Buddhist Cartography, A Lost Tradition

The Buddha’s contribution to human knowledge was primarily focused on ethics and to the analysis of consciousness; its contents, its workings and to how it could be harnessed and transformed. He also had an indirect influence on the development of Indian medicine. His de-emphasis on ritual impurity meant that physicians, many of whom were Buddhists in the early centuries BC, could touch their patients and even dissect corpses, essential for the development of anatomy. One area of human knowledge that later generations of Buddhism made a contribution was cartography. Yes cartography, the study and practice of making maps. The foundations of this skill were laid by the Buddha with his vision of the universe and the place of the Earth in it. In fact, his ideas about the universe were probably the most accurate until the 14th century.



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