Who is Ashvaghosha?December 13, 2020
Ashvaghosha is an important Indian poet and also a philosopher. It is estimated that he was born in Saketa, located in the north of India. He is regarded as the first Sanskrit playwright and the most important Indian poet, after the Indian Sanskrit poet Kalidasa.
One of the conditions of being a Buddhist is learning the teachings. However, Ashvaghosha became a Buddhist even though he did not do this. He also advised on religious affairs of the Kusan Emperor Kanishka.
The name Ashvaghosha is mentioned from time to time in the text called “The Emergence of Mahayana Buddhism”. Ashvaghosha himself has written an epic work on Buddha’s life. This work is referred to as “Buddha Epic” in Sanskrit. He also wrote a poem called “Saundaranandakavya”. This poem tells about the Buddha’s half-brother Nanda’s acceptance of Buddhism and his liberation. In the first half of the work, the life of Nanda, and in the second half, Buddhist teachings and monastic practices are included.
Ashvaghosha is also considered the 12th Patriarch according to Zen Buddhism traditions.