A Bāveru-Jātaka : megjegyzések a Buddha-kori indiai tengeri kereskedelem kérdéséhez

Lakos Katalin: A Bāveru-Jātaka : megjegyzések a Buddha-kori indiai tengeri kereskedelem kérdéséhez.

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The assumption of Indian maritime trade in Buddha's time is hotly debated. The problem is however, that the sources are not contemporary but the stories and informations on which they are founded possibly date back to very old times. Another problem is the Dating of the Historical Buddha. (Regarding Buddha's Nirvāṇa there are about 100 years difference between the so-called „corrected long” and the „short chronology”). The article deals with assumed Indian seafaring in Buddha’s time. In the Pali Canon there are various information and story that speculate in this direction. The Jātakas for instance, include numerous tales of voyages to far off lands. Usually these stories relate the experiences of a merchant who leaves his native city in search of wealth abroad. With a group equally interested in foreign trade, he forms a mercantile caravan which transports native wares to the nearest port and then puts out to sea with a chartered ship and hired crew. Often the ship is destroyed at some time during the journey and the tale continues by reporting how all, or at least some individual passangers succeeded in saving themselves. Moreover the Bāveru Jātaka tells about the possibly regular seaborne trade between India and Babylon. The story relates the adventures of certain Indian merchants, who took the first birds („direction-giving crow”; disākāka and peacock king; morarāja) by sea to Babylon/Bāviru; „Bāveruraṭṭha”. The story tells that at that time there were no birds in Babylon. The Jātaka itself may go back to 400 B.C., but the folks-tale on which it is founded must be much older, possibly reflect events of the fifth or sixth centuries B.C. From that point of view peacocks were imported into Babylon before 500 B.C. The Indians employed, like the seafaring Phoenicians and Babylonians of ancient times, for finding the direction during navigation, the so-called „disākāka” („direction-giving crow”). They showed the navigators, when they lost sight of the land, as they flew towards the land, in what direction the coast was to be found. On the high seas such”compass” could not surely be of much use to the sailors, but it was very useful for navigation along the coast. Therfore, it can be assumed navigation along the coast and not in the open sea when Jātakas mentions overseas trade. If there really was regular trade between India and countries like the Babylonian kingdom, one should certainly have heard from the Jātakas of the products of this land, of its inhabitants and their customs. The existence of the mere name shows that the city was known by name in the age to which the Bāveru-Jātaka relates. Most likely, Indian sailors went to Babylon and spread reports on their return home about the city and its wonders, so that from that time onward in every story in which the ship-wrecked played a part, the name of the city of Bāveru appeared, the mention of which served to make the listeners expect something wonderful. Oversea trade is, however not so frequently mentioned in Jātakas that one can talk of a seaman as a typical figure. In the culture-period depicted in the Jatakas, overland trade have far surpassed in importance sea-borne trade. The tradesman who goes about the country with his caravan is in fact a typical figure in our narratives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Other title: The Bāveru-Jātaka : reflection on the Indian maritime trade in Buddha's time
Journal or Publication Title: Enargeia : a Collegium Hungaricum Societatis Europaeae Studiosorum Philologiae Classicae VII. Országos Konferenciáján elhangzott előadások
Date: 2013
ISBN: 978-963-306-199-2
Page Range: pp. 114-119
Event Title: Collegium Hungaricum Societatis Europaeae Studiosorum Philologiae Classicae : Országos konferencia
Event Type: Conference
Event Location: Szeged, Magyarország
Event Dates: 2012. május 22-23.
Related URLs: http://acta.bibl.u-szeged.hu/71173/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Kereskedelem - India, Buddhizmus
Additional Information: Bibliogr.: 118. p. ; összefoglalás angol nyelven
Subjects: 06. Humanities
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology > 06.01.01. History
06. Humanities > 06.01. History and archaeology > 06.01.01. History > Ancient history
Date Deposited: 2021. Jan. 07. 14:03
Last Modified: 2021. Jan. 07. 14:20
URI: http://acta.bibl.u-szeged.hu/id/eprint/71408

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