Buddhism as a Kenyan heresy

Sumit Guha Sumit_Guha at BROWN.EDU
Wed Nov 6 23:03:19 UTC 2002

Dear colleagues,
If the coincidence of two consonants between the name of a north Iranian
people and the ethnonym of Gautama's clan is sufficient for Michael Witzel
to provide a connection, let me offer a longer and deeper genealogy: over a
decade ago, mtDNA studies established that all specimens of homo sapiens
sapiens (including therefore Maya) are descended from one female who lived
in East Africa c.142,000 years B.P.

As a historical personage, the Buddha was first of all the founder of a
religion that drew on and rejected certain extant traditions see, for
example the lists of other teachers rejected by Pasenadi (Prasenajit of
Magadha). A satisfactory linkage to Iran would have to be more than the
chance coincidence of phonemes: it would have to show that the doctrines
accepted and rejected by the Buddha were prevalent in north-east Iran in
the formative period of the religion(where the inscription of Daryaush
printed in D.C. Sircar would seem to place the Saka around 500 BCE.)

Furthermore, ethnonyms travel and change: I find "pahalvaans" in 18th
century house-censuses from Maharashtra but I doubt they are residues of
the expeditions of Jamshid and Nushirwan.

Sumit Guha

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