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Greek BuddhaPyrrho's Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia$
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Christopher I. Beckwith

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176321

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176321.001.0001

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Jade Yoga and Heavenly Dharma

Jade Yoga and Heavenly Dharma

Buddhist Thought in Classical Age China and India

(p.110) Chapter 3 Jade Yoga and Heavenly Dharma
Greek Buddha

Christopher I. Beckwith

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the relationship of Early Buddhism to Chinese thought during the Warring States period (ca. 450 BC–221 BC). Chinese thought was in a nearly constant state of flux, if not turmoil, during the Warring States period, which began shortly after the death of Confucius. Ideas related to the Early Buddhism attested in the fragments of Pyrrho and Megasthenes are clearly present in Warring States writings, especially Early Taoist texts, including the Laotzu, the Chuangtzu, as well as the anonymous Jade Yoga Inscription. Some of the Early Taoist material is approximately contemporaneous with Pyrrho and Megasthenes. It seems that this material's appearance in China is connected to the fact that Central Asia, including Bactria and Gandhāra, was part of the Achaemenid Persian Empire down to Alexander's invasion and conquest of the region in 330–325 BC.

Keywords:   Early Buddhism, Warring States period, Chinese philosophy, Jade Yoga Inscription, Laotzu, Early Taoist texts

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