Jason Neelis. *Early Buddhist Transmission and Trade Networks:
Mobility and Exchange within and beyond the Northwestern
Borderlands of South Asia*.

Dynamics in the History of Religion, vol. 2. Leiden; Boston, Brill:
ISSN 1878-8106; ISBN 978 90 04 18159 5


Description: This exploration of early paths for Buddhist transmission within and beyond South Asia retraces the footsteps of monks, merchants, and other agents of cross-cultural exchange. A reassessment of literary, epigraphic, and archaeological sources reveals historical contexts for the growth of the Buddhist saṅgha from approximately the 5th century BCE to the end of the first millennium CE. Patterns of dynamic Buddhist mobility were closely linked to transregional trade networks extending to the northwestern borderlands and joined to Central Asian silk routes by capillary routes through transit zones in the upper Indus and Tarim Basin. By examining material conditions for Buddhist establishments at nodes along these routes, this book challenges models of gradual diffusion and develops alternative explanations for successful Buddhist movement.

Table of Contents

* *
Chapter 1:* Introduction: Road Map for Travelers*
Models for the Movement of Buddhism
Merit, Merchants, and the Buddhist *Saṅgha*
Sources and Methods for the study of Buddhist Transmission
Outline of Destinations

Chapter 2: *Historical Contexts for the Emergence and Transmission of Buddhism within South Asia*
Initial Phases of the Establishment of Early Indian Buddhist Communities
Legacy of the Mauryans: Aśoka as *Dharmarāja*
Migrations, Material Exchanges, and Cross-Cultural Transmission in Northwestern Contact Zones
Saka Migrants and Mediators between Central Asia and South Asia
Dynamics of Mobility during the Kuṣāṇa Period
Shifting Networks of Political Power and Institutional Patronage during the Gupta Period
Cross-Cultural Transmission between South Asia and Central Asia, ca. 500-100CE

Chapter 3:* Trade Networks in Ancient South Asia*
Northern Route (*Uttarāpatha*)
Southern Route (*Dakṣiṇāpatha*)
Seaports and Maritime Routes across the Indian Ocean

Chapter 4:* Old Roads in the Northwestern Borderlands*
Environmental Conditions for Buddhist Transmission in Gandhāra
Gandhāran Material and Literary Cultures
Gandhāran Nodes and Networks
Routes of Buddhist Missionaries and Pilgrims to and from Gandhāra
Domestication of Gandharan Buddhism

Chapter 5:* Capillary Routes of the Upper Indus*
Geography, Economy, and Capillary Routes in a High Altitude Environment
Graffiti, Petroglyphs, and Pilgrims
Enigma of an Absence of Archaeological Evidence and Manifestations
of Buddhist Presence

Chapter 6:* Long-Distance Transmission to Central Asian Silk Routes and
Silk Routes of Eastern Central Asia
Long-distance Transmission Reconsidered

Chapter 7:* Conclusions: Alternative Paths and Paradigms of Buddhist
Catalysts for the Formation and Expansion of the Buddhist *Saṅgha*
Changing Paradigms for Buddhist Transmission within and beyond South Asia