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Dates of the life of Buddha

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All sources agree that Siddhattha Gotama the Buddha lived for 80 years but there is wide disagreement about exactly when he was born. From at least as early as the 2nd century BCE, Sri Lankans have believed that he was born in 624 BCE. This date probably reflects the belief in India at the time Buddhism was introduced into Sri Lanka. Until recently Indologists and historians considered 563 BCE to be the more likely date of his birth. However, in 1988 an international conference was held at Gottingen University in Germany to review all the evidence pertaining to the Buddha's dates and there was wide consensus among scholars that he was born later than 563, perhaps as much as a 100 years later. More research is needed before we can be sure. Of course, uncertainty about the Buddha's dates has no bearing on the veracity of his teachings.

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