Scientific Papers on if the buddha existed

Interesting everyone is responding to each other. :joy: Dependent Origination


and papañca. :rofl: … and papañca … :rofl:


In The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts there is the part called “Vedic influence on the EBTs.” What I don’t understand is why this adds to the authenticity to the EBTs when there are similarities to the vedic texts. Maybe someone can explain that to me.

I tried study that also but for me that happened when Nikayas was written down. Not before. It’s seems the suttanipata and earliest parts of EBT has vary few influence of Vedas. But for me the Nikayas of Theravada was written down in Burma. Their Buddhism was influenced by Hinduism. So it’s complicated. But it’s also the Sangha had to accept Indian beliefs in Buddhism to preach. It might have been their strategy for preaching. The only way to help them cross the stream. You see the preaching style also alot in Avadanas. They will go in crowd’s and tell these stories. Slowly Buddhism got accepted. But I believe before King Asoka there was a king that probably brought the Vedic influence in Buddhism.

The Divyavadana mention this evil king. But not more details.

So it’s complicated

In 4-5 CE there was a king in India also against Buddhism. Destroyed alot temples etc I imagine that happened before. They can probably force change also.

Alot on wiki

In 5 CE Burma accepted Theravada, but before their Buddhism was influenced by Hinduism
After that Sri Lanka Sangha decline in Monks. The King had to sent help from Burma.
Reordination in Burma
It’s not clear also if Sri Lanka lost their Tripitaka. But it’s possible that much was lost. Because they had famine. After it happened many times. monks go India for refuge.

I say we never find out the way Buddhism developed in the beginning to become popular. Impossible. It’s too far. The best is just figuring EBT for yourself.

1 Like

Thank you, so it seems that the vedic influence does not hint at the authenticity. Maybe I have a misunderstanding about the paper, I thought that everything in it is supposed to contribute to the view that the palicanon is authentic, but maybe it also contains oppositve views, I am a bit confused. Maybe the Venerable @sujato or the Venerable @Brahmali when they have time and feel inclined to would explain a few words of the text. I am trying to deepen my trust to the Buddha so I am studying papers to broaden my knowledge.

Yes they can help better. They have a book also that might help you. My opinion is that we can’t really know. Everyone seems to trust because the comparison between Chinese translated Indian Buddhist text and The Theravada nikayas is the same. But there is not much proof what went on before that.

I actually found this in a Indian Chinese translated text. It sounds for you.


But tell the truth. There can be no comparison. Since the main teachings of Buddha is the only teaching concerned with removing so much attachment. And the Hindu text are mostly from late period. There is no proof of there early oral tradition. It seems scholars wrongly believe that some Hindu text predates Buddha. It’s funny. Even the currently available Vedas manuscript is from medieval era and can’t be trusted to have been the same Vedas from the time of Buddha.

1 Like

Thanks for the text, I think I doubt if the buddha did exist only because I had always a big doubter-personality. I am not inclined to dismiss things easily, but its hard for me to fully trust something. But I don’t doubt if the teaching is the most reasonable thing to pursue in life, I am quite sure of that.

I will give you an example

Here wiki says

The early Buddhist texts assert that pre-Buddha ancient Indian sages who taught these virtues were earlier incarnations of the Buddha.[23]Post-Buddha, these same virtues are found in the Hindu texts such as verse 1.33 of the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali .

When going to see the info of the text. It was translated alot in medieval India

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali was the most translated ancient Indian text in the medieval era, having been translated into about forty Indian languages and two non-Indian languages

Check out also tantric texts. Same story. :joy:

And then they wrongly date them. Indian was masters in creating Text that seems old. Theravada source says that’s what Mahasanghika did. Made their text seem older. I have read a EArly Mahayana text. Totally made like its old. :joy: the words chosen is not even in Suttanipata. Some common words. But you see the effort to make it look old. I think that’s a Indian tradition. The thing is they believed in using old languages. By the time it gets translated to Sanskrit it keeps that old feeling. Then scholars wrongly believe it’s old. :man_shrugging:

1 Like

It’s good to doubt. Your doubt will actually help you. Hej! Since you your on your journey ofcourse there will be doubt. It’s ok. Buddha encouraged people that immediately show faith in him to still keep investigating. Right now, the only thing for you to remove your doubt is to try the teaching of Buddha for a long time. Don’t be afraid that he needed to be a historical person. Trying his teaching, seeing for yourself if it’s true. Experience. Experiment.

