Kanishka was tolerant towards all the religions.He issued many coins during his rule. His coins depict Hindu, Buddhist, Greek, Persian and Sumerian-Elemite images of gods, showing his secular religious policy. He is remembered for his association with Buddhism. He himself was a Buddhist convert, and convened the fourth Buddhist council in Kashmir. This council in Kashmir marked the beginning of Mahayana cult of Buddhism. He patronized both the Gandhara School of Greco-Buddhist Art and the Mathura School of Hindu Art. He sent Buddhist missionaries to various parts of the world to spread Buddhism. Kanishka is remembered in Buddhist architecture mainly for the multi storey relic tower, enshrining the relics of the Buddha, constructed by him at Peshawar. The Chinese traveler Xuanzang who came to India in seventh century gives the detailed account of this multi storey Stupa. With the expansion of his territories in China he also spread Buddhism there. Various Buddhist theologians such as Vasumitra, Parshva, Sangharaksha and Ashvaghosha are associated with Kanishka. All the patronage given to Buddhism by Kanishka seems to have been political.
Historians are uncertain about the death of Kanishka. Chinese annals tell the story of a Kushana king who was defeated by the General Pan Chao, towards the end of the first century AD, some people believe it to be the King Kanishka.
Last Updated on : February 1, 2014