Richard Salomon rsalomon at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Fri Jul 19 17:47:34 UTC 2002

Patrick et al.:

As far as I am aware there is still no firm evidence for Asvaghosa's date,
and the arguments are for the most part the usual (inevitable) fuzzy
guesswork. The bottom line seems to be a pattern of association with the
"Great Kushanas," especially Kaniska (see Johnston's Buddhacarita, int. pp.
xiii-xvii)--whenever they/he were All things considered, I would take the
second century as the most likely date, but first is also possible. See also
A. Passi, Asvaghosa: Le gesta del Buddha [Milan 1979], p225; he seems to
prefer the first century, if I understand his Italian correctly.

As for Vajrasuci, I think the scholarly consensus is that it is not one of
the authentic works of the "real" Asvaghosa, mainly because of differences
in style and contents from the authenticated works (Johnston p. xxii)--for
what that is worth, as usual.

This is probably not very helpful to you-- but what did you expect?


PS: It would be interesting to hear Passi's opinions on these questions. If
he doesn't respond through the list, I can put you in touch with him.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Patrick Olivelle" <jpo at UTS.CC.UTEXAS.EDU>
Sent: Friday, July 19, 2002 6:16 AM
Subject: AzvaghoSa

> Friends:
> Can someone enlighten me about the latest thinking regarding the date
> of AzvaghoSa, the Buddhist writer? Richard Robinson places him 13 CE
> and Keith around 100 CE.
> Second, what is the latest thinking about the ascription of
> Vajrasuuci to AzvaghoSa.
> My own interest is in the dating of Manu. His work is clearly cited
> in the Vajrasuuci, which would be the earliest citation if it is
> actually a work by AzvaghoSa. Thanks to all in advance.
> Patrick Olivelle

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