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There can be no question that Buddha was a living, historical person, born in the sixth century B.C. in what is now Nepal — whose profound teachings influenced the thinking of philosophers for the last 2600 years. Buddha’s life and teachings are not a matter of faith. His practical, method-based teachings changed much of Asia, and ultimately permeated societies around the world.
Gautama Buddha is accepted by most scholars as a real person, even if there are obviously mythical overlays for the purposes of “teaching.” The most exciting recent evidence was archeological — a likely date for Buddha’s birth.
A 2013 archeological discovery helps date Buddha lived in the 6th century BCE.
This new evidence, together with previous substantial evidence, begs the question — which stories of Buddha’s life are verifiably factual, and which stories may be embellished for teaching-purposes? Many of the Sutra stories have been verified to various extents through correlation to historical events of the time. Some of the disciples of the Buddha have been verified credibly.
The National Geographic discovery (video):
November 25, 2013— At one of Buddhism’s most revered pilgrimage sites, a National Geographic archaeologist’s team has uncovered evidence that the Buddha lived in the sixth century B.C., much earlier than some scholars had believed. The excavation at Lumbini, Nepal, long identified as the birthplace of the Buddha, revealed a previously unknown timber shrine once stood there, it’s walls mirroring more recent brick temples.
A documentary on Coningham’s exploration of the Buddha’s life, “Buried Secrets of the Buddha,” will premiere on the National Geographic Channel.
Birth of Buddha — 6th Century BCE
In 2013, National Geographic reported on archaeologists in Nepal who discovered verifiable evidence of a structure at the birthplace of the Buddha — dating to the sixth century B.C. As quoted from the National Geographic Society (Nov 25, 2013):
“Pioneering excavations within the sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage site long identified as the birthplace of the Buddha, uncovered the remains of a previously unknown sixth-century B.C. timber structure under a series of brick temples. Laid out on the same design as those above it, the timber structure contains an open space in the center that links to the nativity story of the Buddha himself…”
Their peer-reviewed findings are reported in the December 2013 issue of the international journal Antiquity. The research is partly supported by the National Geographic Society.
“UNESCO is very proud to be associated with this important discovery at one of the most holy places for one of the world’s oldest religions,” said
By: Lee Kane
Title: Evidence: what are the verifiable facts about Gautama Shakyamuni Buddha? What do archaeologists, scholars and scientists agree are the validated, authentic events?
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Published Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2020 20:22:26 +0000