The Buddha and the Upanishads

Jonathan Silk silk at HUMNET.UCLA.EDU
Mon Dec 11 06:16:49 UTC 2006

This is neither the time nor the place to reopen the very complicated 
debates about what we can know of early Buddhism in general. But one 
small reminder might be in order a propos a recent comment.

Tim Lubin wrote, in referring to some remarks of Christian Wedemeyer:

>virtually nothing can be asserted with certainty about what Buddhism 
>[was?  JAS]
>taught much prior to Buddhaghosa,

This is not so. Not only do we now have Gandhari materials some of 
which may contain not only contents but may actually be physically 
significantly older than Buddhaghosa, but we have long had Chinese 
materials which significantly predate him as well. There are, to be 
sure, some significant challenges in dealing with this material, but 
in terms of confirming (otherwise later) Indic language materials, at 
the very least, they cannot and should not be ignored.

Jonathan Silk
Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
Center for Buddhist Studies
290 Royce Hall
Box 951540
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
phone: (310) 206-8235
fax:  (310) 825-8808
silk (at)

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