A report on SanskritBuddhism and Ashoka

Rigveda (padapatha) manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century. The red horizontal and vertical lines mark low and high pitch changes for chanting.
Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan
A c. 1st century BCE/CE relief from Sanchi, showing Ashoka on his chariot, visiting the Nagas at Ramagrama.
A 17th-century birch bark manuscript of Pāṇini's grammar treatise from Kashmir
The gilded "Emaciated Buddha statue" in an Ubosoth in Bangkok representing the stage of his asceticism
Ashoka's Major Rock Edict at Junagadh contains inscriptions by Ashoka (fourteen of the Edicts of Ashoka), Rudradaman I and Skandagupta.
An early use of the word for "Sanskrit" in Late Brahmi script (also called Gupta script): Gupta ashoka sam.jpgGupta ashoka skrr.jpgGupta ashoka t.svg Saṃ-skṛ-ta 
Mandsaur stone inscription of Yashodharman-Vishnuvardhana, 532 CE.
Enlightenment of Buddha, Kushan dynasty, late 2nd to early 3rd century CE, Gandhara.
King Ashoka visits Ramagrama, to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas, but in vain. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Sanchi.
Sanskrit's link to the Prakrit languages and other Indo-European languages
The Buddha teaching the Four Noble Truths. Sanskrit manuscript. Nalanda, Bihar, India.
The Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka, mentions the Greek kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas and Alexander by name, as recipients of his teachings.
The Spitzer Manuscript is dated to about the 2nd century CE (above: folio 383 fragment). Discovered in the Kizil Caves, near the northern branch of the Central Asian Silk Route in northwest China, it is the oldest Sanskrit philosophical manuscript known so far.
Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Thangka depicting the Wheel of Life with its six realms
The Aramaic Inscription of Taxila probably mentions Ashoka.
A 5th-century Sanskrit inscription discovered in Java, Indonesia—one of the earliest in southeast Asia after the Mulavarman inscription discovered in Kutai, eastern Borneo. The Ciaruteun inscription combines two writing scripts and compares the king to the Hindu god Vishnu. It provides a terminus ad quem to the presence of Hinduism in the Indonesian islands. The oldest southeast Asian Sanskrit inscription—called the Vo Canh inscription—so far discovered is near Nha Trang, Vietnam, and it is dated to the late 2nd century to early 3rd century CE.
Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India is regionally believed to be Buddha's cremation site.
The Saru Maru commemorative inscription seems to mention the presence of Ashoka in the area of Ujjain as he was still a Prince.
Sanskrit language's historical presence has been attested in many countries. The evidence includes manuscript pages and inscriptions discovered in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. These have been dated between 300 and 1800 CE.
An aniconic depiction of the Buddha's spiritual liberation (moksha) or awakening (bodhi), at Sanchi. The Buddha is not depicted, only symbolized by the Bodhi tree and the empty seat.
Kanaganahalli inscribed panel portraying Asoka with Brahmi label "King Asoka", 1st–3rd century CE.
One of the oldest surviving Sanskrit manuscript pages in Gupta script (c. 828 CE), discovered in Nepal
Dharma Wheel and triratna symbols from Sanchi Stupa number 2.
Stupa of Sanchi. The central stupa was built during the Mauryas, and enlarged during the Sungas, but the decorative gateway is dated to the later dynasty of the Satavahanas.
One of the oldest Hindu Sanskrit inscriptions, the broken pieces of this early-1st-century BCE Hathibada Brahmi Inscription were discovered in Rajasthan. It is a dedication to deities Vāsudeva-Samkarshana (Krishna-Balarama) and mentions a stone temple.
Buddhist monks and nuns praying in the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple of Singapore
