Kanishka the Great king

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Kanishka I (Sanskrit: कनिष्क; Bactrian: Κανηϸκι, Kaneshki; Middle Chinese: 迦腻色伽 (Ka-ni-sak-ka > New Chinese: Jianisejia)), or Kanishka the nice, was the emperor of the Kushan phratry in 127–151 celebrated for his military, political, and non secular achievements. A descendant of Kushan empire founder Kujula Kadphises, Kanishka came to rule Associate in Nursing empire in Bactria extending from Turfan dialect within the Tarim Basin to Pataliputra on the Gangetic plain throughout the Golden Age of the Kushanas. the most capital of his empire was situated at Puruṣapura in Gandhara (Peshawar in gift Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan), with 2 alternative major capitals at ancient Kapisa (present Bagram, Afghanistan) and Mathura, India. His conequests and patronage of Buddhism vie a vital role within the development of the trade route, and therefore the transmission of Mahayana Buddhism from Gandhara across the mountain range to China.


Statue of Kanishka I, first century, Mathura deposit. Has four Fleur-de-lis symbols during a sq. emblem perennial doubly on rock bottom finish of his smaller blade.
Kanishka was a Kushan of probable Yuezhi quality. He used associate jap Iranian, Indo-European language called Bactrian (called "αρια," i. e. "Aryan" within the Rabatak inscription), that seems in Greek script in his inscriptions, although it's not bound what language the Kushans originally spoke; presumably some variety of Tocharian – a "centum" Indo-European language. The "Aryan" language of the inscription was a "satem" language of the center Iranian amount, presumably the one spoken in "Arya" or "Ariana" (the region around fashionable Afghanistan) and was, therefore, quite presumably unrelated to the first language of the Kushans (or the Yuezhi), however adopted by them to facilitate communication with native folks.

Vima Kadphises was Kanishka's father. British deposit.
Kanishka was the successor of Vima Kadphises, as incontestable  by a formidable kinship group of the Kushan kings, called the Rabatak inscription.The affiliation of Kanishka with alternative Kushan rulers is represented within the Rabatak inscription as Kanishka makes the list of the kings UN agency dominated up to his time: Kujula Kadphises as his great-grandfather, Vima Taktu as his granddaddy, Vima Kadphises as his father, and himself Kanishka:

"... for King Kujula Kadphises (his) great grandparent, and for King Vima Taktu (his) granddaddy, and for King Vima Kadphises (his) father, and *also for himself, King Kanishka"

Kanishka per scholarly person academic. Fida Mohammad Hasnain was born close to Varmul in Kashmir, the place was later named when him as Kanishkapur.

A number of legends concerning Kanishka, a good patron of Buddhism, were preserved in Buddhist non secular traditions. he's thought of by Buddhists to own been one amongst the best Buddhist kings.

Kanishka's era

Main article: Saka era
Kanishka's era was used as a calendar reference by the Kushans and later by the Guptas in Mathura for concerning 3 centuries. Kanishka's era is currently believed by several to possess begun in 127 AD on the idea of Harry Falk's ground-breaking analysis. the particular supply, however, offers 227 AD as Year one among a Kuṣâṇa century while not mentioning Kanishka's name. Since Kuṣâṇa centuries forever "drop the hundreds" Associate in Nursing incept of 127 AD was deduced by Falk on the idea of Chinese and alternative sources. This date and reference ar controversial by some students.

The last chapter of Yavanajataka by Sphujidhwaja deals with arithmetic, its fifteenth verse states : "Take the amount of years that have passed of the Kosanas, add 149, and work out from this (sum) the time of the Sakas (i.e., the year within the Saka era); (the remainder) is that the range of years within the (165 year) yuga that have pass on." Preceding verse states that this yuga started in Shak sixty six. swing AD seventy eight for the beginning of Shak era, this formula offers 127 AD because the begin of Kushan era, that confirms the results obtained by Falk. Sphujidhwaja is believed to belong to the region that was dominated by Kanishka, though Sphujidhwaja should are born abundant later than Kanishka. Hence, this proof is native and additional reliable, in distinction to Chinese proof.

