April 1, 2023
Buddhist Monks and Travelers form an important question in UPSC. They were the messengers of peace, cultural exchange, and traveled quite ahead of their times.
Monk / TravelerPeriod / AroundAbout / Famous for
Ananda6th Century BCFirst Cousin of Buddha; loved disciple;
per se Vinaya Pittaka – persuaded Buddha to allow women to become Nuns;
attained Enlightenment late around 480BC?
Just before first Buddhist Council – he recited Sutta Pittaka (Basket of Discourse); lived to age 120?
Moggaliputtatissa 250 BCEPresident of 3rd Buddhist Council ; author of kathavatthu- ‘Points of Controversy’; credited with ordaining Asoka’s on Mahinda into sangha;
Bodhidharma Buddhist monk from South India, 3rd son of Tamil Pallava king, was the founder of Shaolin/Kungfu
Ashvaghosa 80 ADpopularized the style of Sanskrit poetry ‘kavya’ much before Kalidasa; born Brahmin; until heated debate follow value Buddhism; Saw Kanishka overtake India at Varanasi;
wrote shraddopadashastra- faith in Mahayana; Buddhacharita; Mahalankara-book of glory;
Kumarajiva 343 ADborn to Kashmiri father and Kuchh Mother-Vedantic learning; translated Sanskrit texts into Chinese; raised as Hinayanist later converted to Mahayan; led to evolution of three Treatise of Buddhism in China
Fa Xian399 ADChandragupta II time~; returned with Shramana Budha bhadra to China; Orig name: Sehi; translated Buddhist books into Chinese; Carried Mahaparinirvana Sutra; Vinaya Pittaka; wrote Foguoji- Record of Buddhist Kingdoms; spend more than 200 days on sea-ship carried away by winds!
Nagarjuna2nd Century ADBuddhist Philosophy; doctrine of emptiness (shunyata);
founder of Madhyamika School of Mahayana Buddhism; teacher of Aryadeva
Prasangikas [Term]Disciples of Nagarjuna who limit the use of logic to negative and indirect method are called Prasangikas
Aryadeva; Buddhadeva and Candrakirti are imp
Candrakirti 500-650 ADwrote on thought of Nagarjuna – prasannapada – only one preserved in Sanskrit all rest works on Nagarjuna’s thought are in Tibetan
Bhavaviveka 8th Century ADdisciple & interpreter of Nagarjuna; however followed direct reasoning and found Svatantrika school of Madhyamika philosophy- very imp role in Tibet Buddhism
Xuan Zang 600 ADmany names: Chen Yi, Mokshadeva; like Alberuni and Ibnbatuta he was from a scholarly family as well;
translated Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit to Chinese;
found Buddhist Consciousness School in China;
fame rests mainly on volume & diversity of translations of Buddhist Scriptures; precise travel records are of great importance to historians and archaelogists; patron & funded by Harsha; yogacar-Vijnanavada-Chengweishilun- ‘Whole world is but the representation of mind’
Vasubandha 5th Century ADfrom Sarvastivada School to Mahayana tradition – attributed to young brother Asanga; author of earlier Abhidharmakosha – Sravastivada School
Paramartha 499 ADIndian Buddhist Missionary; 546AD development of Chinese Buddhism; -> Yogacar school of thought became famous
Buddhaghosh 5th Century ADVisuddhimagga- ‘path of purification’; traveled to Anuradhapura, SL- translated many Sinhalese Buddhists text into Pali
Dharmakirti 7th Century ADIndian Buddhist Philosopher and logician- self constraint by practice of Yoga is pure particular (svalakshan)
Bhavabhuti 7th Century ADDramatist and poet; rivals Kalidasa’ play; Brahmin of vidarbha (Berar); in court of Yasovarman of Kannauj;
wrote: mahaviracharita (Ramayan upto killing of Ravana);
Malatimadhava (complex original love intrigue);
Uttamacharita (Later life of Rama- banish of Sita – reunion);
Great in ‘kavya’- use of metaphors and similes

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