Buddhism in Central Asia by B.N. Puri

By B.N. Puri

Buddhism in imperative Asia is a saga of peaceable pursuit by means of Buddhist students from Kashmir and Kabul to propagate the message of the Buddha. This huge sector among the Tien-Shan and the Kunlun levels was once the centre of actions of those Buddhist savants. right here humans of alternative races and professions, talking many languages, have been ultimately combined right into a cosmopolitan tradition. This created an highbrow weather of excessive order. during this context, the well-known silk exchange path used to be beneficial in including to the cloth prosperity of the folks during this zone. the current learn, as a result, isn't certainly one of Buddhism in isolation. It both offers an account of the political forces confronting one another throughout the process background of this quarter for good over one thousand years. for hundreds of years the drifting desolate tract sand of principal Asia enveloped this civilization and the faith hooked up with it. The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century explorers and archaeologists effectively exposed it at assorted centres alongside the outdated Silk path. This has been worthy for a accomplished research of Buddhism with its literature and artwork. The unearths of 1000s of inscriptions have further to the cultural dimensions of the research.

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Buddhism seems to have made considerable progress not only in India but also in Central Asia in this period. Spreading across the Hindukush along the trade route to China, its contributions in this period were tremendous in the form of great Buddhist monuments at Bamiyan, Surkh-Kotal and Adjina-Tepe in Tajikistan. The knowledge of Indian Kharosthi script is revealed from the documents from Niya not far from 19. M. : The Dynastic Arts o f the Kushanas, California, 1967, pp. 69 ff; Puri : Op. cit, pp.

13 The early history of the Kusanas or Kwei-shuang, a yabqou of the Yuehchi, is recorded in the well-known passage of the Hou-Han-shu or ‘Annals of the Later Han Dynasty’. A reference to the re­ lations between the Kusanas and the Yueh-chi and the later history of the former has already been made, but the historical aspect demands fuller consideration in the context of their contribution to political integration of Northern India, including present Pakistan with South-west Central Asian territories.

18. See ‘Along the Ancient Silk Routes—Introduction by Herbert Hertel, New York, 1982, p. 18. See also Gafurov ; ‘Kushan Civilisation and World Culture’ in Central Asia in the Kushan Period, p. 76. 38 • Buddhism in Central Asia Route was plied by the Sogdian merchants who founded their colonies and settlements in Central Asia and established trade and cultural relations with peoples of different nationalities. The co-existence of various ethnic-cultural traditions and different religious systems and creeds was remarkably signi­ ficant in this period.

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