Presentation on theme: "Paths to Enlightenment By the Buddhist, the Jew, and the Christian."— Presentation transcript:
Paths to Enlightenment By the Buddhist, the Jew, and the Christian
There are an amazing 20 plus different major languages existing in India today. There is a plethora of cultures and religions including: Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Islam, etc.
India and Pakistan Indus Civilization Mohenjo-daro
The artist used a local stone, which makes sense if you will, which is called steatite. Steatite is a soft soapstone that is easy to carve and manipulate. Scholars compare this statuette to Sumerian sculpture because of the characteristic trefoil motif that denotes priest-kingship. Robed Male Figure at Mohenjo-daro BCE
Seal with seated Figure BCE These seals are similar to the stamp seals found in Mesopotamia. Used for securing trade goods wrapped in textiles. On the back is a boss with a hole permitting the insertion of a string so that the seal can be worn or hung on a wall. Each animal is portrayed in strict profile, as we have seen only too many times
“The Way of Truth” Buddhism The Dharma Karma The Middle Way Nirvana The Buddha The Sangha The Irrelevance of God “Dharma was decided to be the name for the Buddha’s teachings, the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, or the path. Those on this path would be called “Sangha.” And Siddhartha would become known as “The Buddha,” the one who shows others the path in the world. The Middle Way is almost self-explanatory. It was a realization of Buddha; The Buddha realized that we all meet forms of Extremism, but that we should listen to both sides and choose a harmonious middle road. Karma, in short, is: “What goes around, comes around.” Nirvana is supreme enlightenment and is attained through meditation of the world around one’s self. Buddha, derived from the Sanskrit root budh, to awaken, is a title, not a name; like King, or Christ. As such, it means Awakened One Supremely Awakened. When asked about God, Heaven, and the immortality of the soul, the Buddha simply remained silent, because these theoretical matters didn’t affect his teachings. Buddhism isn’t about belief, but rather firsthand experience.
Maurya Dynasty 250 BCE This one guy named Ashoka, the greatest Maurya ruler, made a bunch of columns with a legal code based on the Buddha’s dharma on them. The pillars were thirty or forty feet tall. They were lined along pilgrimage routes. They were rooted deep in the ground connecting sky and earth – which was a pre-Buddhist concept called “axis of the universe.” The finest of these capitols is the Lion Capitol at Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon and set the wheel of law in motion. Stylistically, it can be compared to Persepolis. Lion Capitol of column
Shunga, Andhra, and Kushan Dynasties
Latin Vocabulary Circum – around Ambulat – walk Circumambulation – walk around - more specifically, in context, to walk around the perimeter of a stupa [the great stupa] in a clockwise direction in a reverential act [towards Buddha].
Great Stupa at Sanchi, India This mound-shape design was taken from earlier but not limited to South Asian burial mounds. It was not, however, used as a tomb; it housed relics of Buddha. It held the ashes of Buddha, and Buddhists can pay homage by circumambulation. Buddha is depicted in his jatakas (past lives), as footprints or an empty chair, but never in human form.
The Chaitya Hall at Karle, India This is a good, early example of a chaitya hall. It is cut out of living rock Dates around 100 CE Pillared hall 45’ high, 125’ long (larger than Ramses II) Stupa at one end with circumabulatories Precedent for eroticism in Indian art
A good example of Buddha in human form is this statue, carved of gray schist (a local stone), dating back to the second century CE. He is seen in monk’s robes, in cross- legged yogic posture, hands upward in dhyana mudra, the gesture of meditation. It shows Hellenism’s influence on their art. Society’s perception of Buddha changed drastically during the first three centuries CE in the two Hellenized cities of the Kushan Empire of Gandhara and Mathura. Buddha was at first seen as an enlightened mortal, but was eventually turned into a sort of god.. This is where the modern misconception of Buddha’s divinity comes from. So, naturally, images of Buddha himself were in demand so that people could worship something tangible. Meditating Buddha from Gandhara
The life and death of the Buddha Frieze from Gandhara Earliest example of narrative of Buddha This frieze describes, from the left, Buddha’s birth by Maya, his enlightenment, his first Sermon, and his unfortunate death.
Mathura Although Mathuran sculptures of Buddha were contemporaneous, they were different stylistically.
