[INDOLOGY] Buddha's visit to Lanka

alakendu das mailmealakendudas at rediffmail.com
Mon Jul 13 14:35:45 UTC 2020

Dr.Clough,Thank you very much .
In fact, I too got the impression (after going through Haraprasad Shastri's 1926 article) that it is difficult to find evidences of Buddha Physically setting his foot on Lankan soil
, except focussing our studies under the category"Miraculous"....to believe more on the" virtual" rather than on "Actual"
RegardsAlakendu Das.
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From: Bradley Clough <bclough9377 at gmail.com>
Sent: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 19:29:46 GMT+0530
To: alakendu das <mailmealakendudas at rediffmail.com>
Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Buddha's visit to Lanka

Yes, the matter of Mahinda's mission to Sri Lanka is a separate one, to at least some extent, from the  "coming of the Buddha" to the island of Sri Lanka as described in the Dipavamsa.

 I suppose some of Alakendu's (if I may) questions could begin to be answered by consulting the text of the Dipavamsa itself, which is available here (in Pali and Hermann Oldenberg's English translation):
It describes the Buddha making several visits to (Sri) Lanka, by means of the supernormal powers he has attained through meditation. The primary reason is said to be destruction of various demonic forces there, so that the doctrine and path may be established there. The Buddha also predicts the eventual arrival of Mahinda's mission, so this is where that event ties in.

As I understood your initial question, Alakendu (again, if I may), you were asking if there is any "proof" of these visits besides this textual account. I think it is safe to say that the scholarly consensus is "no". However, I suppose there are scholars--and here we get into interesting and important (at least to me!) issues of etic versus emic perspectives and modern scholarship's attitudes towards the "miraculous"--for whom the textual accounts and phenomenon like the supposed "footprint" on Sri Pada/Adam's Peak would constitute some kind of valid evidence.
Brad Clough

On Sun, Jul 12, 2020 at 11:57 PM alakendu das via INDOLOGY <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
I once again thank Prof.Kapstein,Prof.Jonathan Silk and Prof.Clough for elaborating on this topic, an answer to which I was searching for long.However,I  trying to evaluate the word"DipAgamanam Buddhassa" ,as found in Dipavamsa.Etymologically the word means, -Dipa=Island                Agamanam=Coming of.                 Buddhassa= Buddha's.which literally translate as-The coming of Buddha to the Island.In this context, I was going through an article written in 1926 by reputed Indian scholar Haraprasad Shastri from where I find that Buddha, during his lifetime, extensively visited the Nepal- bordering Eastern, and Northern part of India.Nothing has been mentioned regarding his visits to Southern peninsular India, or crossing the Bay of Bengal to reach Ceylone(present day Sri Lanka).I am not sure whether any other secondary source existsPrecisely, that is the reason why the word "Buddhassa DipAgamanam " appears intriguing to me . Does it indicate the àdvent of Buddhism to Lanka?I keep my fingers crossed.because  in that case, the word"Buddhassa"  seems to be out of placeThe arrival  of Emperor Ashoka's son Mahindra and daughter Sanghamitra with 7 nuns happened much later, in 3rd BCE, while Gautam Buddha thrived in 6th BCE.
Alakendu Das.

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