[Buddha-l] Brahmi Script

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 25 13:38:31 MDT 2010

> According to theLalitavistara this is the script the Buddha is said to
> have mastered in his youth.  The early form of the script was
> definitely in use by the third century BCE - maybe earlier.
> - C

Let's not confound history with legend. The Lalita vistara is a relatively 
late text, and reflects the knowledge of its day, not historical events from 
probably half a millennium or so prior. I'm not sure Brahmi script--which is 
certainly one of the earliest scripts in India and developed from an Aramaic 
script-- is attested prior to Asoka's edicts, though (inconclusive) claims 
have been made recently. There is no evidence that Buddha was literate, and 
no claim for his literacy, or that of any of his followers in the early 
Buddhist literature. Recitation and memorization, rather than writing, was 
the "textual method" of his day.

Back in the day when people's memories were in their heads, not their hard 
drives and flash sticks.


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