Conquests in South and Central Asia

Kushan territories (full line) and most extent of Kushan dominions below Kanishka (dotted line), in line with the Rabatak inscription.
Kanishka's empire was definitely immense. It extended from southern Asian country and Asian nation, north of the Amu Darya (Oxus) within the north west to Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Northern Republic of India, as so much as Mathura within the south east (the Rabatak inscription even claims he command Pataliputra and Sri Champa), and his territory conjointly enclosed Kashmir, wherever there was a city Kanishkapur, named once him shortly from the Baramula Pass and that still contains the bottom of an oversized stupa.

Bronze coin of Kanishka, found in Khotan, trendy China.
Knowledge of his hold over Central Asia is a smaller amount well established. The Book of the Later dynasty, Hou Hanshu, states that general Ban Chao fought battles close to Khotan with a Kushan army of seventy,000 men light-emitting diode by AN otherwise unknown Kushan viceroy named Xie (Chinese: 謝) in ninety AD. tho' Ban Chao claimed to be victorious, forcing the Kushans to retreat by use of a shark repellent, the region fell to Kushan forces within the early ordinal century.As a result, for a amount (until the Chinese regained management c. 127 AD) the territory of the Kushans extended for a brief amount as so much as Kashgar, Khotan and Yarkand, that were Chinese dependencies within the Tarim Basin, trendy state. many coins of Kanishka are found within the Tarim Basin.

Controlling each the land (the Silk Road) and ocean trade routes between South Asia and Rome looks to possess been one in every of Kanishka's chief imperial goals

Kanishka's coins

Gold coin of Kanishka I with the principle divinity Helios. (c. 120 AD).
Obverse: Kanishka standing, clad in serious Kushan coat and long boots, flames emanating from shoulders, holding a typical in his left, Associate in Nursingd creating a sacrifice over an altar. Greek legend ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΚΑΝΗϷΚΟΥ "[coin] of Kanishka, king of kings".
Reverse: Standing Helios in principle vogue, forming a benediction gesture with the correct hand. Legend in Greek script: ΗΛΙΟΣ Helios. Kanishka symbol (tamgha) to the left.
Kanishka's coins portray pictures of Indian, Greek, Iranian and even Sumero-Elamite divinities, demonstrating the spiritual syncretism in his beliefs. Kanishka's coins from the start of his reign bear legends in Greek language and script and depict Greek divinities. Later coins bear legends in Bactrian, the Iranian that the Kushans plainly spoke, and Greek divinities were replaced by corresponding Iranian ones. All of Kanishka's coins – even ones with a legend within the Bactrian language – were written during a changed Greek script that had one extra glyptography (Ϸ) to represent /š/ (sh), as within the word 'Kushan' and 'Kanishka'.

On his coins, the king is often pictured as a bearded man during a long coat and trousers gathered at the articulatio talocruralis, with flames emanating from his shoulders. He wears massive rounded boots, and is armed with a protracted weapon like a cavalry sword further as a lance. he's oft seen to be creating a sacrifice on atiny low altar. The lower half a large stone relief of Kanishka equally clothed , with a stiff adorned  vestment below his coat and spurs hooked up to his boots underneath the sunshine gathered folds of his trousers, survived within the Kabul deposit till it had been destroyed by the Taleban

Kanishka and Buddhism

Gold coin of Kanishka I with a illustration of Gautama (c.120 AD).
Obv: Kanishka standing.., clad in significant Kushan coat and long boots, flames emanating from shoulders, holding commonplace in his left, Associate in Nursingd creating a sacrifice over an altar. Kushan-language legend in Greek script (with the addition of the Kushan Ϸ "sh" letter): ϷΑΟΝΑΝΟϷΑΟ ΚΑΝΗϷΚΙ ΚΟϷΑΝΟ ("Shaonanoshao Kanishki Koshano"): "King of Kings, Kanishka the Kushan".
Rev: Standing Buddha in Hellenic vogue, forming the gesture of "no fear" (abhaya mudra) along with his manus, and holding a pleat of his gown in his left. Legend in Greek script: ΒΟΔΔΟ "Boddo", for Gautama. Kanishka symbol (tamgha) to the correct.
Kanishka's name in Buddhist tradition is predicated principally that he convened the fourth Buddhist Council in Cashmere. pictures of Gautama supported thirty two physical signs were created throughout his time.

