Friday, June 19, 2015

Ancient Yonā & the White Clad Yonakā Buddhists

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"Yona or Yonaka: The Yonaka or Yona country was visited, according to the Dīpavaṁsa and Mahāvaṁsa (Chap. XII) by the Thera Mahārakkhita......According to the Sāsanavaṁsa (p. 12) the Yonakaraṭṭha is the country of the Yavana or Yona people......The Rock Edicts V and XIII of Asoka mention the Yonas as a subject people, forming a frontier district of Asoka’s Empire. The exact situation of the Yonaka country is difficult to be determined.....According to the Mahāvaṁsa, its chief city was Alasanda identified with Alexandria near Kabul in the Paropanisadae country (Mahāvaṁsa, tr., p. 194; Trenckner, Milindapañho, p. 82).".....Geography of Early Buddhism.....http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Reference/Geography-of-Early-Buddhism/02-Northern-India.htm

"Yonā, Yavanā, Yonakā:.........a country and its people, probably the Pāli equivalent for Ionians, the Bactrian Greeks. The Yonas are mentioned along with the Kambojas in Rock Edicts v. and xii of Buddhist Emperor Asoka as a subject people, forming a frontier district of his empire. The country was converted by the Thera Mahārakkhita, who was sent there after the Third Council (Mhv.xii.5; Dpv.viii.9; Sp.i.67)......In the time of Milinda the capital of the Yona country was Sāgala (Mil.1). It is said (Mhv.xxix.39) that at the foundation ceremony of the "Great Reliquary Shrine (Mahā Stūpa), 30,000 monastics, under Yona Mahādhammarakkhita, came from Alasandā (Alexandria) in the Yona country. Alasandā was evidently the headquarters of the Buddhist monastics at that time. Alasandā is generally identified (see, e.g., Geiger, Mhv. Trs. 194, n.3) with the Alexandria founded by the Macedonian king (Alexander) in the country of the Paropanisadae near Kābul, Afghanistan........http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/y/yonaa.htm

""Mahārakkhita Thera. He went after the Third Council to the Yona country, and there preached the Kālakārama Sutta. One hundred and seventy thousand people adopted the Buddha's faith and ten thousand entered the Order. Mhv.xii.5, 39; Dpv.viii.9; Sp.i.64, 67'.....Yona: A country and its people. The name is probably the Pāli equivalent for Ionians, the Baktrian Greeks. .....from the time of Kassapa Buddha the Yonakas went about clad in white robes, because of the memory of the religion which was once prevalent there.."....http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/maha/maharakkhita.htm

"The Third Buddhist council was convened in about 250 BC.....supposedly under the patronage of Emperor Asoka."

"Kālaka Sutta......Preached by the Buddha at Kālakārāma in Sāketa when he visited the city at the request of Cūla-Subhaddā (AA.ii.482f)......The Tathāgata knows and comprehends whatsoever is seen, heard, comprised, attained, searched into, etc., in the whole world, but he is not subject to it (A.ii.24f).......This sutta is sometimes referred to as the Kālakārāma Sutta (E.g., ThagA.i.284). It is said that at the conclusion of the Kālakārāma Sutta the earth trembled, as though bearing witness to the Buddha's statement (DA.i.130-1)......It was this sutta which helped Mahārakkhita to convert the country of the Yonakas.".......(Sp.i.67; Mhv.xii.39; Mbv.114; Dpv.viii.9).

"In the Assalāyana Sutra (M.ii.149), Yona and Kamboja are mentioned as places in which there were only two castes/classes of people, masters and slaves, and the master could become a slave and vice versa. The Commentary (MA.ii.784) explains this by saying that supposing a Brahmin goes there and dies, his children might consort with slaves, in which case their children would be slaves. In later times, the name Yavanā or Yonā seems to have included all westerners living in India and especially those of Arabian origin (Cv.Trs.ii.87, n.1). Yonaka statues, holding lamps, were among the decorations used by the Sākiyans of Kapilavatthu, the Buddha's family clan in one of their capitals [likely Bamiyan, Afghanistan] (MA.ii.575). The language of the Yavanas is classed with the Milakkhabhāsā (e.g., DA.i.276; VibhA.388).....http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/y/yonaa.htm

"The Anguttara Commentary (AA.i.51) records that from the time of Kassapa Buddha the Yonakas went about clad in white robes because of the memory of the pre-Shakyamuni Buddhist religion which was once prevalent there. The followers of the historical Gautama Buddha also wore white."......http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-buddha-and-racism-in-old-india-sutra_21.html

"Kassapa Buddha (Pāli), known as Kāśyapa in Sanskrit, is one of the ancient Buddhas whose biography is chronicled in chapter 24 of the Buddhavamsa, one of the books of the Pāli Canon....According to Theravāda Buddhist tradition, Kassapa is the third of the five Buddhas of the present kalpa.....
Kakusandha (the first Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
Koṇāgamana (the second Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
Kassapa (the third Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
Gautama (the fourth and present Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
Maitreya (the fifth and future Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)

