Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Buddhist Lit of Ancient Gandhara (book)

Author Richard Salomon (amazon.com); Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Gandhara, the northwest frontier of proto-India: the Buddha's homeland, Scythia/Saka.
The Buddhist Literature of Ancient Gandhara: An Introduction with Selected Translations (Classics of Indian Buddhism) is a valuable contribution to the study of early Buddhist texts.

Discover the fascinating history of a long-hidden Buddhist culture at a historic crossroads along the Silk Road.

In the years following Macedon's Alexander the Great’s conquest of the East, a series of empires rose up along the Silk Road.

In what is now Northern Pakistan (Northwestern India prior to 1948), the civilizations in the region called Gandhara became increasingly important centers for the development of Buddhism.

They reached their apex under King Kanishka of the Kusanas in the second century CE. Gandhara has long been known for its Greek-Indian synthesis in architecture and statuary.

Upper left: Gandhara, Scythia, Saka
But until about 20 years ago, almost nothing was known about its literature. The insights provided by manuscripts unearthed over the last few decades show that Gandhara was indeed a vital link in the early development of Buddhism.

It was instrumental in both the transmission of Buddhism to China and the rise of the Mahayana (a syncretic Hindu-Buddhist) tradition.

The Buddhist Literature of Ancient Gandhara surveys what we know about Gandhara and its Buddhism. It also provides translations of a dozen different short texts, from similes and rebirth stories to treatises on time and reality. More

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