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Which of the following statements is/are correct concerning Kanishka?

1. He introduced the Saka era in 58 AD.

2. Buddhism was divided into Mahayana and Hinayana during his reign.


1. 1 only
2. 2 only
3. Both 1 and 2
4. Neither 1 nor 2

1 Answer

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Correct Answer - Option 2 : 2 only

The correct answer is 2 only.

  • Kanishka was the most powerful ruler of the Kushana Empire.
  • The capital of his empire was Purushpura (Peshawar).
    • His empire extended from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan to Mathura and Kashmir.
  • He was the successor of Vima Kadphises.
  • Rabatak inscription belongs to the Kushan kingdom.
  • He was the founder of the Saka Era of A.D. 78. Hence, Statement 1 is incorrect.
  • He had invaded Patliputra.
  • Kanishka was a patron of Buddhism and he called the 4th Buddhist council in the Kundalvana of Kashmir in 78 AD.
  • The council was chaired by Vasumitra and during this council the collection of Buddhist texts took place.
    • Buddhism was divided into Mahayana and Hinayana during his reign. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • The scholars who resided in Kanishka’s court were Sushruta,  Vasumitra, Asvaghosa, Nagarjuna, Charaka, and Parsva.
  • He fought against King Han Ho-ti (Han dynasty of China). and defeated the Chinese king in the second attempt.

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