Here is what Ajahn Chah said

Q: If putting everything together in our bowls is important, why don’t you as a teacher do it yourself? Don’t you feel it is important for the teacher to set an example?

A: Yes, it is true, a teacher should set an example for his disciples. I don’t mind that you criticize me. Ask whatever you wish. But it is important that you do not cling to the teacher. If I were abso- lutely perfect in outward form, it would be terrible. You would all be too attached to me. Even the Buddha would sometimes tell his disciples to do one thing and then do another himself. Your doubts in your teacher can help you. You should watch your own reactions. Do you think it is possible that I keep some food out of my bowl in dishes to feed the laymen who work around the temple?
Wisdom is for yourself to watch and develop. Take from the teacher what is good. Be aware of your own practice. If I am resting while you must all sit up, does this make you angry? If I call the color blue red or say that male is female, don’t follow me blindly.
One of my teachers ate very fast. He made noises as he ate. Yet he told us to eat slowly and mindfully. I used to watch him and get very upset. I suffered, but he didn’t! I watched the outside. Later I learned. Some people drive very fast but carefully. Others drive slowly and have many accidents. Don’t cling to rules, to outer form. If you watch others at most ten percent of the time and watch yourself ninety percent, this is the proper practice. At first I used to watch my teacher Ajahn Tong Raht and had many doubts. People even thought he was mad. He would do strange things or get very fierce with his disciples. Outside he was angry, but inside there was nothing. Nobody there. He was remarkable. He stayed clear and mindful until the moment he died.
Looking outside the self is comparing, discriminating. You will not find happiness that way. Nor will you find peace if you spend your time looking for the perfect man or the perfect teacher. The Buddha taught us to look at the Dhamma, the truth, not to look at other people.

1 Like

Please read these early Buddhist texts. See how deep the saying are. After you read them all there is the possibility of removing your doubt that they made up this human figure.

These are the earliest text.

Also read

Nipāta Translated by Laurence Khantipalo Mills

And the Udana

Remember we are 2020. We can’t expect perfect translation the same as Buddha time. But they are pretty faithful

There also the book I told you Bhante Sujato and Brahmali made

The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts

1 Like

Thank you for the texts to study. :pray:

1 Like

Remember you can always search in these texts for easy learning. Just take it slow. Repeat Suttas to understand better. Try grasping the meanings. :pray:t4:

1 Like

The king asked, “Is the Buddha incomparable?”

Nāgasena replied, “Yes, the Buddha is incomparable.”

“But how do you know that the Buddha is incomparable?”

Nāgasena asked the king, “Would those who have never seen the great ocean, know that the ocean is great? There are five great rivers, and to each of them, there are also five hundred small tributaries. The five great rivers are: (1) the Ganges, (2) the Sindhu, (3) the Sita, (4) the Oxus and (5) the Sarasvati. The waters of these five great rivers flow to the ocean day and night, but the water in the ocean neither increases nor decreases.”

Then Nāgasena asked the king, “Great king, do you know about this?”

“Certainly, I know,” said the king.

“Because those who have attained enlightenment have spoken of the incomparability of the Buddha. So I believe it.” said Nāgasena.

“Excellent, Nāgasena.”

Another reason to be faithful, others walked the Path and Attained the Path before us.


1 Like

There are a number of reasons why this matters.

First of all, it helps us to locate the suttas in time. If we can show that certain Vedic teachings are reflected in the suttas, then we can say that they must have preceded or at the very least be contemporary with the suttas.

Second, by locating the Vedic content, we can get better understanding of the Buddha’s teachings, because he would have reacted and responded to the philosophy of the day. In other words, for his teaching to be effective, he would have had to argue against flaws in the contemporary religious ideas, which he did. This helps us to understand why the Buddha phrased things in certain ways, and why this is coherent with the rest of his teachings.

Third, knowing the Vedic content allows us to understand at which points the Buddha is quoting from the Vedas rather than presenting his own teachings. Again, this helps us to better focus on the Buddha’s original message.

Fourth, the Buddha adopted some of the principles of oral transmission used by the Vedic reciters, who were extremely accurate in their recall. We can know from this that the Buddhist reciters were probably quite good at what they were doing. This gives us added confidence that they preserved the Buddhist Canon accurately.


Thank you, Venerable, for your explanation.

1 Like