SYMBOLS OF SANCHI VIHARE INDIA

SYMBOLS ON SANCHI VIHARE.

BUDDHIST BELIEFS

The Buddha is formless , to the Buddhist the Buddha represents his Dhramma. He is believed to have said  that  accepting  his Dhramma was not as important as  putting into practice with the correct understanding of these the principle preached if it conducive to one and all. But no religion is free of myths and miracles , so Man expresses these beliefs by his art.

THE EARLY BUDDHIST  SYMBOLS.

1. THE  Anionic symbols such as DHRAMMACHAKRA , THE BO TREE ENCLOSED IN BUDDHIST RAILING,FOOTPRINT  represented the Buddha, before a Statue of him . How he was to be  described  was decided at a Buddhist council, where the monks  worked out the Maha- Purusha Lakshana or the finer points of a great man. The first recorded depiction of the Buddha was on Kaniska Coin inscribed BUDDHO.

2. The symbols which expressed the spirit of Buddhsim, before the Buddha  statue is discussed  in this page.Few  symbols were used by the ancient artist  to express the true essence of his teaching or the nature of Buddhism.–        THE TRI-RATNA, THE ANKUSA, THE STANDARD OR FLAG , THE CHAITIYA , THE LION, THE ELEPHANTS , ETC.

These were universal symbols  not exclusive to the  Buddhists. the very same symbols were used by other religions with their own interpretations and beliefs.

SANCH VIHARE 250 BC. The best representation of the symbols found on ancient Sri Lankan Coins from the same period as  on the Sanchi Vihare  sculptures. Elaborate gates (torana) are built at each of the four cardinal points, is of stone  They are imitative of wooden gateway that is believed to have existed during the period of Asoka.

The views of Raven Hart, Kosambi, Hettiarchchi, Coomarasmay and many other are presented on this page.

What is found on the four gateways and the railing at Sancji Vahare is presented here is from the Web sites on  Tourist sites of India.

 

 

SHALABANJIKA

A fertility emblem, expressed as the pose of a Yakshini who raises her arm to grasp the branch of a tree, while her opposite leg is cocked on the ball of one foot. Pre-Aryan belief held that a woman could make a tree fruitful by grasping its branches in this way. Sometimes the Yakshi holds a cross-legged instead of a cocked-leg posture, and sometimes the figure is male instead of female.

Total symbols at Sanchi Vihare

  • Worship of tree= 37;
  • the Stupa =67;
  • the Darmacakra = 6 times;
  • the seated lady bathed by elephants= 05 times ;
  • standing lady bathed by elephants an complete architrave and on a side pillar=02
  • The Rider less horse= 6 times

ALL THESE SYMBOLS HAVE GREAT ATTACHMENTS TO MIRACLES OF SAMBUDHAS LIFE

  • The Stupa associated with his relics.
  • The Bodhi tree under which he attained buddhahood.
  • The rider less horse – Sidhartha renunciation.

Which symbol represented his conception and birth?.

BIRTH SCENE AT SARNATH [GUPTA 400-600AD].
LEFT-THE MOTHERS DREAM
CENTRE- BABY SIDHARTHA ON LOTUS BATHED BY TWO NAGAS.
RIGHT- MAYA DEVI HOLDING SAL- BRANCH INFANT TO HER RIGHT HIP.

For Pre- Buddha Artists it was the miraculous birth –each morning when Usha rose from the ocean and Brahma lotus.

Depicts the age old observance of CEREMONIAL PURIFCATION of  Sakayan lady[ Maya devi ]  in a sacred lotus pond prior to delivery of a child. An apt symbol for the birth of Buddha in the groove of Sala at Lumbini

“Maya devi rested in the pleasure grove of Sal trees called Lumbini grove. At that time it was full of flowers from the ground to the highest branches, and among the blossoms were many bees and sweet singing birds. And when Queen Maya came to the greatest tree. A branch bent to her hand ; standing and holding that branch she was delivered of Prince Sidhartha”

  • STUPAS

Stupas generally represent the enlightened mind of the Buddha. One of the symbolic meanings is that they represent the five elements: the square base represents earth, the round dome is for water, the cone-shape is fire, the canopy is air and the volume of the stupa is space. Stupas are often used to store relics from important teachers

BHADAPITHA OR THRONE

  • The Throne is both a reference to Siddharta Gautama’s royal ancestry and to the idea of spiritual kingship – enlightenment as ruler of the spiritual world. The ancient stone carvings above show the Dharmachakra and the Bodhi tree on top of the throne.
  • IT IS ONE OF Auspicious symbol found on the foot-print the Buddha

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