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The Buddhakṣetra of Bodhgaya: Saṅgha, Exchanges and Trade Networks

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Chapter Summary

Considering the importance of Bodhgaya, this chapter examines the process of emergence of the sacred landscape at Bodhgaya and its role in the "localization" of Buddhist monastic institutions (saṅgha) in the region. This study of localization of Buddhist saṅgha in Bodhgaya also provides insights into the processes of formation, consolidation and subsequent transformations of Buddhist religious orders in the region. The role of trade in facilitating the expansion and transmission of Buddhism in Asia and particularly ancient South Asia has been widely researched. To investigate the Buddha's choice of Bodhgaya further, the chapter examines the archaeological evidence from the area surrounding the Mahabodhi temple complex. The chapter unravels the complex process that shaped the emergence and development of the Buddhakṣetra of the historical Gautama Buddha at Bodhgaya. This Buddhakṣetra played a crucial role in the localization of Buddhism at Bodhgaya and the surrounding region.

Keywords: archaeological evidence; Buddhakṣetra; historical Gautama Buddha; Mahabodhi temple complex; Mahayana formula; saṅgha; South Asia; trade network



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