He provided encouragement to each the Gandhara faculty of Greco-Buddhist Art and also the Mathura faculty of Hindu art (An inevitable non secular syncretism pervades Kushana rule). Kanishka in person looks to own embraced each Buddhism and also the Persian cult of Mithra.

His greatest contribution to Buddhist design was the Kanishka stupa at Peshawar, Pakistan. Archaeologists World Health Organization rediscovered the bottom of it in 1908–1909 determined that this stupa had a diameter of 286 feet (87 metres). Reports of Chinese pilgrims like Xuan Zang indicate that its height was 600 to 700 (Chinese) "feet" (= roughly 180–210 metres or 591–689 foot.) and was lined with jewels.[13] actually this Brobdingnagian multi-storied building ranks among the wonders of the traditional world.

Kanishka is claimed to own been significantly near the Buddhist scholar Ashvaghosha, World Health Organization became his non secular consultant in his later years. At the time of Kanishka's installation and once India's initial gold coin was minted, Yuz Asaf was the religious consultant to the king.

Buddhist coinage

The Buddhist coins of Kanishka ar relatively rare (well underneath simple fraction of all best-known coins of Kanishka). many show Kanishka on the obverse and also the Buddha standing on the reverse, in Hellenic vogue. a number of additionally show the Shakyamuni Buddha and Boddhisatva. Like all coins of Kanishka, the planning is very rough and proportions tend to be imprecise; the image of Gautama is usually slightly corrupted, with large ears and feet unfold apart within the same fashion because the Kushan king, indicating clumsy imitation of Hellenic sorts.

Three kinds of Kanishka's Buddhist coins ar known:

Standing Buddha

Bronze standing Buddha with options almost like those of Kanishka's coins. Gandhara, sometimes dated 3rd–4th century.
The standing Buddha in Hellenic vogue, bearing the mention "Boddo" in Greek script, holding the left corner of his cloack in his hand, and forming the abhaya gesture. solely six Kushan coins of Gautama ar best-known in gold (the sixth one is that the centerpiece of Associate in Nursing ancient piece of jewelry, consisting of a Kanishka Buddha coin embellished with a hoop of cordiform ruby stones). of these coins were minted in gold underneath Kanishka I, and ar in 2 completely different denominations: a dinar of regarding eight gram, roughly almost like a Roman aureus, and 1 / 4 dinar of regarding two gram. (about the scale of Associate in Nursing obol).

The Buddha is diagrammatical carrying the monastic gown, the antaravasaka, the uttarasanga, and also the overcoat sanghati.

The ears ar extraordinarily massive and long, a symbolic exaggeration probably rendered necessary by the tiny size of the coins, however otherwise visible in some later Gandharan statues of Gautama usually dated to the 3rd–4th century Ce. He has Associate in Nursing copious topknot covering the usnisha, usually extremely artificial  in an exceedingly wavy or usually globose manner, additionally visible on later Buddha statues of Gandhara.

In general, the illustration of Gautama on these coins is already extremely symbolic, and quite distant from the additional representational and Hellenic pictures seen in early Gandhara sculptures. On many style, a hair is obvious. The palm of his manus bears the Chakra mark, and his brow bear the urna. An aureola, shaped by one, 2 or 3 lines, surrounds him.