Illustration of the original Mahabodhi Temple temple built by Asoka at Bodh Gaya. At the center, the Vajrasana, or "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", with its supporting columns, being the object of adoration. A Pillar of Ashoka topped by an elephant appears in the right corner. Bharhut relief, 1st century BCE.
in the form of a terracotta plaque
A depiction of Siddhartha Gautama in a previous life prostrating before the past Buddha Dipankara. After making a resolve to be a Buddha, and receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood, he becomes a "bodhisattva".
The rediscovered Vajrasana, or "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. It was built by Ashoka to commemorate the enlightenment of the Buddha, about two hundred years before him.
Sanskrit in modern Indian and other Brahmi scripts: May Śiva bless those who take delight in the language of the gods. (Kālidāsa)
Bodhisattva Maitreya, Gandhara (3rd century), Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ashoka and Monk Moggaliputta-Tissa at the Third Buddhist Council. Nava Jetavana, Shravasti.
One of the earliest known Sanskrit inscriptions in Tamil Grantha script at a rock-cut Hindu Trimurti temple (Mandakapattu, c. 615 CE)
Sermon in the Deer Park depicted at Wat Chedi Liam, near Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
A king - most probably Ashoka - with his two queens and three attendants, in a relief at Sanchi. The king's identification with Ashoka is suggested by a similar relief at Kanaganahalli, which bears his name.
The ancient Yūpa inscription (one of the earliest and oldest Sanskrit texts written in ancient Indonesia) dating back to the 4th century CE written by Brahmins under the rule of King Mulavarman of the Kutai Martadipura Kingdom located in eastern Borneo
Buddhist monks collect alms in Si Phan Don, Laos. Giving is a key virtue in Buddhism.
Ashoka with his queen, at Kanaganahalli near Sannati, 1st–3rd century CE. The relief bears the inscription "Rāya Asoko" (𑀭𑀸𑀬 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓𑁄, "King Ashoka") in Brahmi script. It depicts the king with his queen, two attendants bearing fly-whisks, and one attendant bearing an umbrella.
Sanskrit festival at Pramati Hillview Academy, Mysore, India
An ordination ceremony at Wat Yannawa in Bangkok. The Vinaya codes regulate the various sangha acts, including ordination.
Emperor Ashoka and his Queen at the Deer Park. Sanchi relief.
Living at the root of a tree (trukkhamulik'anga) is one of the dhutaṅgas, a series of optional ascetic practices for Buddhist monastics.
The word Upāsaka (𑀉𑀧𑀸𑀲𑀓, "Buddhist lay follower", in the Brahmi script), used by Ashoka in his Minor Rock Edict No.1 to describe his affiliation to Buddhism (circa 258 BCE).
Kōdō Sawaki practicing Zazen ("sitting dhyana")
Territories "conquered by the Dhamma" according to Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka (260–218 BCE).
Seated Buddha, Gal Viharaya, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka.
Distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka, and location of the contemporary Greek city of Ai-Khanoum.
Kamakura Daibutsu, Kōtoku-in, Kamakura, Japan.
The Kandahar Edict of Ashoka, a bilingual inscription (in Greek and Aramaic) by King Ashoka, discovered at Kandahar (National Museum of Afghanistan).
Statue of Buddha in Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Phitsanulok, Thailand
The Minor Rock Edict of Maski mentions the author as "Devanampriya Asoka", definitively linking both names, and confirming Ashoka as the author of the famous Edicts.
An 18th century Mongolian miniature which depicts the generation of the Vairocana Mandala
A c. 1910 painting by Abanindranath Tagore (1871–1951) depicting Ashoka's queen standing in front of the railings of the Buddhist monument at Sanchi (Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh).
A section of the Northern wall mural at the Lukhang Temple depicting tummo, the three channels (nadis) and phowa
The Ashokan pillar at Lumbini, Nepal, Buddha's birthplace
