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By B.N. Puri

Buddhism in valuable Asia is a saga of peaceable pursuit through Buddhist students from Kashmir and Kabul to propagate the message of the Buddha. This sizeable zone among the Tien-Shan and the Kunlun levels was once the centre of actions of those Buddhist savants. right here humans of alternative races and professions, conversing many languages, have been ultimately mixed right into a cosmopolitan tradition. This created an highbrow weather of excessive order. during this context, the recognized silk exchange course used to be important in including to the cloth prosperity of the folks during this quarter. the current examine, for that reason, isn't certainly one of Buddhism in isolation. It both offers an account of the political forces confronting one another through the process heritage of this quarter for good over 1000 years. for hundreds of years the drifting desolate tract sand of significant 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and early-twentieth century explorers and archaeologists effectively exposed it at assorted centres alongside the outdated Silk direction. This has been worthy for a accomplished research of Buddhism with its literature and artwork. The unearths of 1000s of inscriptions have further to the cultural dimensions of the examine.

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There are references to other provinces and the contingents provided by them, as also their commanders. (Quoted by Hambly: Op. cit, p. 24) 5. The compaign of Alexander is also noted for the foundation of cities which became famous later on in history. These were named after him and include Alexandria in Ariana, modern Herat; Alexandria Prophthasia in Drangiana (location uncertain); Alexandria in Arachosia (placed by Tarn in Ghazni -Greeks in Bactria and India—henceforth Tarn, Cambridge, 1938, Early History o f Central Asia 33 points in Asia for centuries.

The history of the Kushana rulers Kujula Kadphises and his son Vima Kadphise (Yen-Kao-chen) is mentioned in the Chinese annals of the Later Han Dynasty (Hau-Han-Shu)—(Hambly : Op. cit, pp. 42-43). The Chinese account is noticed by Sten Konow (Op. cit, Ivi, lxii) and is discussed in detail in my Kusharias—Op. cit, Chapter II, pp. 12 ff). Early History o f Central Asia 37 Bahi inscription14 of Gondophernes. 15 The Kusana empire founded by this ruler expanded on both sides of the Hindukush and became the most influential civilizing force in Central Asia.

38 • Buddhism in Central Asia Route was plied by the Sogdian merchants who founded their colonies and settlements in Central Asia and established trade and cultural relations with peoples of different nationalities. The co-existence of various ethnic-cultural traditions and different religious systems and creeds was remarkably signi­ ficant in this period. It was noted for the spirit of tolerance and understanding involving the spirit of peaceful co-existence. 19 These included Mithra embodying justice, the goddess Ordokhsh signifying fertility, Vertragna, the mighty God of War, Siva, Buddha, Helios, Selena and Sarapis and many others.

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