Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gotama Buddha and the Nepalese Bluff in World History

By Ranajit Pal

       Buddhism literally throbs with the history and geography of India. The relics from Sanchi, Ajanta, Bharhut, Amaravati, Gandhara, Mathura and Thotlakonda link India with early Buddhism. The Indian tradition of tolerance and moderation goes beyond the 6th century B.C. and traces of primitive Buddhism are found in the Harappan era. Buddhist history is a queer mix of facts and fiction that baffles the discerning reader. There were many Buddhas before Gotama which implies that Buddhism was as old as Zoroastrianism. A detailed study reveals close links of early Buddhism with Hinduism, Judaism and Zoroastrianism which rose in the Bamiyan-Baluchistan-Gandhara area. The crucial fact that the Silk Road passed through the Buddhist heartland has escaped the notice of all.
        Nepal is a beautiful country but a Gotama of Nepal is a sickening fraud. Nothing in the art, archaeology, history or literature of early Nepal has the faintest hint of Buddhism. R. Thapar affirms that Gotama was from the Nepal area but this has no archaeological basis. The Wikipedia pays lip service to archaeology and heedlessly places Gotama at Lumbini, thereby reducing history into a caricature. C. Humphreys laments over the stark ground reality,

The Lumbini gardens, where Gotama was born, lie in the difficult Nepal Terai, and Kusinara, where the Buddha passed away, has little to show'.

The renowned Belgian scholar E. Conze also flatly dismisses the fanciful text-based accounts,

To the modern historian, Buddhism is a phenomenon which must exasperate him at every point and we can only say in extenuation that this religion was not founded for the benefit of the historians. Not only is there an almost complete absence of hard facts about its history in India; not only is the date, authorship and geographical provenance of the overwhelming majority of the documents almost entirely unknown, ....

      The way out of the chaos is shown by the British scholar T. Phelps who has exposed the dreadful forgeries of Führer who moved pillars and faked inscriptions and relics to falsely locate Lumbini. Gotama was a prince but after he was abandoned in the wilderness of the Terai by the rogue Führer, his history went to pieces.
    A strong rebuttal of the Nepalese lies about early Buddhism comes from the discovery of ancient Buddhist sites at Thotlakonda, Bavikonda and Pavurlakonda near Vishakhapattanam. The name Thotlakonda resembles the name Tathagata of Gotama and Pavurlakonda is a clear echo of Baveru or Babil. Surprisingly

Thotlakonda is the most ancient Buddhist site (300 B.C.) in India

the sites go back to 300 B.C. which is far earlier than Nalanda which is not far from Nepal. Lars Fogelin's recent book on Thotlakonda is entitled "Archaeology of Early Buddhism" but surprisingly, he does not explain why this site of early Buddhism does not seem to be related to Nepal, the Führerian venue of Gotama's birth. G. Schopen of UCLA also goes to extraordinary lenghts describing Gotama's commercial instinct but his conclusions are suspect because he unwittingly imagines Gotama to be a Nepali and coolly accepts Fuhrer's rubbish without bothering about archaeological proof. He is totally ignorant of the fact that the Persepolis Fortification tablets contain such rich information about Buddhism. Fogelin explains the name Pavurla-konda from Telegu language which is shallow and totally misses the echo of Babil or Kapilvastu. Roman silver coins have been found here showing its maritime links with the west but Fogelin fail to realize is that the monks may have come from Deval which was near Babil or Kapilvastu and was the abode of Asoka.    
   In sharp contrast to the nothingness of Nepal, the antecedents of Buddhism abound in Seistan-Afghanistan-Gandhara. It is noteworthy that the earliest Buddhist artifacts have been found from this region. The claim that Gotama belongs to a later century is disproved by the date of Gomata who was Gotama. The claim of T. Insoll that 'there is no contemporary evidence of the individual known as the Buddha.' is empty and ignores the history of Gaumata and data from the Persepolis Tablets. The Jewish scholar Wendy Donigher writes that Vishnu deluded the Danavas to become Buddhists but forgets that Al-beruni gave Gotama's name as Buddho-Dana which links him not only to the Danavas but also Daniel the Jew. Sudda-Yauda-Saramana of the Persepolis tablets was Gotama's father Suddhodana and He is also named as Sudda-Yauda-Damana which shows that he was one of the good demons mentioned by W. Donigher. The Damanavadi Sangha mentioned by Panini alludes to the Sangha of the Buddhists. Gotama himself was Sedda Saramana of the tablets.
         To find Gotama's abode it has to be noted that early India was wider than British India. Vincent Smith agreed with Pliny that Gedrosia and Karmania were in India. This is also implied by Alexander's victory over the Indians at Kohnouj in Karmania. A. Wink has no idea that Ubulla was Uruvela of the Pali texts (Al-Hind, vol.1, p.53)

