Dating the Buddha (563 BCE), EBT milestones and abhidhamma


In the absence of evidence, sometimes scholarly instincts can be beneficial!

with metta,


All this is unsourced, but I read somewhere that Ananda became a bhikkhu just a year or two after the Buddha’s awakening, and became his attendant twenty or so years later. As such, one would imagine Ananda being 20 years younger than the Buddha. I think I recall a sutta mentioning Ananda’s gray hair, possibly set before the Buddha’s parinibbana—which would make his being 40 years younger unlikely.
Apologies again for the lack of sources, I trust yourself or others to know more and develop on these potential points.

Happy and fruitful new year to all!


The tradition says they were the same age, but there are multiple indications that he was substantially younger, probably a generation or so. Most likely he’s somewhere between 20 and 40 years younger than the Buddha. On the whole, it’s true, somewhere less than 40 may be more likely.


If the Buddha met King Bimbisara (death -491) and was the same age (MN 89) as King Pasedani (-5xx) and met King Ajatasattu (-491 -459) then his awakening must have been before -491 (death of King Bimbisara) which means his birth must have been before -526 and his death before -486. So the -563 to -483 seems correct to me.`


But none of those dates have any independent support.

The first dates we have external evidence for are Ashoka’s, and the absolute chronology is estimated from the span of time between him and the Buddha and his contemporaries. The various histories span the gap between the Buddha and Ashoka by giving lists of kings or Dhamma leaders. And it is from these that the estimates are made. Thus the chronologies differ, depending on the assumptions they make and the way the evidence is considered.


Would these links be of any help?
Oldest Buddhist Shrine Uncovered In Nepal May Push Back Buddha’s Birth Date

With mettā