Anand M. Sharan asharan at ENGR.MUN.CA
Thu Oct 12 10:37:18 UTC 2000

Mentioned below is the news item published in a newspaper . All kinds of
books get written.


Anand M. Sharan



`Buddha's estimated birth date off by 546 yrs'
The Times of India News Service

GAYA: Prafulla Chandra Roy, well-known Buddhist scholar and retired
professor of Ancient Indian and Asian studies, has claimed that Lord Buddha
lived 546 years earlier than what is believed to his birth date.

According to the acknowledged estimate, Buddha was born in the year 563 BC
and he lived till 483 BC. As per the claim made by the Buddhist scholar in
his forthcoming book, Buddha Ki Tithi, part I, the lord was born in the
year 1109 BC and not 565 BC. Roy has also put the year of Buddha's final
salvation as 1029 BC against 483 BC acceptable to the majority of
historians. The book is scheduled to be released on October 13.

The author claims to have re-assessed Buddha's age on the basis of eight
years of non-stop research between 1992-2000. In the 170-page book written
in Hindi, Dr Roy has given nine different sources on which he has relied
while making the re-assessment of Buddha's age. He has primarily based his
assessment on the Ashokan inscriptions discovered in 15 different places
including Sasaram, Rupnath (Madhya Pradesh), Ahrora (UP), Iragudi (Andhra
Pradesh), Siddhapur (Karnataka), Bariat (Rajasthan) and Palkigundu
(Raichur, Karnataka).

Roy claims that Buddha died (attained final salvation) 788 years before the
first inscriptions made during the rule of Ashoka. Ashoka assumed the
throne in the year 273 BC and 12 years later ie. 261 BC, he started the
inscription campaign. Calculated on this basis, Buddha died in the year
1029 BC and not 483 BC as per the presently acknowledged assessment.

Moreover, the Chinese king named Ping Wang got a statue of Maitriya Buddha
installed 300 years after Buddha's death. Wang ruled between 770- 719 BC,
much before the year 563 BC when as per the existing belief Buddha was
born. Buddha's statue could not have preceded the real Buddha.

Besides the Chinese source, Roy has also relied on the Japanese Ther
tradition to make his own calculation of Buddha's real age.

Roy has also relied on the Mahabharat to substantiate his claim. He has
come out with a somewhat sensational theory that the Pandavas were the
first Buddhist monks who strayed away to give up celibacy and collectively
adopt Draupudi as wife. They had to repent for violating the holy Buddhist
monk code, says the author on page 77 of the book. Pandava, according to
the book, is derived from Pandu which means yellow. The Buddhist monks did
have yellow robes. According to Roy, the Kauravas were in fact neo-Aryans
of Iranian origin while the Pandavas were ancient Aryans.

The book and the claims made therein promise to create interest as well as
controversy in the academic circle.

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