"Kamboja.....Kambojaka, Kambojā......One of the sixteen Mahajanapadas which, with Gandhara, belonged, not to the Majjhimadesa but, evidently, to the Uttarapatha (A.i.213; iv.252, 256, 260). It is often mentioned as the famous birthplace of horses (assanam ayatanam) (E.g., DA.i.124; AA.i.399; Vsm.332; also J.iv.464). In the Kunala Jataka (J.v.445) we are told that the Kambojas caught their horses by means of moss (jalajata), and the scholiast (J.v.446) explains at length how this was done. They sprinkled the moss with honey and left it in the horses drinking place; from there, by means of honey sprinkled on the grass, the horses were led to an enclosure."....http://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/kamboja/index.html

"The Kamboja–Dvaravati Route is the name given in old Jataka literature to an ancient land trade route that was an important branch of the Silk Road during antiquity and the early medieval era. It connected the Kamboja Kingdom in today's Afghanistan and Tajikstan via Pakistan to Dvārakā and other major ports in Gujarat, India, permitting goods from Afghanistan and China to be exported by sea to southern India, Sri Lanka, the Middle East and Ancient Greece and Rome. The road was the second most important ancient caravan route linking India with the nations of the northwest."....Buddhist Dictionary of Pali Proper Names, Vol I, 1960, G. P. Malalasekera,

"The country was evidently on one of the great caravan routes, and there was a road direct from Dvaraka to Kamboja (Pv.p.23)......According to Asokas Rock Edict, No. XIII. (Shabhazgarhi Text), Kamboja was among the countries visited by Asokas missionaries. The country referred to is probably on the banks of the Kabul river (Mookerji: Asoka, 168, n.1)."....http://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/kamboja/index.html

"Discourse on the White-Clad Disciple:..... the Buddha addressed Shariputra, saying, “Shariputra, if lay students of the Buddha, those who wear white robes, study and practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings and the Four Contemplations, they will realize without hardship the capacity to abide happily in the present moment......http://www.pvfhk.org/index.php/en/studies-practices/39-sutras-a-discourses/162-discourse-on-the-white-clad-disciple

"In the Kalachakra text's list of Prophets we find mention of the "White-Clad One", probably referring to Mani. ....

"......the Ionians are renowned for their love of philosophy, art, democracy, and pleasure - Ionian traits that were most famously expressed by the Athenians."

"Just as the mighty river Ganges flows down into the great ocean, even so Milinda the king, (reigning) in the city of Sāgala in the country (of the Yonakas) , the pre- eminent of all countries, repaired to venerable Nāgasena, the Elder....recorded in this book, entitled, “Questions of King Mil-inda”.......There is, in the country of Yonakas, a prominent city called Sāgala which is a (great trading centre) place where goods of trade and commerce of the people of Sāgala are distributed or disposed of. This city is graced with rivers, streams, and hills that traverse it, and many delightful quarters spread over its Landscape. It is also replied with parks, gardens, groves, lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. It is also full of delights associated with rivers, with mountains, and with a wooded country. It is a city planned and built by persons gifted with knowledge andexperience. No enemy can destroy or ravage this city....all of them having been overpowered and put out of the way. It is provided with various turreted watch towers, and battlemented city gates which are sophisticated and massive. The gates have exceedingly strong barriers which turn on equally strong pivots. In the centre of the city there is a palace protected by a deep moat, and white crenellated walls enclosing it. .....It has also a royal marketplace teaming with a vest and varied kind of valuable goods which are being exposed for sale in imposing and elegant arrays. This city is also graceful at all times with various Halls of Bounty (arms halls) and is also adorned with hundreds of thousands of magnificent buildings and regal mansions which are as supreme and transcending as the summit of the Himalaya Mountains....."http://www.shanyoma.org/yoma/Questions-of-King-Milinda.pdf

"It is stated in the Sāsanavaṁsa (P.T.S. 49) that in the 235th year of the Mahāparinibbāna of the Buddha, Mahārakkhita thera went to the Yonaka Province and established the Buddha’s sāsana in Kamboja and other places. The Kambojas are mentioned in the Rock Edicts V and XIII of Asoka......They occupied roughly the province round about Rajaori, or ancient Rājapura, including the Hazārā district of the North western Frontier Province.".......http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Reference/Geography-of-Early-Buddhism/02-Northern-India.htm

"Alasanda: The Mahāvaṁsa (Geiger’s tr., p. 194) refers to the town of Alasanda which was the chief city of the Yona territory. Geiger identifies Alasanda with the town of Alexandria founded by Alexander near Kabul in the Paropanisadae country."..........http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Reference/Geography-of-Early-Buddhism/02-Northern-India.htm

"Sāgala: In the Milindapañho we are told that King Milinda (Menander), a powerful Graeco-Bactrian King, ruling over the Madda country with Sāgala as his capital became a convert to Buddhism (S.B.E.,Vol. XXXV, p. 6). "......http://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/Reference/Geography-of-Early-Buddhism/02-Northern-India.htm

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

June 2015

John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico

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