The dating of the historical buddha a review article
There is simply no reason for Singhalese texts to be more reliable than Indian, Chinese, and Nepalese texts.
We will begin by finding the time period when Buddha really lived.
Due to his central position in ancient Indian history, it is of paramount importance to correctly fix his date.
However, what the historians have fed us as most reliable also results in a chronological dilemma that is impossible to resolve. One can see from this that two types of dates – one pertaining to Indian history and others to the life of the Buddha – are joined in a synchronism, without matching up.” Let me explain this problem further.
This problem has been stated by Theodor Benfey in 1839 in the following words : “… we can hardly place the beginning of Chandragupta’s reign earlier than 312 B. According to the chronology of Mahavamsa, however, Chandragupta’s accession to power dates to the year 381 B. Modern historians have calculated the date of the Buddha from the date of Aśoka Maurya, whose date of coronation has been fixed at ~268 BCE, based on his identification with Devānāmpriya Priyadarśī.
In my previous articles, I presented evidence to show that the currently accepted version of Indian history is deeply flawed due to wrong identifications of the two sheet anchors that have been used to fix Indian history.
The currently accepted version of Indian history starts in the sixth century BCE and places a number of historical personalities where they do not belong chronologically.
This never before proposed identification of Devānāmpriya Priyadarśī unshackles the Indian history from the grip of wrong sheet anchors and provides us an opportunity to recreate the Indian history as it had really happened.However, the same Singhalese texts that mention 218 years between the Nirvāṇa of Buddha and coronation of Piyadassi are also emphatic that Nirvāṇa of Buddha took place in 543 BCE.Counting from this date the coronation of Aśoka Maurya took place 218 years later in 325 BCE, which is around the time of the invasion of India by Alexander.The best authority, after all, is the Bhagawat itself, in the first chapter of which it is expressly declared, that “Buddha, the son of Jina, would appear at Cicata for the purpose of confounding the demons, just at “the beginning of the Caliyug.” I have long been convinced, that, on these subjects, we can only reason satisfactorily from written evidence, and that our forensick rule must be invariably applied to take the declarations of the Brahmans most strongly against themselves; that is, against their pretentious to antiquity; so that, on the whole, we may safely place Buddha just at the beginning of the present age: but what is the beginning of it?When this question was proposed to Radhacant, he answered, “Of a period comprising more than four hundred thousand years, “the ﬁrst two or three thousand may reasonably be called the beginning.” On my demanding written evidence, he produced a book of some authority, composed by a learned Goswami, and entitled Bhagawatamarita, or the Nectar of the Bhagawat, on which it is a metrical comment; and the couplet which he read from it deserves to be cited.Modern historians are telling us that the place farthest from the birthplace of Buddha has preserved the most authentic date of his birth.