Buddhist Architecture

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Transcript of Buddhist Architecture

  • Evolution of Buddhism Buddhist thought, art and culture Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism Interaction of Hellenic & Indian Ideas in Northern India Evolution of building typologies- The Stupa, Vihara and the Chaitya hall Symbolism of the STUPA Architectural production during Ashoka's - Ashokan PillarRock cut caves at Barabar - Mauryan in Bihar-Sarnath - UPSanchi Stupa Rock cut Architecture - Ajanta and Ellora and Vihara at Nasik Karli- MaharashtraRani gumpha - Udaigiri Takti Bahai- Gandhara


  • Origins of JainismMahvra, also known asVardhamna, was the twenty-fourth and lasttirthankara-omniscientteacher who preaches thedharma(righteous path)

    Mahvra was the last tirthankara ofavasarpani(present descending phase

    Mahavira was born into a royal family in what is nowBihar,India.

    At the age of 30, he left his home in pursuit of spiritual awakening.

  • For the next twelve and a half years, he practiced intense meditation and severe penance, after which he becameomniscient.

    He traveled all overSouth Asiafor the next thirty years to teachJain philosophy.

    Mahavira died at the age of 72 and attainednirvana(final release) ormoksha(liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

  • Jainism: The ReligionThe Jain community is composed of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen.

    There are two distinct religious groups: the Digambaras (the sky-clad) and the Svetambaras (the white clad).

    This division probably occurred around 300 B.C. over two issues: the nature of Mahavira and monastic nudity.

    Though they both believe in the same doctrines that are important to Jainism, their practices are different.

  • Jainism: Key BeliefsAhimsa - The central Jain belief is an agreement to avoid physical violence and conduct that can be mentally and emotionally damaging to oneself or others. It also involves commitment to all life forms on earth and not engaging in practices which may bring harm. Karma the belief that for every action, there is a consequence.Reincarnation Ones soul that is reborn into different bodies over the course of many lives.Proper Conduct - Jains are encouraged to make a vow to conduct themselves according to the following five principles: 1) Non-violence (ahimsa) 2) Truthfulness 3) Non- Stealing 4) Celibacy 5) Non-possession

  • Jainism: Key BeliefsMoksha - Results in the elimination of the effects of karma in ones life (achieved through meditation) Atomism - Jains believe that every living thing on the planet possesses a soul or Jiva. They also believe that people are bound to act more compassionately if they acknowledge that everything is composed of a spirit or soul.No absolutes - No perspective of any person is wrong, despite the fact that different perspectives have different effects on the specific situation.

  • Symbol of JainismThe outline of this picture represents the universe in the Jain description. It is supposed to resemble a person standing on his feet with his feet apart, and the arms are rested on the hips.The swastika represents the soul in which it can be reborn and reincarnated into during the time it is in the universe.There are three dots above the swastika. They represent Right Faith, Right Knowledge, and Right Conduct. The three dots are the three jewels of Jain philosophy in which they believe liberation can be found.The half moon is where the liberated soul is being kept, and the dot inside of it is the liberated pure soul.The hand below the swastika is a gesture of blessing and protection.Inside the hand, there is a wheel of 24 spokes, and this represents Jinas. In the middle of the wheel, a word is inscribed which says: ahimsa

  • It was all started by Buddha, who was a prince in Lumbini, 2500 years ago. He was very unhappy in his royal life, so he set off on a 6 year journey, exploring other religions.After his long journey and much meditation he was finally enlightened. He found the middle path, the key to human happiness. For the rest of his life he wandered Asia, preaching his new religion.Attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, India.Spent rest of his life, teaching others to realize what he himself had discovered.


  • Gauthama Buddha from BodhGaya went to Sarnath ( 5 weeks after enlightenment)Crossed the ganges.

    In Sarnath his deciples were the Five monk. The earliest school of Budhhism was formed in SARNATH . Which are remarkable in their construction.

  • The first was that life is suffering

    You cant live without death, frustration, etc.

    The second is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion

    Getting what you want doesnt guarantee happiness, it deprives you of it

    The third is that suffering can be overcome, and true happiness attained

    If we stop craving useless things, and live each day at a time (not living in the future) we will be happy and free.

