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Neither Scythian nor Greek: A Response to Beckwith's Greek Buddha and Kuzminski's "Early Buddhism Reconsidered"

Neither Scythian nor Greek: A Response to Beckwith's Greek Buddha and Kuzminski's... Neither Scythian nor Greek: A Response to Beckwith’s Greek Buddha and Kuzminski’s “Early Buddhism Reconsidered” Charles Goodman Philosophy Department; Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, Binghamton University cgoodman@binghamton.edu I. Two Narratives According to an intriguing Chinese narrative, Laozi, founder of Daoism, did not restrict his teaching activities to his own countrymen. After entrusting his Daodejing to Yin Xi, the Keeper of the Pass, Laozi traveled west into the wilderness. Perhaps with the aid of supernatural powers, Laozi reached India and began to teach. There he came to be known as the Buddha. In this way, the striking similarities between Daoism and Buddhism are the result of these two traditions having had the same founder; and the equally striking differences are the result of the failure of the Western barbarians to understand the depth and subtlety of Laozi’s thought. Amused by the story? Here’s another. In this second narrative, the historical Buddha was a Scythian, a Central Asian steppe nomad. He traveled to Magadha, where he made a wonderful discovery at Bodhgayā: that freedom from views is the key to tranquility. He then went to Gandhāra and taught this to others. He also traveled to China and contributed to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy East and West University of Hawai'I Press

Neither Scythian nor Greek: A Response to Beckwith's Greek Buddha and Kuzminski's "Early Buddhism Reconsidered"

Philosophy East and West , Volume 68 (3) – Aug 8, 2018

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1529-1898

Abstract

Neither Scythian nor Greek: A Response to Beckwith’s Greek Buddha and Kuzminski’s “Early Buddhism Reconsidered” Charles Goodman Philosophy Department; Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, Binghamton University cgoodman@binghamton.edu I. Two Narratives According to an intriguing Chinese narrative, Laozi, founder of Daoism, did not restrict his teaching activities to his own countrymen. After entrusting his Daodejing to Yin Xi, the Keeper of the Pass, Laozi traveled west into the wilderness. Perhaps with the aid of supernatural powers, Laozi reached India and began to teach. There he came to be known as the Buddha. In this way, the striking similarities between Daoism and Buddhism are the result of these two traditions having had the same founder; and the equally striking differences are the result of the failure of the Western barbarians to understand the depth and subtlety of Laozi’s thought. Amused by the story? Here’s another. In this second narrative, the historical Buddha was a Scythian, a Central Asian steppe nomad. He traveled to Magadha, where he made a wonderful discovery at Bodhgayā: that freedom from views is the key to tranquility. He then went to Gandhāra and taught this to others. He also traveled to China and contributed to

Journal

Philosophy East and WestUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 8, 2018

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