Based on the teachings of Lord Buddha, who was born in 563 BCE at Lumbini, Nepal (Sect founded in 7th century BC) Buddhism preaches the path of practice and spiritual development, thus, leading an insight into the truth of life The main objective of Buddhism is to end the suffering of cyclic existence or samsara by awakening a being to the realisation of the truth and the achievement of liberation. Buddhism, which is considered today more of a religion than a thought, focuses on moral discipline or sila, meditation or samadhi and wisdom or prajna rather than that of idol-worship. In 528 BCE, when Siddharta Gautama achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at BodhGaya (Bihar, India) and became Gautam Buddha, He moved on further towards Banaras (Now Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh), where at Sarnath.
The Four Truths:-I. The noble truth of SufferingII. The noble truth of Cause SufferingIII. The noble truth of the CessationIV. The noble truth of Cessation ofSuffering The Eight-Fold Path:-I. Right BeliefII. Right AspirationIII. Right SpeechIV. Right ConductV. Right Means of LivelihoodVI. Right ExertionVII. Right MindfulnessVIII. Right Meditation
Types of buildings Edicts inscribed on rock Monolithic pillars Stupas Monolithic accessories to shrines Castle and places Rock cut chambers Buddhist monasteries
Boldly designed, finely proportioned, conceptually well balanced Monumental –free standing pillars not part of architectural composition Shaft is circular piece of stone stone tapering upwards40-50ft long Capital - symmetrical design capital shaft Inverted lotus or bell
After many years of teaching Buddha died at the age of 80 .his body was cremated and ashes were divided in to eight parts the ashes were then deposited in several special mound –shaped monuments called Stupas Umbrella were often mounted at the top of stupa as a sign of honor and respect Also known as thupa ,thope, pagoda ,dagoba
An Ashokan pillar across from a stupa at Kolhua, near Vaishali, inBihar
• Sanchi is a small village in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh.It is 46 km NE of Bhopal,Capital of Madhya Pradesh.It is famous for it houses Buddhist monuments called "Stupas" dating to 3rd century BCE."Stupa" in Sanskrit stands for "heap",Stupas are large hemispherical domes or mound like structure containing a central chamber, in which the relics of the Buddha were placed.• A circular tumuli of earth covered with stone or brick which propagates the ‘Doctrine• Also known as ‘Relic Shrines’Spherical dome symbolises theinfinite sky, the abode of GodTop of dome is a small decorativebalcony called ‘Harmika’At top is a rainvase or ‘Varsha sthala’
. The upper pradakshina path was perhaps reserved for monks , the traditioanal one at groundbase of dome aaterrace of base of dome terrace of level was open to all‘Medhi’ with aa‘Pradakshina’ ‘Medhi’ with ‘Pradakshina’ devotees .path for worshippers path for worshippers Ambulatory passage with gateways called ‘Torana’ Stupa is enclosed in a wooden or stone railing called ‘Vedica’
The reconstruction of the stupa was started in as early as 150 B.C.,when the existing stupa was enlarged nearly twice its previous size. The dome ‘anda’ or ‘egg’is a solid brick work 32.32 in diameter and 12.8m high In some stupas , the dome was coloured and also some recesses were left at the intervals for receiving small lamps to be lit at the time of festivalsThe stupa was enclosed within a wooden orstone railing called as ‘’Vediaca’’leaving anambulatory passage with a gateways called as‘Toranas’,at each end of the cardinal points. •The Great Stupa is 120 feet across (36.6 meters) and, excluding the railing and umbrella, is 54 feet high (16.46 meters).
There are four gateways known as “Torana” at each side of the stupa in four directions east ,west,north,south. The decorative relief portrays the world of ancient Buddhism. A 3-tier stone or wooden umbrella called ‘Chhatravali’Outside the railing there stood once thefamous Ashoka pillar. Canopy layers known as Chhatra at the top of the stupa represent Buddha’s past, present and future.
West Gate On west gate the Yaksha, a God of the Forest was carved . He is believed to be the origin of the later God figure, Vaisravana. There’s an image of a wheel and people worshipping it in the centre of the West gate. The wheel is known as the “Wheel of Law”, which East Gate represents Buddha and his teachings. On the east gate A Yakshi Goddess is South Gate carved on the Torana. On the South gate shows how people fought She is a Goddess of the over the Buddha’s remains. After the war they Forest worshipped were divided into 8 parts, and later divided long before Buddhism. into 84 thousand parts. This process allowed Buddhists to build numerous stupasNorth Gate throughout AsiaOn the North Gate there arecarvings of peopleworshipping the stupa . Itdepicts people makingofferings, playing instrumentsand worshipping.
Pradakshina path is fenced by Railing or‘Vedica’ 3.35m high
Stupa and Asoka Pillar, Vaishali, Bihar. Emperor Asoka is believed to haveredistributed the holy relics of the Buddha and enshrined them in vast stupasacross his empire
I. Amravati,3rd centuryA.D.II. Sarnath,6th century A.D.III. Karli,2nd century A.D.IV. Ajanta,6th century A.D.V. Barhut, 2nd century A.D.VI. Bodh Gaya, 75 B.C.