Monks debating at Sera Monastery, Tibet
The Diamond throne at the Mahabodhi Temple, attributed to Ashoka
Tibetan Buddhist prostration practice at Jokhang, Tibet.
Front frieze of the Diamond throne
Vegetarian meal at Buddhist temple. East Asian Buddhism tends to promote vegetarianism.
Mauryan ringstone, with standing goddess. Northwest Pakistan. 3rd century BCE. British Museum
A depiction of the supposed First Buddhist council at Rajgir. Communal recitation was one of the original ways of transmitting and preserving Early Buddhist texts.
Rampurva bull capital, detail of the abacus, with two "flame palmettes" framing a lotus surrounded by small rosette flowers.
Gandhara birchbark scroll fragments (c. 1st century) from British Library Collection
Caduceus symbol on a Maurya-era punch-marked coin
The Tripiṭaka Koreana in South Korea, an edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon carved and preserved in over 81,000 wood printing blocks
A punch-marked coin attributed to Ashoka<ref>{{cite book |last=Mitchiner |first=Michael |date=1978 |title=Oriental Coins & Their Values: The Ancient and Classical World 600 B.C. - A.D. 650 |publisher=Hawkins Publications |page=544 |isbn=978-0-9041731-6-1}}</ref>
Buddhist monk Geshe Konchog Wangdu reads Mahayana sutras from an old woodblock copy of the Tibetan Kanjur.
A Maurya-era silver coin of 1 karshapana, possibly from Ashoka's period, workshop of Mathura. Obverse: Symbols including a sun and an animal Reverse: Symbol Dimensions: 13.92 x 11.75 mm Weight: 3.4 g.
Mahākāśyapa meets an Ājīvika ascetic, one of the common Śramaṇa groups in ancient India
The Lion Capital of Ashoka in Sarnath, showing its four Asiatic lions standing back to back, and symbolizing the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, supporting the Wheel of Moral law (Dharmachakra, reconstitution per Sarnath Museum notice). The lions stand on a circular abacus, decorated with dharmachakras alternating with four animals in profile: horse, bull, elephant, and lion. The architectural bell below the abacus, is a stylized upside down lotus. Sarnath Museum.
Ajanta Caves, Cave 10, a first period type chaitya worship hall with stupa but no idols.
Sanchi Stupa No. 3, near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Map of the Buddhist missions during the reign of Ashoka according to the Edicts of Ashoka.
Extent of Buddhism and trade routes in the 1st century CE.
Buddhist expansion throughout Asia
A Buddhist triad depicting, left to right, a Kushan, the future buddha Maitreya, Gautama Buddha, the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, and a monk. Second–third century. Guimet Museum
Site of Nalanda University, a great center of Mahāyāna thought
Vajrayana adopted deities such as Bhairava, known as Yamantaka in Tibetan Buddhism.
Angkor Thom build by Khmer King Jayavarman VII (c. 1120–1218).
Distribution of major Buddhist traditions
Buddhists of various traditions, Yeunten Ling Tibetan Institute
Monastics and white clad laypersons celebrate Vesak, Vipassakna Dhaurak, Cambodia
Chinese Buddhist monks performing a formal ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Tibetan Buddhists practicing Chöd with various ritual implements, such as the Damaru drum, hand-bell, and Kangling (thighbone trumpet).
Ruins of a temple at the Erdene Zuu Monastery complex in Mongolia.
Buryat Buddhist monk in Siberia
1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago
Interior of the Thai Buddhist wat in Nukari, Nurmijärvi, Finland
Percentage of Buddhists by country, according to the Pew Research Center, as of 2010
A painting by G. B. Hooijer (c. 1916–1919) reconstructing a scene of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Frontispiece of the Chinese Diamond Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world
The Dharmachakra, a sacred symbol which represents Buddhism and its traditions.
An image of a lantern used in the Vesak Festival, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana of Gautama Buddha.

