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History of 11th May- The Diamond Sutra

History of 11th May- The Diamond Sutra

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11th May History

Today’s episode of this series talks about the first printed book ‘The Diamond Sutra’ in the year 868 CE in China. The story also shares some interesting facts about Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa

It is yet another day to share the fascinating events which occurred on this specific day. But before I share the history of 11th May, let me just remind you that we celebrate this day as National Technology Day. It was this day in the year 1998 when the Pokhran nuclear test was held for the first time in India. But was that the first time? Let me share some more information on this subject.

In Rajasthan, a highly radioactive layer of ash was discovered near Jodhpur, prompting an investigation. We also know that sometime in 1920, the ancient ruins of Harappa in Pakistan to the north and Mohenjo-Daro to the west were uncovered, where evidence of a nuclear explosion dating back thousands of years was found.

Mohenjo-Daro was built around 2500 BC and was rediscovered in the 1920s. During excavations, 44 scattered skeletons were found throughout the city, suggesting a sudden and violent death.

Certain areas of the site also showed increased levels of radioactivity. English Indian researcher David Davenport found evidence of what appeared to be the blast epicenter: a 50-yard radius where all objects were fused and glassified, with rocks melted by temperatures of around 1500 degrees Celsius and transformed into a glass-like substance.

Gorbovsky’s book “Conundrums of Ancient History” states that at least one skeleton found at the site had more than 50 times the level of radiation it should have had, and numerous “black stones,” which were once clay vessels, were found fused due to extreme heat.

Davenport also explained that what was found at Mohenjo-Daro mimics exactly the effects of the fallout that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the twentieth century.

However, other scientists have disputed these findings with evidence suggesting that the bodies found at Mohenjo-Daro were part of a mass grave of the messiest, most careless type. Some have noted that the simple mud-block structures should have been easily destroyed by a nuclear blast, while some of those structures remained standing at a height of 15 feet.

Nonetheless, there seems to be enough evidence for us to consider: could there be more to human history than we once thought? What could have caused this radioactivity? Could there have been people thousands of years ago who had nuclear capabilities?

With these questions, I come to the history of 11th May where I take you to another fascinating story about the oldest surviving printed book ‘The Diamond Sutra’.

The Diamond Sutra

History of 11th May, the year 868 CE. It was on this day that “The Diamond Sutra” was printed in China, making it the oldest surviving and dated printed book in the world. The text, which is a Buddhist scripture, was printed onto a scroll using woodblock printing technology.

Woodblock printing involves carving the text or image into a wooden block, inking the block, and then pressing it onto a piece of paper or fabric. This method allowed for the mass production of texts and images, making it easier for people to access information and ideas.

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“The Diamond Sutra” is considered a significant text in Mahayana Buddhism and is known for its emphasis on the concept of emptiness. It is believed to have been translated from Sanskrit to Chinese by the monk Kumarajiva during the 5th century CE.

The survival of this text is remarkable, given that many ancient texts have been lost to time. Its printing in 868 CE marked a turning point in the history of printing and helped pave the way for the printing revolution that would follow centuries later in Europe.

Today, “The Diamond Sutra” is still widely read and studied by Buddhists and scholars around the world. Its enduring legacy serves as a testament to the power of printing and the enduring importance of ancient texts.

There are many more events in history but I found this to be the most significant. So that’s all for the day. See you tomorrow.

 

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