|The Shakyas (Indo-Scythians) of Sakastan with their territory west of ancient India|
|Central Asia and horses, the tradition continues even today. Here Ashol-Pan the Mongolian-Kazakh falconer wanders about like a nomad near the Altai mountains (BBC.com)|
|A warrior needs a healing horse|
- Shakya-land, or Sakka-land, is the name we are giving to the territory, or janapada, controlled by the Shakya Clan, the Prince Siddhartha's extended family. A cursory review of ancient maps of the area suggests that the Shakyas were known as the Sakkas (see, for example, the Sakka Sutta in the Pali canon) and their territory was later called Sakastan. Dr. Ranajit Pal has suggested that the Buddha's mother was from Seistan Balochistan, a province between modern Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. They were Indo-Scythians -- pastoral, nomadic, noble "warrior" caste clan members enriched by the commerce out of India along the Silk Route up into Central and Northern Asia, where Buddhism soon traveled prior to reaching ancient Greece, China, and most of the rest of Asia.
|Equestrian activities are crucial and beloved in Afghanistan and throughout Central Asia even today, here seen during a friendly game of goat polo (buzkashi). The ancient Indo-Scythians of Sakastan had games like archery to build up young men's warrior abilities (wiki)|
|All heroic figures get white horses?|
|The Indus river of Scythia/Gandhara|
- Based on historical disinformation a rather minor river in Nepal is today called the Anoma. However, one imagines the future Buddha's journey actually began somewhere in the vicinity of Bamiyan, Kabul, and Mes Aynak, Afghanistan. The prince then headed east for "India," the Kingdom of Magadha in particular, one of the major territories of 16 loosely confederated republics and kingdoms that would have formed what is now called India but which were then independent rival territories.
|Mythic Christ (not Jesus) got a white donkey|
|Siddhartha parting from Kanthaka and Chandaka, Gandhara art, Indo-Scythia (wiki)|
|The changing sands of kingdoms, empires|
(Wiki) Modern Afghan games, rite of passage for males, not so good for goats.
|Three Jewels (Ti-Ratana) Scythian-Buddhist coin of Azes II with Triratna (wiki)|
(Wiki) Archaeological remains of the Scythians include kurgan tombs (ranging from simple exemplars to elaborate "Royal kurgans" containing the "Scythian triad" of weapons, horse-harness, and Scythian-style wild-animal art), gold, silk, and animal sacrifices, in places also with suspected human sacrifices. Mummification techniques, and permafrost have aided in the relative preservation of some remains. Scythian archaeology also examines the remains of North Pontic Scythian cities and fortifications. The spectacular Scythian grave-goods from Arzhan, and others in Tuva have been dated from about 900 BC onward. One grave find on the lower Volga gave a similar date, and one of the Steblev graves from the East European end of the Scythian area was dated to the late 8th century BC. More
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