Sanskrit is the sacred language of Hinduism, the language of classical Hindu philosophy, and of historical texts of Buddhism and Jainism.

- Sanskrit

Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravāda (Pali: "The School of the Elders") and Mahāyāna (Sanskrit: "The Great Vehicle").

- Buddhism

According to an interpretation of his Edicts, he converted to Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War, which he had waged out of a desire for conquest and which reportedly directly resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and 150,000 deportations.

- Ashoka

His Sanskrit name "" means "painless, without sorrow" (the a privativum and śoka, "pain, distress").

- Ashoka

The most extensive inscriptions that have survived into the modern era are the rock edicts and pillar inscriptions of the 3rd century BCE Mauryan emperor Ashoka, but these are not in Sanskrit.

- Sanskrit

Buddhism may have spread only slowly throughout India until the time of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (304–232 BCE), who was a public supporter of the religion.

- Buddhism
Rigveda (padapatha) manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century. The red horizontal and vertical lines mark low and high pitch changes for chanting.

3 related topics with Alpha


Burmese Kammavaca manuscript written in Pali in the 'Burmese' script.


1 links

Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent.

Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent.

Burmese Kammavaca manuscript written in Pali in the 'Burmese' script.
19th century Burmese Kammavācā (confession for Buddhist monks), written in Pali on gilded palm leaf

It is widely studied because it is the language of the Buddhist Pāli Canon or Tipiṭaka as well as the sacred language of Theravāda Buddhism.

Pāḷi, as a Middle Indo-Aryan language, is different from Classical Sanskrit more with regard to its dialectal base than the time of its origin.

Around the time of Ashoka there had been more linguistic divergence, and an attempt was made to assemble all the material.

The Prakrit word "dha-ṃ-ma"/𑀥𑀁𑀫 (Sanskrit: Dharma धर्म) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Emperor Ashoka in his Edicts of Ashoka (3rd century BCE).


1 links

The Prakrit word "dha-ṃ-ma"/𑀥𑀁𑀫 (Sanskrit: Dharma धर्म) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Emperor Ashoka in his Edicts of Ashoka (3rd century BCE).
The Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription is from Indian Emperor Asoka in 258 BC, and found in Afghanistan. The inscription renders the word dharma in Sanskrit as eusebeia in Greek, suggesting dharma in ancient India meant spiritual maturity, devotion, piety, duty towards and reverence for human community.
The wheel in the centre of India's flag symbolises dharma.

Dharma (dharma, ; dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others.

In the 3rd century BCE the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka translated dharma into Greek and Aramaic he used the Greek word eusebeia (εὐσέβεια, piety, spiritual maturity, or godliness) in the Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription and the Kandahar Greek Edicts.

It is explained as law of righteousness and equated to satya (Sanskrit: सत्यं, truth), in hymn 1.4.14 of Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, as follows:

A map of India in the 2nd century AD showing the extent of the Kushan Empire (in yellow) during the reign of Kanishka. Most historians consider the empire to have variously extended as far east as the middle Ganges plain, to Varanasi on the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna, or probably even Pataliputra.

Kushan Empire

0 links

Syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century.

Syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century.

