[Buddha-l] Brahmi Script

JKirkpatrick jkirk at spro.net
Tue Oct 26 15:19:34 MDT 2010

Hi Tim,

I guess you didn't see my shorty reply that said after reading
Dan's remarks I realised that the 'Buddha & Brahmi script' was a
pipe dream. 
What led me down that speculative primrose path was Batchelor
suggesting that Gotama had been educated, even at the university
in Gandhara. It seemed to me rather incredible, but I've not seen
any scholarly comment on Batchelor's assertion. Did you read that
bit in his latest book? Or, anyone?

More cheers,

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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