Amaravati which also known as Amrawati or Amraoti is a popular ancient city, which lies on the bank of River Krishna at a distance of 65 kilometers from Vijaywada in Hyderabad,Andhrapradesh One of the major attractions of Amravati consists ofthe remains of a 2000-year-old Buddhist settlement,along with the great Buddhist stupa. There is also atemple dedicated to Lord Amaresvara in the city. Founded by an emissary of the great EmperorAshoka, it is also known as the Mahastupa and Deepaladinne (the Mound of Lamps). The stupa is made of brick with a circular vedika and depicts Lord Buddha in a human form, subduing an elephant.
Dome (Upper) The main part of the Amaravati Stupa was a solid great dome which most likely stood about 18 meters high. The dome was made of pale green limestone which was probably painted with bright colors. The upper part of the dome was probably decorated with plaster garlands. Garlands made of real vines and flowers were used to decorate buildings for festivals and special occasions.By the end of the 1700s all that could be seenof the structure was a mound of rubble andsome pieces of sculpture on the ground.Experts estimate the stupa, at around 35 m inheight and diameter, to have exceeded theSanchi Stupa in size.
Amaravati todayIn the late nineteenth century, most of themain Amaravati sculptures were taken fromthe site and sent to museums. Most of thesculptures are in a museum at Chennai, Indiaand at Amaravati itself. Many are also in theBritish Museum. There are various representations of Lord Buddha in the form of sculptures in the Amravati Stupa. There are beautiful carvings and sculptures which interpret the life of Buddha and his incarnations from the Jataka tales
Reconstruction of the GreatStupa, Amaravati based on adrawing from Douglas BarrettsSculptures from Amaravati inthe British Museum (1954)
Railing crossbar with monks worshiping a fiery pillar, a symbol of the Buddha, , Great Stupa of AmaravatiThe Great Departure of Prince Siddhartha,Amaravati
Carvings from the Great Stupa at Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, founded 3rd C. BCRailing pillar with the Interpretation ofthe Dream of Queen Maya, Great Stupaof Amaravati
Railing pillar with King ShuddhodanaDome sculpture from the Great Stupa at and Queen Maya, parents of PrinceAmaravati, Andhra Pradesh Siddhartha, on an elephant
Upper left corner of a drum slab, Great Stupa at AmaravatiDrum slab from the Great Stupa atAmaravati, 3rd C. AD
The stupa at Sarnath marks thespot where the Buddha gave hisfirst sermon after attainingenlightenment.The present stupa is 31.3meters tall and 28.3 meterswide/ 128 feet high and 93 feetin diameter. Swastika and lotus wreathdesigns cover the lowerportion.
Sthambas or Pillars with religiousemblems were put up by piousBuddhists in honor of Buddha or othergreat Buddhists. Fragments ofsthambas belonging to Mauryan timesand later were found at Sanchi,Sarnath, Amaravati andNagarjunkonda. The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns dispersed throughout the northern Indian subcontinent, erected or at least inscribed by the Mauryan king Ashokaduring his reign in the 3rd century BCE. The first Pillar of Ashoka was found in the 16 century by Thomas Coryat in the ruins of ancient Delhi.
This Ashokan Pillar is one of several free-standing, highly polished sandstonepillars from the reign of the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka found across northernIndia. The tall, heavy column isnt supported by a base or platform and iscrowned by a capital with a single lion. The authoritative, open-mouthed lion isseated on a square dais that juts from the capitals base, which is decorated withan inverted lotus blossom. Similar to other pillars that have been discovered inthe region, it is made of a single piece of light colored sandstone andtransported from a quarry in Chunar, near Varanasi (Benares).The pillar, erected by Ashoka in Kolhua near a brick stupa (a domed memorialfor the Buddha) and the ruins of a Buddhist monastery, commemorates the lastsermon of the Buddha before he achieved enlightenment. Its lion capital facesnorth, the direction the Buddha took on his last voyage. Only ten pillars withintact inscriptions have been found, although many more were erected duringthe emperors reign. The inscriptions describe edicts of ethical conduct, publicand private, based on non-violence and the tenets of Buddhism, that werecreated and promulgated by Ashoka.
A portion of the Ashoka Pillar, 15.25 metershigh, surmounted by the famous lion-capitaland a dharma chakra above the heads ofthe four lions stands embedded near theDharmarajika stupa at Sarnath.The pillar bears the edict of Ashokawarning the monks and nuns againstcreating a schism in the monastic order.The broken fragments of the Pillar are now inthe Museum at Sarnath.
The base of the Lion Capital pillar, in its original site in the DeerPark at Sarnath The inscription on the surviving base of the pillar
Front view of the single lion capital in vaishali
Another Ashokan Pillar of note is the one at Lauriya Nandangarh in Bihar.•Erected in the 3rd century BC it is made of highly polished Chunar sand-stone.Standing 9.8 metres high it rises from the ground and has no base structure.• It is surmounted by a bell-shaped inverted lotus.The abacus on it isdecorated with flying geeseand crowning it is a sittinglion. The pillar is an exampleof the engineering skill of thecraftsmen of Mauryan times.