Council of Kaniṣka

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Council of dubious historicity, sometimes referred to as the ‘Fourth Council’, and believed to have been held in the 1st–2nd centuries ce during the reign of the Kuṣāṇa King Kaniṣka I. The council was said to be supervised by Vasumitra and attended by 499 monks. The Chinese pilgrim Hsüan-tsang records that, according to tradition in Kashmir.the work of the council involved the composition of extensive commentaries on the Tripiṭaka. He reports that Kaniṣka had the commentaries inscribed on copper plates, sealed in stone caskets, and hidden inside a specially constructed stūpa. The texts in question constitute the great treatise entitled the Mahāvibhāṣā, an extensive compendium and reference work on Sarvāstivāda doctrines. In fact it is unlikely that the Mahāvibhāṣā itself was compiled before the 2nd century ce.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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