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The same ambiguity is found in Sde-pa tha-dad-par byed-pa da"n rnam-par b"sad-pa, the Tibetan translation of BHAVYA's Nikaayabheda-vibha"nga-vyaakhyaa [Treatise on the Schisms].(note 9) It gives the figure of 160 years in some editions of the Tibetan canon and 116 years in other editions.

For example, according to BAREAU's translation, the Narthang (1741-42 CE) and Peking (1724 CE) editions have the following statement: "One hundred and sixty years (lo-brgya-drug-cu) (note 10) having passed since the of the Blessed Buddha, at the time when the king named Dharmaa"soka ruled in the town called Kusumapura, there developed a great dissension in the Sangha as a consequence of the appearance of various points of controversy." (note 11) "It is clear that if the objective of these volumes was to find absolute proof as to the exact date of the Buddha, then they would have failed.

(note 1) Contemporary scholars in Asia and the West have suggested various dates that differ from the traditional Sinhalese/Theravaadin dates of 624-544 BCE; for example: The reasoning and evidence used in calculating these dates are diverse and are not always conclusive or convincing.

One viable method entails reckoning from the year of the coronation or accession of the emperor A"soka, and this is the approach I adopt here.

Further, it is known that the lifetime of the Buddha lasted eighty years.

Based on these shared records in Buddhist traditions and the information provided by modern Indological research on the coronation date of A"soka, one is able to infer the date of the Buddha, though still with some questions remaining.

Chronologically accurate records for early Indian history are evidently lacking.

Consequently, the date of the historical Buddha remains difficult to conclude exactly, though it has been the subject of much scholarly discussion.

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The Controversy on the Dating of the Historical Buddha (Selected Papers Based on a Symposium Held under the Auspices of the Academy of Sciences in Gottingen; Biblotheca Indo-Buddhica Series, No. Cousins, Lance, S., "The Dating of the Historical Buddha: A review article" (of Bechert, 1991-2).

165) (Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi, 1995); Hajime NAKAMURA, Indian Buddhism: A Survey with Bibliographical Notes (Japan, 1980; reprinted Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1989), pp. See Indology website (; originally published in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 6.1 (1996), pp.

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