Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Your Cart (0)
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Buddhist > ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY
Displaying 615 of 1684         Previous  |  NextSubscribe to our newsletter and discounts
ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY
Pages from the book
ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY
Look Inside the Book
Description

 

From the Book:

 

In an article published in the Journal Asiatique as long ago as Jan.-Feb. 1911, we had an opportunity of pointing out the way in which we came to understand the evolution of ancient Buddhist Art in India. An abnormal phenomenon, the absence of the figure of the Buddha from the scenes depicting his own life, necessarily turned our attention to the symbols which take his place on the bas-reliefs of Barhut, Bodh-Gaya and Sanchi. These constantly repeated emblems, after all few in number and for that reason all the more significant, appeared to us as corresponding specifically to the "Four Great Miracles" which the sculptures group together as frequently as the legend. Through the four miracles the symbols carried us back to the "Four Great Pilgrimages" supposed to have been enjoined by the lips of the dying Buddha. Thus, step by step, we are led back to the worship of the Master's relies and memorials which we know to have been the most ancient rite common to all his followers, zealous laity and ordained monks alike. Now, if after having followed its development beginning at the end, we retrace it in its chronological order, it ensues that the first productions of Buddhist Art-itself the outward manifestation of this worship-must have been those objects of piety made in the four sacred towns for the use of pilgrims. According to the evidence of the oldest of the known monuments, namely coins, those primitive icons in their simplest form bore little more than the diagram of the object on which, together with the sanctity of the spot, was centred the devotion of the faithful. Those hieroglyphic signs, from being continually circulated throughout India, ended in being considered as actual representations of the "Four Great Miracles", so much so that we find the sculptors of Barhut and Sanchi obviously struggling with the difficulty of adapting those traditional formulae to the figuration of other episodes of the Buddha's life. On the whole, the theory stands firmly on its four feet; we must nevertheless point out that one of these formulae still remains ill-defined. While the three "canting badges" of the Enlightenment, the First Sermon and the Death were easily recognizable from the most ancient to the most modern images, we noted some hesitation about the special symbol of the "Great Miracle" of the Nativity. While Bodh-Gaya at once produced its tree, Benares its wheel and Kusinagara its funeral mound, Kapilavastu left us wavering (according to the monuments), between the lotus, the zodiacal sign of the bull, the elephant of the Conception, the gateway and horse of the Great Renunciation, and even the eponymous lion of the Sakyasimha. A closer survey of the sculptures of the Old School, beginning with those of Sanchi, will at last free us from that perplexity.

 

I.-THE MOTIF AT SANCHI

 

We are already indebted to the five torana at Sanchi-by a surprising piece of luck fairly well preserved-for valuable statistical indications on the relative importance of subjects in Buddhist Art previous to our era. Thanks to a complete collection of photographs of those gateways with which Sir John Marshall so courteously supplied us, we were able to establish beyond question the predominance of the representations of the three last "Great Miracles". Now, a careful examination shows us that a fourth motif alone can claim a share in this overwhelming preponderance. Eliminating those symbols which are not directly connected with Sakyamuni himself, the tree of his Sambodhi is found eighteen times, the wheel of his Dharma ten times, the tumulus of his Parinirvana twelve times: as the motif in question appears not less than ten times all evidence points to the fact that it depicts the fourth "Great Miracle", that of the Nativity (Jati). Such a conclusion should have been drawn years ago. We ourselves hesitated so long before adopting it merely because it is no easy matter to throw off the yoke of an identification, not only plausible in itself, but already in possession of the field. Now, the ten panels show a female figure either seated or standing on a lotus, and usually between two elephants each holding at the end of his trunk a water-jar which he is emptying over her head (cf. Pl. III). How could such a composition fail at the first glance to remind Cunningham and Fergusson of the mediaeval and present-day images of Sri or Lakshmi, the Indian goddess of "Fortune"? This generally accepted ascription impeded our researches until we were finally compelled to recognize that "comparison n'est pas raison", i.e., to compare is not to prove. The analogy of these figures, undeniable though it be, is after all only one more testimony in support of the commonplace fact that art motifs survive the ideas which they express, and are capable of assuming from one period and from one religion to another, more than one signification. Need we, for example, recall how the Hermes Kriophoros of the Greeks became the Good Shepherd of the Christians? Not only is there nothing to preclude, but everything to prove that the modern Hindu Lakshmi started in olden days by being the Buddhist Maya.