A map of India in the 2nd century AD showing the extent of the Kushan Empire (in yellow) during the reign of Kanishka. Most historians consider the empire to have variously extended as far east as the middle Ganges plain, to Varanasi on the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna, or probably even Pataliputra.
A map of India in the 2nd century AD showing the extent of the Kushan Empire (in yellow) during the reign of Kanishka. Most historians consider the empire to have variously extended as far east as the middle Ganges plain, to Varanasi on the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna, or probably even Pataliputra.
Yuezhi nobleman and priest over a fire altar. Noin-Ula.
The ethnonym "KOϷ ϷANO" (Koshshano, "Kushan") in Greek alphabet (with the addition of the letter Ϸ, "Sh") on a coin of the first known Kushan ruler Heraios (1st century AD).
the famous head of a Yuezhi prince
Greek alphabet (narrow columns) with Kushan script (wide columns)
Early gold coin of Kanishka I with Greek language legend and Hellenistic divinity Helios. (c. AD 120).
Obverse: Kanishka standing, clad in heavy Kushan coat and long boots, flames emanating from shoulders, holding a standard in his left hand, and making a sacrifice over an altar. Greek legend: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΚΑΝΗϷΚΟΥ
Basileus Basileon Kanishkoy
"[Coin] of Kanishka, king of kings". Reverse: Standing Helios in Hellenistic style, forming a benediction gesture with the right hand. Legend in Greek script: ΗΛΙΟΣ Helios Kanishka monogram (tamgha) to the left.
Kushan territories (full line) and maximum extent of Kushan control under Kanishka the Great. The extent of Kushan control is notably documented in the Rabatak inscription. The northern expansion into the Tarim Basin is mainly suggested by coin finds and Chinese chronicles.
Map showing the four empires of Eurasia in the 2nd century AD. "For a time, the Kushan Empire was the centerpoint of the major civilizations".
Eastern reach as far as Bengal: Samatata coinage of king Vira Jadamarah, in imitation of the Kushan coinage of Kanishka I. The text of the legend is a meaningless imitation. Bengal, circa 2nd-3rd century AD.
Kumara/Kartikeya with a Kushan devotee, 2nd century AD
Kushan prince, said to be Huvishka, making a donation to a Boddhisattva.
Shiva Linga worshipped by Kushan devotees, circa 2nd century AD
The Ahin Posh stupa was dedicated in the 2nd century AD under the Kushans, and contained coins of Kushan and Roman Emperors.
Early Mahayana Buddhist triad. From left to right, a Kushan devotee, Maitreya, the Buddha, Avalokitesvara, and a Buddhist monk. 2nd–3rd century, Gandhara
The head of a Gandhara Bodhisattava said to resemble a Kushan prince, as seen in [[:File:KushanHead.jpg|the portrait of the prince]] from Khalchayan. Philadelphia Museum.
Greco-Roman gladiator on a glass vessel, Begram, 2nd century
Mahasena on a coin of Huvishka
Four-faced Oesho
Rishti or Riom<ref>{{cite journal |quote=The reading of the name of the deity on this coin is very much uncertain and disputed (Riom, Riddhi, Rishthi, Rise....) |last1=Fleet |first1=J.F. |title=The Introduction of the Greek Uncial and Cursive Characters into India |journal=The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland |year=1908 |volume=1908 |page=179, note 1 |jstor=25210545}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |quote=The name Riom as read by Gardner, was read by Cunningham as Ride, who equated it with Riddhi, the Indian goddess of fortune. F.W. Thomas has read the name as Rhea |last1=Shrava |first1=Satya |title=The Kushāṇa Numismatics |year=1985 |publisher=Pranava Prakashan |page=29 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=_1EaAAAAYAAJ}}</ref>
Oesho or Shiva
Oesho or Shiva with bull
Skanda and Visakha
Kushan Carnelian seal representing the "ΑΔϷΟ" (adsho Atar), with triratana symbol left, and Kanishka the Great's dynastic mark right
Coin of Kanishka I, with a depiction of the Buddha and legend "Boddo" in Greek script
Coin of Vima Kadphises. Deity Oesho on the reverse, thought to be Shiva,<ref name="sino-platonic.org"/>{{sfn|Bopearachchi|2007|pp=41–53}}<ref>Perkins, J. (2007). Three-headed Śiva on the Reverse of Vima Kadphises's Copper Coinage. South Asian Studies, 23(1), 31–37</ref> or the Zoroastrian Vayu.<ref>{{cite book |editor-last1=Errington |editor-first1=Elizabeth |author=Fitzwilliam Museum |title=The Crossroads of Asia: transformation in image and symbol in the art of ancient Afghanistan and Pakistan |date=1992 |publisher=Ancient India and Iran Trust |isbn=9780951839911 |page=87 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=pfLpAAAAMAAJ}}</ref>
<center>Kanishka I:
<center>Kanishka I:
<center>Kanishka I:
<center>Kanishka I:
<center>Vasudeva I:
<center>Vasudeva I:
<center>Kanishka II:

The Kushans in general were also great patrons of Buddhism, and, starting with Emperor Kanishka, they also employed elements of Zoroastrianism in their pantheon.

Several inscriptions in Sanskrit in the Brahmi script, such as the Mathura inscription of the statue of Vima Kadphises, refer to the Kushan Emperor as , Ku-ṣā-ṇa ("Kushana").

Along with his predecessors in the region, the Indo-Greek king Menander I (Milinda) and the Indian emperors Ashoka and Harsha Vardhana, Kanishka is considered by Buddhism as one of its greatest benefactors.