I believe Arya culture is a lot more ancient than Westernized Indology suggests; although how old I do not know. Arya is a culture, civilization, philosophy and faith rather than ethnicity. It was geographically spread from Iran, to the southern former Soviet Republics, Afghanistan, Tibet, Thailand, Vietnam, Loas, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sri Lanka; although I don’t know what geography it was “founded” from so to speak. Its offshoots are the East Europeans, Germanic tribes, Romans, Greeks. Maybe they are more than offshoots and part of the original civilization.
Given how little modern science and archaeology knows; perhaps Western Indology Oriental dating needs to be reevaluated. Only an almost infinitely small fraction of ancient artifacts have survived father time; including 385,000 year old tools found in South Asia recently.
Recent very fine comments at Brown Pundits have discussed the relationship between Buddhism and Sanathana Dharma. I see the Buddhist family of threads as part of the broader Sanathana Dharma family of families of threads. The great enlightened master Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha revived and enriched far more ancient masters and teachings. Buddha said he was Kapila reborn. Kapila is the founder of Samkhya, one of the ten schools of Sanathana Dharma:
- Mīmāmsā (also called Purva Mīmāmsā)
There are significant similarities between Buddhism, Nagarjuna, and Alatasanti Prakarana, or the fourth chapter of Gaudapada’s Māṇḍukya Kārikā. Gaudapada is the guru of Govinda, who is the Guru of Shankaracharya. Multiple sourcing from many eastern calendars and records place Shankaracharya’s date of birth at 509 BC, including but not limited to the 5 Shankaracharya maths in India. Since this date comes from so many literary and historical sources from so many places around South Asia, this date might be correct. Which would date the Alatasanti Prakarana significantly before Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha. Which is additional evidence that Buddha built upon and enriched great existing streams inside Sanathana Dharma. None of this takes anything away from Buddha and Buddhism. There is a reason that all Buddha’s disciples were Hindu Brahmins and virtually all South Asian Buddhists regarded themselves as Hindu Buddhists as recently as the 1941 British Indian census. There is a reason that many Hindu temples and individual Hindu Puja rooms worship Buddha; and why most Hindus so venerate Buddha.
How are Nirvana or Shunya different from Brahman?