"Shakyamuni Buddha"

Depictions of the "Shakyamuni Buddha" (with legend ϷΑΚΑΜΑΝΟ ΒΟΔΔΟ "Shakamano Boddo") in Kanishka's coinage.
The Shakyamuni Buddha (with the legend "Sakamano Boudo", i.e. Shakamuni Buddha, another name for the historic Buddha Siddharta Gautama), standing to front, with left on hip and forming the abhaya gesture with the correct hand. of these coins ar in copper solely, and frequently rather worn.

The gown of the Shakyamuni Buddha is kind of lightweight compared thereto on the coins within the name of Buddha, clearly showing the define of the body, in an exceedingly nearly clear approach. These ar most likely the primary 2 layers of monastic covering the antaravasaka and also the uttarasanga. Also, his robe is folded  over the left arm (rather than being command within the left as above), a feature solely otherwise best-known within the Bimaran casket and connotative a scarf-like uttariya. He has Associate in Nursing copious topknot covering the ushnisha, and an easy or double halo, generally divergent , surrounds his head.

"Maitreya Buddha"

Depictions of "Maitreya" (with legend ΜΕΤΡΑΓΟ ΒΟΔΔΟ "Metrago Boddo") in Kanishka's coinage.
The divinity Boddhisatva (with the legend "Metrago Boudo") cross-legged on a throne, holding a water pot, and additionally forming the Abhaya gesture. These coins ar solely best-known in copper and ar badly worn. On the clearest coins, Boddhisatva looks to be carrying the armbands of Associate in Nursing Indian patrician, a feature usually seen on the staruary of Boddhisatva. The throne is embellished with tiny columns, suggesting that the coin illustration of Boddhisatva was directly traced from pre-existing statuary with such well-known options.

The qualification of "Buddha" for Boddhisatva is inaccurate, as he's instead a divinity (he is that the Buddha of the future). this might indicate a restricted data of Buddhist cosmology on the a part of the Kushans.

The image of those 3 sorts is extremely completely different from that of the opposite deities delineated  in Kanishka's coinage. whether or not Kanishka's deities ar all shown from the aspect, the Buddhas solely ar shown frontally, indicating that they were traced from modern frontal representations of the standing and sitting Buddhas in statuary.[14] each representations of Gautama and Shakyamuni have each shoulders lined by their monastic robe, indicating that the statues used as models were from the Gandhara faculty of art, instead of Mathura.

Kanishka stupa

Main articles: Kanishka stupa and Kanishka casket
Kanishka casket

The "Kanishka casket", dated to 127 Ce, with Gautama enclosed by Brahma and Indra, and Kanishka standing at the middle of the lower half, British depository.

Remnants of the Kanishka stupa.

Detail of Kanishka, enclosed by the Iranian god and Moon-God, on the Kanishka casket. British depository.

Buddha relics from Kanishka's stupa in Peshawar, Pakistan, sent by country to metropolis, Burma in 1910.
The "Kanishka casket" or "Kanishka reliquary", dated to the primary year of Kanishka's reign in 127 Ce, was discovered in an exceedingly deposit chamber underneath Kanishka stupa, throughout the archeologic excavations in 1908–1909 in Shah-Ji-Ki-Dheri, simply outside the current Ganj Gate of the previous town of Peshawar. it's these days at the Peshawar depository, and a duplicate is within the British depository. it's same to own contained 3 bone fragments of Gautama, that ar currently housed in metropolis, Burma.

The casket is devoted in Kharoshthi. The inscription reads:

"(*mahara)jasa kanishkasa kanishka-pure nagare aya gadha-karae deya-dharme sarva-satvana hita-suhartha bhavatu mahasenasa sagharaki dasa agisala nava-karmi ana*kanishkasa vihare mahasenasa sangharame"
The text is signed by the maker, a Greek creator named Agesilas, World Health Organization oversaw work Kanishka's stupas (caitya), confirming the direct involvement of Greeks with Buddhist realisations at such a late date: "The servant Agisalaos, the superintendent of works at the vihara of Kanishka within the religious residence of Mahasena" ("dasa agisala nava-karmi ana*kaniskasa vihara mahasenasa sangharame").

