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Buddhist Monuments in South-Eastern India: A Study of Forms and Patronage

Abstract

The advent of Buddhism in India is usually dated back to 6th century BCE. Siddhartha Goutama, a Sakya Prince left for quest of truth and reality of life. He was showered with the divine light of enlightenment, then, instead of keeping it to himself, Gautama preferred to enlighten others. The teachings preached and propounded by Gautama Buddha were warmly accepted by a large number of people and emerged as a new school of thought i.e. Buddhism which later turned into a major religion of the world and the Buddhist remains discovered through archaeological investigations help us to reconstruct our past. (Chakrabarti, 2006: 315) It is a well known fact that various the kings of different kingdoms like Magadha, Vaisali, the Sakayas, the Bullis, the Koliyas, the Mallas, the Moriyas and Kalinga (Ancient Odisha) sought for the relics of the Buddha after the parinirvana. (Kern, 1989: 46) The emperors, kings, traders and commoners extended patronage and built monuments, kept relics, offered gifts to pay ovation to the Master Teacher. This historical phenomenon is known from various forms of Buddhist monuments built across India. Odisha, a geographical orbit of South Eastern India, is fortunate to have received a good deal of Buddhist monuments and relics. This paper is intended to present an account of different forms of Buddhist monuments that have been discovered so far, such as Stupas, Chaitys, Monasteries under the possible patronage of Buddhism in this part of India from third century BCE to sixth-seventh century CE.

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Buddhist Remains of Boudh District: A Historical Study

Abstract

The present paper focuses on the Buddhist vestiges of Boudh District of Central Odisha. Emphasis has been laid on aspects like historical background, location of sites, literary references, colonial records pertaining to Buddhist sites of the locality, local tradition, rituals and other facets of the sites. Besides, an attempt is made to locate the sites along the Buddhist trail which even continued during the British regime. Besides, detailed study of the sites with cultural remains and sporadic findings of Buddhist sculptures have been cited to draw a holistic picture of Buddhist remains in the district.

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The Doctrine of Not-self (anattā) in Early Buddhism

Abstract

Anattā or the Not-Self is a very important concept of Buddhism, which distinguishes it from other religions. there are some ways to explain this doctrine and many debates were happened between Buddhist schools and between Buddhists and the Brahmanists on this issue. Early Buddhism analyse that self is the combination of five aggregates (skandhas), and each of them is not the self. Based on this explanation, Buddhists think wrongly that anattā is ‘No-self. Deeply understand and practice of the not-self concept will help practitioners of Buddhism to be free from all sufferings. So, one needs to have a clear understanding on this concept. The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive view of Not-self (anattā) doctrine in Early Buddhism. All its related aspects are presented in succession. This article investigates the doctrine of anattā, it is also examined with other related doctrines in Early Buddhism. By analyzing method, the meaning of Not-self (anattā) in Early Buddhism is proposed by the author. (//https:www.abebooks.de/buchsuchen/titel/anatta/)

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Female Donors at Sārnāth: Issues of Gender, Endowments, and Autonomy

Abstract

Buddhism has different threads of traits to be explored and scrutinized. One of the important aspects is to know role and status of women in Buddhism through their visual representations in religious ceremonies, donations of the images, etc. The role, rank and implications of their participation in religious ceremonies is matter of inquiry. In particular, it is quite stimulating to know that their engagement in religious activities are egalitarian or highly gendered. Sārnāthwas intentionally chosen by the Buddha as the place of his first sermon and its importance in Buddhism became unforgettable till it was finally destroyed in the medieval period. The role of women in religious activities started in the age of the Buddha.This sacred complex shows the gender variances in ritualistic participation and donations. Here, the influence of Buddhism on women’s autonomy in spiritual/sacredengrossment is a subject of contemplation.

Open access
Interpretation for Odisha’s ‘Buddhist Diamond’

Abstract

Cultural heritage tourism in India is growing and it is changing. In Odisha, the archaeological sites of four early Buddhist monasteries are being promoted as a set of attractions. Presentation of monuments entails, first, preservation and then interpretation. Effective interpretation has to take account of the visitors. A case study is made of visitor management and interpretation at Lalitagiri. The measures for preservation there are good but there is little provision for interpretation, even in the new museum. It can no longer be assumed that visitors have the background to understand the original contexts of the displays. Without that, they can hardly make adequate sense of what is presented. Options for improving the quality of interpretation are assessed.

