[Buddha-l] Brahmi Script

tccahill tccahill at loyno.edu
Tue Oct 26 15:08:00 MDT 2010

Hi Joanna,

    I'm with Dan.  It's *very* unlikely that the Buddha knew
any script at all.  If he had proficiency in this emerging
technology, why wouldn't he have taken advantage of it in
disseminating his ideas?    An old tradition has it that
monks adopted Pali as the means to transmit the dhamma at a
time when many senior monks had died.  Even in the unlikely
case that he knew an early form of Brahmi, this would not
have been a medium for his exposure to Vedic ideas since
these were orally transmitted even during later times when
scripts were widely used. I believe the various Vedic
traditions had better access to youngsters in post-Upanishad
times, and youth is a big advantage when it comes to
memorizing just about anything.

    On this topic list members might be interested in
reading Richard Solomon's work on Indian Epigraphy.  Amazon
now lists this at $108 --a very auspicious price!  (There's
also an Indian reprint available for much less.)

Cheers right back!

Timothy C. Cahill
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Religious Studies
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA  70118

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