Seated Buddha This picture is the product of the merging styles of Gandhara and Mathura during the second half of the 5 th century. It was during the new “gupta” period, the king was Chandragupta II and Pataliputra was the capitol The Guptas were great patrons of art and literature Statues like these become so popular that they were favored over the stupa as a place for worship
Buddhist and Hindu Coexistence – Unlike today! Buddhists and Hindus coexisted in India because unlike monotheism – these ways of life have many gods and paths for which to take. They meshed because each had some of each other’s elements
Vishnu Rescues the Earth 13’ tall Vishnu as the incarnation of Varaha, the boar. He assumed this form when he rescued the earth from being carried off to the bottom of the ocean. He stands with one foot resting on the coils of a snake king who represents the conquered demon that attempted to abduct the earth Rows of gods and sages form lines to witness the event It had a political purpose because it was about the Gupta King Chandragupta II who was fabled to have saved his kingdom and rid it of his enemies as Vishnu did. It’s an example of contemporary events in mythological guise much like the Greeks.
Dancing Shiva It depicts Shiva, the second major Hindu god, dancing a cosmic dance. A drummer accompanies the dance while Shiva’s son Ganesha (elephant) mimics his father Hindu deities are often represented with multiple body parts to show that they are more than human gods with supernatural powers
Shiva with Three Faces Image of Shiva as Mahadeva (“Great god, Lord of Lords”) On the right is a face of the female with framing curls (Uma – the creative aspect of Shiva) On the left is a grimacing male (Bhairava – the destructive side of Shiva)
Vishnu Temple at Deogarh One of the first Hindu temples constructed of stone blocks Has elaborately decorated door in the front and a relief in a niche on each of the three sides Sculpted guardians protect the doorway because it is the transition point between the dangerous outside and sacred interior
The Creation of the Universe Four-armed Vishnu dreams the universe into reality Surrounding Vishnu are important divinities such as Shiva on his bull Out of the six figures below the four at the right are personifications of Vishnu’s various powers and they defeat the two figures on the left who are armed demons Carved in the classic Gupta style
Shiva as Nataraja It is representing the lord of the dance Standing on a dwarf that represents ignorance The flame symbolizes destruction The drum is used to create the universe to its rhythm The holes in the base make it possible to carry *When worshipped it would be dressed. It was supposed to be treated as a human being It was not supposed be a symbol of the god but the god himself It was bathed, clothed, fed, taken on outings and would get gifts like songs, incense, lights, and flowers. It would eat the essence of the food and leave the rest for the worshipper
The Sweet Giant Buddha a.k.a. Death of the Buddha It is 46’ long, and was carved out of a rocky place at Gal Vihara in the eleventh or twelfth century. Ananda, Buddha’s cousin and chief disciple, is the small figure to the left who is mourning the death. The style is similar to the Gupta sculptures of India with the clinging clothes, round faces and stylized hair
The Borobudur It is a Buddhist monument that is 400’ at the base and 98’ tall. Built on a small hill The stairways are aligned with the cardinal points There are 500 life size Buddha images, about 1000 relief panels and about 1500 stupas. It is supposed to be a spiritual place where worshippers go through various realms to get to ultimate enlightenment. Each stupa holds a sculpture of Buddha. It was influenced by Indian art, literature, and religion, but nothing in India is comparable to it.
Harihara, Cambodia It shows Vishnu as Harihara Its divided vertically, with Shiva on the right and Vishnu on the left There were objects in the hands at one time that helped to differentiate It was to be seen from all sides and it was unlike almost all Indian stone sculptures, which were reliefs, because this is in the round.
Vishnu Lying on the Cosmic Ocean The surviving portion is about 8’ long, making it one of the largest bronze sculptures of ancient or medieval times It originally had jewel and silver inlays and there was a separate miter on his head It’s only comparable in size to the sculpture of Constantine and Athena Parthenos
Angkor Wat? It was built by Suryavarman II (Khmer King) It was the largest Khmer temple complex Its purpose was to associate the king with his god, who is in this case Vishnu The five towers symbolize the five peaks of Mt. Meru, which is the “sacred center of the universe” There are reliefs that glorify Vishnu and the king
King Suryavarman II Holding Court This is one of the reliefs at Angkor Wat The kneeling people are smaller because they are less important (HELLOOOO!) Religion and politics are united.
Bayon Jayavarman VII, the son of Suryavarman II, built more while he was king than all the Khmer kings combined He turned to Buddhism from Hinduism, which the other kings liked, but may the Buddha and bodhisattva Lokeshavara (“Lord of the World”) divine prototypes of the king The faces might be of Lokeshavara or of Jayavarman VII himself.
Bibliography Kleiner and Mamiya. Gardner’s Art through the Ages. Thomson/Wadsworth Gach, Gary. Understanding Buddhism. Alpha
Grant Tally! “If you will” 55 in 5 weeks “(H)uman” 50 in 5 weeks Mispronunciations 60 in 5 weeks “And so…” 65 in 5 weeks Mercy Sakes Alive 5 in 5 weeks