Thus (though earlier Indian and Bactrian coins do not show it) it is found with the gods on some of the coins of the Indian kings Kanishka, Huvishka and Vasudeva, 58 B.C. to A.D.
Owing to the absence of dated records, the chronology of these invasions has not yet been set beyond dispute, but the most important was that of the Kushans, whose king Kanishka founded a state which comprised northern India and Kashmir.
Some authorities do not accept the list of Kushan kings as given above, and think that Kanishka must be placed before Christ and perhaps as early as 58 B.C.: also that there was another king with a name something like Vasushka before or after Huvishka.
Kanishka and other monarchs were zealous but probably by no means exclusive Buddhists, and the conquest of Khotan and Kashgar must have facilitated the spread of Buddhist ideas to China.
Thus Paonano Pao Kanhpki Kopano is to be read as something like Shdhandn Shdh Kanishki Koshan: Kanishka the Kushan, king of kings.
The Mahommedan writer Alberuni states that in former times the kings of the Hindus (among whom he mentions Kanik or Kanishka) were Turks by race, and this may represent a native tradition as to the affinities of the Yue-Chi.
The most famous of these kings is Kanishka (ca.
These works of the oldest period, the two centuries and a half, between the Buddha's time and that of Asoka, were followed by a voluminous literature in the following periods - from Asoka to Kanishka, and from Kanishka to Buddhaghosa, - each of about three centuries.
The Kanishka commentaries were written in the Sanskrit language, perhaps because the Kashmir and northern priests who formed his council belonged to isolated Aryan colonies, which had been little influenced by the growth of the Indian vernacular dialects.
In this way Kanishka and his Kashmir council became in some degree to the northern or Tibetan Buddhists what Asoka and his council had been to the Buddhists of Ceylon and the south.'
The monuments of the great Buddhist monarchs, Asoka and Kanishka, confronted him from the time he neared the Punjab frontier; but so also did the temples of Siva and his " dread " queen Bhima.
At Peshawar the great monastery built by Kanishka was deserted, but the populace remained faithful.
1 In 1909 the excavation of a ruined stupa near Peshawar disclosed a casket, with an inscription of Kanishka, and containing fragments of bones believed to be those of Buddha himself.
The most celebrated of the Kushan kings, however, was Kanishka, whose date is still a matter of controversy.
It is not, however, as a conqueror that Kanishka mainly lives on in tradition, but as a Buddhist monarch, second in reputation only to Asoka, and as the convener of the celebrated council of Kashmir already mentioned.
70) the Scythians were already settled in the Indus valley (pp. 38, 41, 48), their dominion re-sching its zenith under Kanishka (c. A.D.
Kanishka, as is well known, had embraced Buddhism, and many of his coins bear the image and name of Buddha.