    The fourth is that the Noble eight fold path leads to the end of all sufferingTHE FOUR NOBLE PATHS

  • The Eight-Fold PathRight LivelihoodRight MindfulnessRightEffortRight ConductRight SpeechRightMeditationRight KnowledgeRight ResolveRight Mindfulness

  • "Buddha" means "the awakened one"--that is, someone who has woken up from the dream of being a separate ego in a material universe. Gautama Siddhartha, whom we affectionately, [mistakenly], call the Buddha, taught for forty-five years.In all those years, and in the hundreds of thousands of teaching words that he uttered, his message was simply this: "You are all Buddhas.There is nothing you need to achieve. Just open your eyes.Buddha had a vision in which he saw the human race as a bed of lotus flowers

  • Dharma is understood as the practice (paripatti) of the truth. To take refuge in the Dharma is to take refuge in Buddha.

    Karma is intentional action, physical, verbal or mental. Good karma brings happiness, bad brings suffering.

    Avijja and Tanha is ignorance or not knowing the true nature of things and craving are the two root causes of Karma.

    Cycle of Rebirth We are born and reborn in six realms of exhistence based on ones previous Karma.

    Nirvana (Enlightenment) To go beyond the cycle and achieving blissful state is Nirvana.


  • Five Rules to abstain from: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct lying, taking intoxicants such as alcoholic drinks

    Meditation: Various types of meditation in various traditions

    Chanting: Hymns of homage to Buddha, refuge in Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha etc.

  • Comparison between the two schools (chart)

    Theravada (Hinayana)MahayanaTeaching of the eldersSpirit of the eldersSmall vehicleLarge (great) vehicleMan as an individualMan involved with othersMan on his own in the universeMan is not alone (grace is real)Key virtue: wisdom (bodhi)Key virtue: compassion (karuna)Religion is primarily for monksReligion is for laypersons as wellIdeal: the Arhat (lonely saint)Ideal: the BodhisattvaNirvana- oneselfNirvana + heavens, hells-for allBuddha is a saint or sageBuddha is a saviorAvoids metaphysics (speculation)Elaborates metaphysicsAvoids ritualIncludes ritualConservativeLiberalPali texts kamma and dharmaMany later texts (Sanskrit)karma,dharmaOld wisdom schoolNew wisdom schoolEscape Samsara, and reach NirvanaSamsara is Nirvana (identity)Ceylon, Burma, etc. (Southern Bism)China, Korea, Japan (N Bism)

  • JainismBuddhismBased onThe teachings of thirthankaras like MahavirThe teachings of Gautama BuddhaBranches/sectsDigambara, Svetambara, TerapanthaTheravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, and so onNotion on soulBelieves that soul is a living entity which sticks to different types of non-living matter.They do not believe in the ideas of eternal self or soul (Atman) and eternity. Soul is treated as an ever changing entity.Notion on KarmaIt is a real substance that is attached with each jiva or body. Not effected from the persons actions.Is a process, (an impression of karma determines the future). Karma is the direct effect of ones own actionFounderVardhamnaGautama Buddha

    KnowledgeKnowledge for liberationKnowledge of purpose of life

  • INTERACTION OF HELLENIC AND INDIAN IDEAS IN NORTH INDIA The 2nd century BC was a period of great expansion of international trade, and these monasteries, remote as they may seem to us, were built on the trade routes of their time.The valleys they crown once saw the frequent passage of the caravans of the great merchant houses bringing luxury goods ebony, teak and sandalwood, elephant tusks and translucent Indian textiles, pepper and cinnamon to the coast where they would be shipped by Egyptian Jews and Greek middle men to the Red Sea and hence, via Alexandria, to Antioch and Rome.Like Egyptian pharaohs they built everlasting monuments in honor of the gods Ashoka showed THE ENDURANCE OF THE GOOD LAW Thus arose the pillar for a beginning which was 50' high which carried the Buddhist emblem Other monolithic productions were Railings Stupa finials- umbrellas Lion thrones Colossal figures Hypostyle halls at the royal palaces of Pataliputra Most important aspect of these stone structures was the smooth enamel finish This was the infancy of stone architecture and yet it reached its peak immediately after wood Stone art developed even without a background and traces of Greek, Persian and Egyptian Influence in the method of usage of stone could be seen. The Graeco-Persian culture influence in Indian art could be seen from above examples

  • Artistic influencesNumerous works of Greco-Buddhist art display the intermixing of Greek and Buddhist influences, around such creation centers as Gandhara. The subject matter of Gandharan art was definitely Bu