The lid of the casket shows Gautama on a lotus pedestal, and loved by Brahma and Indra. the sting of the lid is embellished by a frieze of flying geese. The body of the casket represents a Kushan monarch, most likely Kanishka face to face, with the Iranian sun and moon gods on his aspect. On the perimeters ar 2 pictures of a sitting Buddha, worshiped by royal figures. A garland, supported by cherubs goes round the scene in typical Hellenic vogue.

The attribution of the casket to Kanishka has been recently controversial, basically on rhetorical ground (for example the ruler shown on the casket isn't bearded, to the contrary of Kanishka). Instead, the casket is usually attributed to Kanishka's successor Huvishka.

Kanishka in Buddhist tradition

Kanishka inaugurates Mahyana Buddhism
In Buddhist tradition, Kanishka is usually delineated  as a violent, disloyal ruler before his conversion to Buddhism, as within the Sri-dharma-pitaka-nidana sutra:

"At now the King of Ngan-si (Pahlava) was terribly stupid and of a violent nature….There was a bhikshu (monk) Arhat World Health Organization seeing the evil deeds done by the king needed to create him repent. therefore by his supernatural force he caused the king to visualize the torments of hell. The king was panic-struck and repented." Śri-dharma-piṭaka-nidāna sūtra
Additionally, the arrival of Kanishka was reportedly foreseen by Gautama, moreover because the construction of his stupa:

". . . the Buddha, inform to atiny low boy creating a mud tope….[said] that thereon spot Kaṇiṣka would erect a use by his name." Vinaya sutra

Coin of Kanishka with the divinity Boddhisatva "Metrago Boudo".
The same story is recurrent in an exceedingly Khotanese scroll found at Dunhuang, that initial delineated  however Kanishka would arrive four hundred years once the death of Gautama. The account additionally describes however Kanishka came to lift his stupa:

"A want therefore arose in [Kanishka to make a massive stupa]….at that point the four world-regents learnt the mind of the king. therefore for his sake they took the shape of young boys….[and] began a stūpa of mud....the boys same to [Kanishka] ‘We ar creating the Kaṇiṣka-stūpa.’….At that point the boys modified their type....[and] same to him, ‘Great king, by you per the Buddha's prophecy could be a Saṅghārāma to be designed totally (?) with an oversized stūpa and here relics should be invited that the worthy smart beings...will bring."
Chinese pilgrims to Republic of India, like Xuanzang, World Health Organization traveled there around 630 Ce additionally relays the story:

"Kaṇiṣka became sovereign of all Jambudvīpa (Indian subcontinent) however he didn't believe fate, and he treated Buddhism with vilification. once he was searching within the wild country a white hare appeared; the king gave a chase and also the hare suddenly disappeared at [the website of the long run stupa]….[when the development of the stūpa wasn't going as planned] the king currently lost patience and threw the [project] up….[but] the king became afraid, as he [realised] he was obviously competitory with supernatural powers, therefore he confessed his errors and created submission. These 2 topes ar still living and were resorted to for cures by folks afflicted with diseases."

Transmission of Buddhism to China

Main article: trade route transmission of Buddhism
Kanishka's enlargement into the Tarim Basin most likely initiated the transmission of Buddhism to China.

Buddhist monks from the region of Gandhara compete a key role within the development and also the transmission of Buddhist ideas within the direction of northern Asia from the center of the second century Ce. The Kushan monk, Lokaksema (c. 178 CE), became the primary translators of Mahayana Buddhist scriptures into Chinese and established a translation bureau at the Chinese capital metropolis. Central Asian and East Asian Buddhist monks seem to own maintained sturdy exchanges for the subsequent centuries.

Kanishka was most likely succeeded by Huvishka. however and once this took place continues to be unsure. the very fact that there have been different Kushana kings known as Kanishka is simply another complicating issue.The inscription on The Sacred Rock of Hunza additionally shows the signs of Kanishka

these is about the king Kanishka for more information please visit wikipedia 


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