Saturday, October 8, 2011

Greek Buddhism (video), Wisdom Quarterly
() Mike Watters through Professor Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Powell II

Buddhism was a beloved Greek/Bactrian/Scythian tradition influencing the Dharma and toga-sporting depictions of the Buddha as East met West in Alexander's expansive Indo-Greek empire, which encompassed parts of northwest frontier India (Gandhara, Afghanistan, Indus River valley).

This detailed study of the intriguing interactions of the ancient Greeks, Indians, and Buddhists as greater Greece became a major conduit of communication.

Greek Skeptics and Stoics were greatly influenced by their connections with Buddhism, but not the Cynics. Diogenes was certainly a Buddhist man in the West. The contrast between his view and that of Socrates and Plato is well articulated. He is far more in agreement with the Buddha than the others.

Watters' chronicle of the origins and development of the Alexandrian then Ashokan civilizations is concise yet replete with details. The travels of the two Greek Dharmaraksitas is a fascinating revelation following Greco-Buddhism to Sri Lanka.

The study of King Menander (Milinda) pushes home how Buddhism took root in Central Asia and the philosopher-monk Nagasena's arguments in Greek court were historically pivotal.