In fact, the sources regard not the Indus but Makran and the head of the Persian Gulf, including a town like Al-Ubulla and even the island of Socotra, as the farj al-Hind or 'frontier of India'. Or they call it the ard al-Hind , the 'realm of India', which meant of course the 'realm of the India trade'.

      Wink, quotes extensively from Mas'udi, but makes out nothing of the learned historian's description of the journeys of Budasp or Buddha to Seistan, Zabulistan and Kerman. One can now recall that it was at Kuh-e Khwaja in Seistan, (~150 km from the Baluchistan border), that Sir Aurel Stein found an ancient Buddhist monastery.
       R. Ghirshman wrote that the Kuh-e Khwaja murals are the precursors of Gandhara art which reveals its true antiquity. Nearby Zabol echoes Kapil (vastu). The name Dahan-e Gholaman of another adjacent 6th century B.C. site echoes Gotama's name. Thus Kuh-e Khwaja was Gotama's birthplace Kapilavastu. Kapil (vastu), or Babil was the holiest religious centre of the world. The name Babil is echoed in the name Pavurlakonda. The statement of the Lalitavistara that all the Buddhas are born at Kapilavastu is echoed by the name Prophthasia. Later Babylon (Babil) gained ascendancy. The fantastic recent find of about 10,000 of ancient Buddhist fragments at Bamiyan, part of which is now in the Schoyen collection, shows that Buddhism was born here.
Bamiyan was near Kapilavastu, birth-place of the Buddha

The names Tiŝŝa, Siddharta and Suddho-dana, of the Persepolis tablets prove conclusively that Gotama was from Baluchistan-Seistan.
Kapilavastu or Babil (Prophthasia) links Abraham, Gotama, Zoroaster, and Jesus

    Vaishali is said to have had more than seven thousand pleasure gardens and an equal number of lotus ponds. This is an exaggeration yet there is truth in it. This cannot be Vaishali in Basarh in Bihar, as it has no 6th century B.C. relics. Arrian (Indica, 39) writes about the gardens of Mesambria which were akin to the Paradeisos. The Barrington Atlas puts Mesambria near Bushehr. Veysabad, near Bushehr may have been Vaishali of Buddha and Amrapali.

Biharas at Chehelkhaneh and Heydari are linked to Buddhism/Mitraism
      The legacy of Gotama Buddha can be clearly seen in Persian literature. The resounding humanism of Hafeez, Attar, Jalaluddin Rumi, Omar Khayyam and Amir Khosrow cannot be grasped without the call of Brotherhood given by Gotama and echoed by Alexander and Asoka/Diodotus. Sufism is said to be a universal form of wisdom which has very ancient roots. That Fanâ of the Sufis is almost identical to the Buddhist Nirvāņa is due to their common origin in Seistan-Baluchistan. A very large number of Sufi Saints were from Khorasan and Karman-Baluchistan where Buddhism once flourished. The story of Ibrahim ibn Adham of Balkh, one of the earliest Sufis, echoes the history of Gotama and has been immortalized in the legend of Baarlam and Josaphat. In many languages this was the first literary document.

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