I have found a book The age of Shankara by T. S. NArAyaNa wherein in the introduction the author writes how Christian orientalists deliberately have been shifting birth dates of the great Indian personalities like Adi Sankara, Gautam Buddha etc to suit their Christian chronology. In one passage he writes

But if take for granted that the MahABArata war took place 37 years before the commencement of KalIyuga, which appear to me the most correct view and which is admittedly the opinion of all the Hindu writers from the ancient times, Gautama Buddha must be places before 2000 B.C. This view is fully supported by all the authentic PurANas and ItIhAsas, which are beginning to be recognised as contributing genuine historical information about Ancient India and according to which the Buddha is to be placed not later than 1800 B.C.

I wanted the proper reference from PurANas and ItihAsas which checkmark the above claims of the author. Where are they?

  • 1
    Puranas just mention Kali Yuga for Buddha and even Kurma Purana says Shiva will born in Kali yuga to revive Vedanta. But no specific date is mentioned. But Agni Purana gives details of number of Sakhas of Vedas when Buddha was born. That might give some clue.
    – The Destroyer
    Feb 7 '19 at 5:48
  • @TheDestroyer Go ahead. If evidences are complete and sound then inferences are cordially welcomed. :) Feb 7 '19 at 5:50
  • 1
    Ok. But might take some time as i need to collect all references for Buddha first from Puranas.
    – The Destroyer
    Feb 7 '19 at 6:05
  • Does any Purana mention about Buddha ?
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Feb 7 '19 at 6:08

There isn't any direct reference for the birth date of Gautama Buddha in the Puranas. The notion of Gautama Buddha being born before 2000 BC comes from the chronology of dynasties of Indian kings given in the Puranas and Itihasas.

For instance, the first chapter of the twelfth canto of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana is once instance in the Puranas where we get the entire chronology of dynasties in India during Kali Yuga. I'm not posting the entire chronology here since it'll be too long (but I do recommend to read the entire chapter, especially if you're a lover of Indian History). One iconic king of ancient India mentioned in the chapter is Ajatashatru:

vidhisāraḥ sutas tasyā-jātaśatrur bhaviṣyati darbhakas tat-suto bhāvī darbhakasyājayaḥ smṛtaḥ

The son of Kṣetrajña will be Vidhisāra, and his son will be Ajātaśatru. Ajātaśatru will have a son named Darbhaka, and his son will be Ajaya. (Srimad Bhagavata Mahapuranam 12.1.5)

For those who don't know about Ajatashatru, he was a king of the Haryanka dynasty (the Bhagavatam takes him as a member of the succeeding Shishunaga dynasty) in Magadha in Eastern India and is also described as an important contemporary of Gautama Buddha. Modern scholarship places his birthdate around early fourth century BCE. However, if we take 3102 BCE as the start of Kali-Yuga and trust the reliability of the chronology given in the Bhagavatam, his birthdate would be much earlier. According to Buddhist records, Gautama Buddha was 72 at the time of Ajatashatru's coronation. Therefore, according to the Bhagavatam, Gautama Buddha would be around the time 1887-1807 BCE.

A simple summary of the Bhagavatam's chronology is given below:

3228 BCE – Descension of Krishna

3138 BCE – The Mahabharata War; start of Brihadrath dynasty of Magadha; start of Yudhisthir dynasty of Hastinapur

3102 BCE – Ascension of Krishna; start of Kali Yuga

2139 BCE – End of Brihadrath dynasty

2139–2001 BCE – Pradyota dynasty

2001–1641 BCE – Shishunaga dynasty

1887–1807 BCE – Gautama Buddha

1641–1541 BCE – Nandas

1541–1241 BCE – Maurya dynasty

1541–1507 BCE – Chandragupta Maurya

1507–1479 BCE – Bindusara

1479–1443 BCE – Ashokvardhan

1241–784 BCE – Shunga and Kanva dynasty

784–328 BCE – Andhra dynasty

328–83 BCE – Gupta dynasty

328–321 BCE – Chandragupta Vijayaditya

326 BCE – Alexander's invasion

321–270 BCE – Ashoka

102 BCE – CE 15 – Vikramāditya, established Vikram era in 57 BC

More details of the derivation of this chronology can be found here.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .