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Buddhism in Central Asia by B.N. Puri

By B.N. Puri

Buddhism in valuable Asia is a saga of peaceable pursuit by way of Buddhist students from Kashmir and Kabul to propagate the message of the Buddha. This substantial zone among the Tien-Shan and the Kunlun levels was once the centre of actions of those Buddhist savants. the following humans of alternative races and professions, conversing many languages, have been eventually combined right into a cosmopolitan tradition. This created an highbrow weather of excessive order. during this context, the well-known silk alternate direction used to be worthy in including to the fabric prosperity of the folk during this zone. the current examine, consequently, isn't considered one of Buddhism in isolation. It both offers an account of the political forces confronting one another in the course of the process background of this zone for good over 1000 years. for hundreds of years the drifting wilderness sand of crucial 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 diversified centres alongside the previous Silk path. This has been priceless for a entire learn of Buddhism with its literature and artwork. The reveals of 1000s of inscriptions have additional to the cultural dimensions of the learn.

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Cit, p. 195, quoting Ancient Khotan—Op. cit, Vol. II plates lx and lxi. Introduction 29 well as pastoral—receptive to external influences but equally dominating and aggressive—present a picture of external chal­ lenges and internal responses. In this context, the international trade and its routes facilitated the movement of ideas from one part to another. In the process of cultural communication be­ tween the Orient and the Occident, the role of Central Asia was significant and equally substantial.

Hoernle : JRAS, 1910, pp. 837 ff and 1283 ff. 26 Buddhism in Central Asia in Central Asia. 36 Two of them apparently represent the speech of the south-western Persia under the Sassanids, and of north-western Persia under the same rulers. Manichaean texts are preserved in both these languages. Sogdian—the third language—has a more varied literary content offering Buddhist, Manichaean and Christian texts. Originally the language of the region round Samarkand, it acquired an international character being used by the merchants throughout the Tarim basin, and it spread even to China.

Its political history and relations with China are traced by Bagchi (Op. cit, pp. 75 ff). 27. The location of the Jade Gate barrier is discussed by Aurel Stein in Chapter XIX of his Serindia. Its history is also traced. It is said to have been established in c. C. With a rapid increase in the diplomatic relations of China with the west and in trade also, it was necessary to safeguard the passage of envoys and of caravans, and to assure supplies for them en route. ‘It is stated that military posts were established from place to place from Tun-huang westwards to the Salt Marsh’ (Serindia, p.

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