 

CONTENTS

 

ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY   1
INDEX   25
PLATE I.   28
PLATE II   30
PLATE III.   32
PLATE IV.   34
PLATE V.   36
PLATE VI.   38

 

Sample Pages










Click Here for More Books Published By Archaeological Survey of India

ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY

Deal 10% Off
Item Code:
IDD814
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1999
Language:
English
Size:
10.7" X 8.5"
Pages:
27 (B & W Illus: 53)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 390 gms
Price:
$18.00
Discounted:
$16.20   Shipping Free
You Save:
$1.80 (10%)
Look Inside the Book
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 11189 times since 24th Nov, 2015

 

From the Book:

 

In an article published in the Journal Asiatique as long ago as Jan.-Feb. 1911, we had an opportunity of pointing out the way in which we came to understand the evolution of ancient Buddhist Art in India. An abnormal phenomenon, the absence of the figure of the Buddha from the scenes depicting his own life, necessarily turned our attention to the symbols which take his place on the bas-reliefs of Barhut, Bodh-Gaya and Sanchi. These constantly repeated emblems, after all few in number and for that reason all the more significant, appeared to us as corresponding specifically to the "Four Great Miracles" which the sculptures group together as frequently as the legend. Through the four miracles the symbols carried us back to the "Four Great Pilgrimages" supposed to have been enjoined by the lips of the dying Buddha. Thus, step by step, we are led back to the worship of the Master's relies and memorials which we know to have been the most ancient rite common to all his followers, zealous laity and ordained monks alike. Now, if after having followed its development beginning at the end, we retrace it in its chronological order, it ensues that the first productions of Buddhist Art-itself the outward manifestation of this worship-must have been those objects of piety made in the four sacred towns for the use of pilgrims. According to the evidence of the oldest of the known monuments, namely coins, those primitive icons in their simplest form bore little more than the diagram of the object on which, together with the sanctity of the spot, was centred the devotion of the faithful. Those hieroglyphic signs, from being continually circulated throughout India, ended in being considered as actual representations of the "Four Great Miracles", so much so that we find the sculptors of Barhut and Sanchi obviously struggling with the difficulty of adapting those traditional formulae to the figuration of other episodes of the Buddha's life. On the whole, the theory stands firmly on its four feet; we must nevertheless point out that one of these formulae still remains ill-defined. While the three "canting badges" of the Enlightenment, the First Sermon and the Death were easily recognizable from the most ancient to the most modern images, we noted some hesitation about the special symbol of the "Great Miracle" of the Nativity. While Bodh-Gaya at once produced its tree, Benares its wheel and Kusinagara its funeral mound, Kapilavastu left us wavering (according to the monuments), between the lotus, the zodiacal sign of the bull, the elephant of the Conception, the gateway and horse of the Great Renunciation, and even the eponymous lion of the Sakyasimha. A closer survey of the sculptures of the Old School, beginning with those of Sanchi, will at last free us from that perplexity.

 

I.-THE MOTIF AT SANCHI

 

We are already indebted to the five torana at Sanchi-by a surprising piece of luck fairly well preserved-for valuable statistical indications on the relative importance of subjects in Buddhist Art previous to our era. Thanks to a complete collection of photographs of those gateways with which Sir John Marshall so courteously supplied us, we were able to establish beyond question the predominance of the representations of the three last "Great Miracles". Now, a careful examination shows us that a fourth motif alone can claim a share in this overwhelming preponderance. Eliminating those symbols which are not directly connected with Sakyamuni himself, the tree of his Sambodhi is found eighteen times, the wheel of his Dharma ten times, the tumulus of his Parinirvana twelve times: as the motif in question appears not less than ten times all evidence points to the fact that it depicts the fourth "Great Miracle", that of the Nativity (Jati). Such a conclusion should have been drawn years ago. We ourselves hesitated so long before adopting it merely because it is no easy matter to throw off the yoke of an identification, not only plausible in itself, but already in possession of the field. Now, the ten panels show a female figure either seated or standing on a lotus, and usually between two elephants each holding at the end of his trunk a water-jar which he is emptying over her head (cf. Pl. III). How could such a composition fail at the first glance to remind Cunningham and Fergusson of the mediaeval and present-day images of Sri or Lakshmi, the Indian goddess of "Fortune"? This generally accepted ascription impeded our researches until we were finally compelled to recognize that "comparison n'est pas raison", i.e., to compare is not to prove. The analogy of these figures, undeniable though it be, is after all only one more testimony in support of the commonplace fact that art motifs survive the ideas which they express, and are capable of assuming from one period and from one religion to another, more than one signification. Need we, for example, recall how the Hermes Kriophoros of the Greeks became the Good Shepherd of the Christians? Not only is there nothing to preclude, but everything to prove that the modern Hindu Lakshmi started in olden days by being the Buddhist Maya.

