by Moin Ansari
As investigative historians, many around the world are probing the nooks and crannies of historical archives. South Asian history is still being unraveled. Many knots are being solved. The cloak of Hindu scripture and British colonialist dogma has been lifted and the rays of sunshine are now displaying the true history of the land of the Indus and land of the Ganges.
The timeline for Ashoka is all wrong. New carbon dating evidence question the timeline of Buddha and Ashoka.
Traditionally, eastern Buddhists give the date of Buddha’s death as 949 B.C. (with variants including 878 B.C. and 686 B.C.), while northern Buddhists gave 881 B.C., and the southern Buddhists provide 543 B.C. as the correct year. More recent scholarship began to settle on the year 486 B.C. or even 368 B.C., so many textbooks usually fudge the issue and say he was born around 500 B.C. All methods rely on lists of kings and councils recorded in the Buddhist tradition itself, tied into known history through the Mauryan Emperors Candragupta and Asoka.
Three Brits arrive in South Asia in the 18th century–get some rudimentary knowledge of Pali and Sanskrit and within a few weeks of their arrival they conjure up “Ashoka” the greatest king that ever was!
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