vedic tradition as it moved east, and as reformations (e.g. early forms of
Buddhism) took place.  THis leads to the question of the Vedic (AV)
inscriptions on the ancient temples in Cambodia for instance.  Cf. Also
Hajime Nakamura's comments (_Indian Buddhism_, Delhi: Motilal, 1989) re.
Vedic ===> Buddhist "transient" stage (pp. 39-42), or the non-nihilistic,
early understandings of anatta (pp. 63ff.).  And, just in case this seems
too far removed from the political wheels driving some of the proto-IE/II
issues, note the following from reuters:

***Indian official's view of Buddhism irks scholars

SARNATH, India (Reuters) - A key figure in India's Hindu
nationalist-led government provoked outrage among Buddhist scholars
Friday by asserting that Buddhism merely represented India's ancient
Aryan traditions with a "new emphasis." "Buddha did not announce any
new religion. He was only restating with a new emphasis the ancient
ideals of the Indo-Aryan civilizations," Home Minister L.K. Advani
said in a speech at Sarnath in northern India. Advani is a senior
leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which leads
India's coalition government. Opponents accuse the BJP of promoting
Hinduism - the religion of most Indians - at the expense of other
religions. See

No, I'm not in favor of these politics, but the affect of the politics on
Indological-- esp. Vedic/Indus/Proto-II discussions cannot be
underestimated.  Perhaps some of the ancient pre-1500 b.c.e. debates might
be informed/augmented by looking the other temporal direction, and
applying those implications to more empirical data from teh later Vedic
and early Buddhist periods.

Has anyone been looking at this?


John Robert Gardner, Ph.D.
Obermann Center         &    The Graduate College
  for Advanced Studies
               The University of Iowa
"Your dreams must always lead you beyond comfort"

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