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Life of the Buddha [8]

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a translation of one version of the Buddha narrative which was translated into Chinese in two separate parts around the year 200 at Luoyang. The oldest extant bibliography of Chinese Buddhist works mentions that the Chinese version was based on an Indian original from the birthplace of the Buddha, Kapilavastu (in the south of present-day Nepal). According to a view promoted above all by the French scholar Alfred Foucher, the origin of the detailed Buddha narrative with its many precisely localized episodes must be connected with the development of the pilgrimage system. In the last hours of his life the Buddha gave various sermons. He specified the four great pilgrimage places (his birthplace in Lumbini, the site of his Enlightenment (in present-day Bodh Gaya), the site of his sermon in the Deer Park in Benares, and the site where he currently was.

Keywords: Alfred Foucher; Benares; Bodh Gayā; Buddha narrative; Chinese Buddhist works; Enlightenment; Kapilavastu; Lumbinī



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