Open access
Making Borobudur a Buddhist Religious Tourist Destination: an Effort to Preserve Buddhist Temples in Indonesia

Abstract

Borobudur Temple is designated as one of the new excellent destinations by the government in an effort to increase foreign exchange. In line with the increasing number of visitors to the Borobudur Temple, it also increased the threat to the sustainability of the site. This research is conducted to provide alternative solutions for the management of Borobudur temple that pay attention to its sustainability. Data used are from various published and unpublished research results. Content analysis with interpretive approach is used to analyze the research data. The change of management paradigm of Borobudur Temple becomes a must. The paradigm of sustainable tourism is an appropriate alternative if applied in the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Changing the theme of heritage tourism destinations into heritage tourism destinations, spiritual and religious will help the sustainability of Borobudur Temple. As a site related to Buddhism, its sustainability is a shared responsibility of Buddhists.

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Stūpa as śarīra dhātū to stūpa as dharmadhātū and maṇḍala: Continuity and changes in the sacred landscape in the Buddhist site of Udayagiri, Odisha

Abstract

External forms and internal materiality of stūpas underwent changes over centuries, and how these changes also altered the sacred landscape of a Buddhist site is the subject matter of the paper. Exploring the practices of the worship of the stūpa at the site of Udayagiri in particular and Lalitagiri and Ratnagiri in general in Odisha, the present paper analyses the transformation of material contents and form of stūpas – from that of containing body relics to pratīiyasamutpāda sūtra and then to various dhāraṇīs and finally, in the 8th century CE, a maṇḍala stūpa emerged in Udayagiri I area. The emergence of this maṇḍala Mahāstūpa also coincided with the construction of a new monastery in the same area which asserted its new identity by issuing a new monastic seal, namely Mādhavapura Mahāvihāra, in addition to the prevailing monastic seal, Simhaprasta Mahāvihāra, which came up in early historical period in Udayagiri II. area.

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Theravada Buddhism in North-East India: a study of the Tai-Khamtis

Abstract

North-East India is an abode of colourful ethnic communities having distinct cultural pattern and way of life. Among the ethnic communities of North-East India, the Buddhist ethnic communities are significant as far as the history and culture of the region is concerned. Among the ethnic communities of the region, professing Theravada form of Buddhism the ethnic groups namely, Tai-Khamtis, Tai-Phakeys, Tai-Khamyangs, Tai-Turungs, Tai-Aitons, Singphos, Tikhak Tangsas, Chakmas, Moghs, Boruahs etc are prominent. Among the eight states of North-East India, the state of Arunachal Pradesh is notable for Theravada Buddhism.The Tai-Khamtis are the largest Theravada Buddhist community of Arunachal Pradesh. The paper attempts to glean on the Theravada Buddhism among the Tai-Khamtis living in present day Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.The methodology followed in the paper is both historical and analytical. The study reveals that Theravada Buddhism forms an intregal part of the life and culture of the Tai-Khamtis. They are the follower of Theravada form of Buddhism after Burmese (Myanmarees) tradition. Their tangible and intangible cultural heritage bears traits of South-East Asian culture. The religious belief and practices of the Tai-Khamtis are more or less similar to those of the Buddhists of South-East Asia. The study of the Theravada Buddhism is significant to appreciate India’s relations with South-East Asian countries in a proper perspective.

Open access
The Always Embedded State: Six Types of State-Society Interaction

Abstract

This paper offers a critical analysis of the concept of embeddedness as currently used in political sociology and state theory. It argues that the concept of embeddedness can be successfully used to solve a current theoretical impasse – namely, how to conceptualize statesociety relations. The paper creates a conceptual space at the intersection of two axes of variation: the pattern of embeddedness (mono-versus multi-embeddedness) and the degree of state autonomy (captive versus autonomous). A central finding of this paper is that at least six types of embeddedness can be shown to exist in this conceptual space. In the remainder of the paper, the six types are described using a range of evidence extracted from the literature. One major advantage of the proposed typology is that it is able to incorporate, under the same umbrella, a variety of preexisting approaches of state-society interactions.

Open access