 

CONTENTS

 

ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY   1
INDEX   25
PLATE I.   28
PLATE II   30
PLATE III.   32
PLATE IV.   34
PLATE V.   36
PLATE VI.   38

 

Sample Pages










Click Here for More Books Published By Archaeological Survey of India

Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Related Items

Gautam Buddha
Brass Statue
6.5" X 4" X 4"
1.2 kg
Item Code: ZH55
$125.00
Backorder
Backorder
Large Size Buddha in Abhaya and Vitark-Mudra
Brass Statue
28.5 inch x 25 inch x 20 inch
37 kg
Item Code: ZAI41
$1395.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Large Size Buddha, The Universal Teacher
Brass Sculpture
38.5 inches X 26.0 inches X 19.0 inches
48 Kg
Item Code: RS57
$2115.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Preaching Buddha
South Indian Temple Wood Carving
35 inch X 23 inch X 5.5 inch
16.44 kg
Item Code: XJ46
$895.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Large Size Yoga-murti Buddha
Deal 20% Off
Brass Sculpture
28.5 inch X 24 inch X 15.5 inch
27.3 Kg
Item Code: RQ06
$1225.00$980.00
You save: $245.00 (20%)
Backorder
Backorder
Sukhothai Buddha
Brass Statue
14.5" X 4.0" X 3.5"
1.3 Kg
Item Code: ES50
$255.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Large Size Finest Physician The World Has Ever Seen (Tibetan Buddhist Deity)
Brass Sculpture
35.0 inch x 24.0 inch x 17.0 inch
41.5 kg
Item Code: XF67
$1695.00
Backorder
Backorder
(Tibetan Buddhist Deity) Large Size Manjushri - Bodhisattva of Transcendent Wisdom
Brass Sculpture
39 inch X 25 inch X 15 inch
43.7 kg
Item Code: XO44
$2135.00
Backorder
Backorder
Buddhist Iconography in The National Museums of Tokyo And Kyoto
by A.K. Bhattacharyya
Hardcover (Edition: 2006)
Indian Museum
Item Code: NAG111
$200.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now

Testimonials

Very grateful for this service, of making this precious treasure of Haveli Sangeet for ThakurJi so easily in the US. Appreciate the fact that notation is provided.
Leena, USA.
The Bhairava painting I ordered by Sri Kailash Raj is excellent. I have been purchasing from Exotic India for well over a decade and am always beyond delighted with my extraordinary purchases and customer service. Thank you.
Marc, UK
I have been buying from Exotic India for years and am always pleased and excited to receive my packages. Thanks for the quality products.
Delia, USA
As ever, brilliant price and service.
Howard, UK.
The best and fastest service worldwide - I am in Australia and I put in a big order of books (14 items) on a Wednesday; it was sent on Friday and arrived at my doorstep early on Monday morning - amazing! All very securely packed in a very strong cardboard box. I have bought several times from Exotic India and the service is always exceptionally good. THANK YOU and NAMASTE!
Charles (Rudra)
I just wanted to say that this is I think my 3rd (big) order from you, and the last two times I received immaculate service, the books arrived well and it has been a very pleasant experience. Just wanted to say thanks for your efficient service.
Shantala, Belgium
Thank you so much EXOTIC INDIA for the wonderfull packaging!! I received my order today and it was gift wrapped with so much love and taste in a beautiful golden gift wrap and everything was neat and beautifully packed. Also my order came very fast... i am impressed! Besides selling fantastic items, you provide an exceptional customer service and i will surely purchase again from you! I am very glad and happy :) Thank you, Salma
Salma, Canada.
Artwork received today. Very pleased both with the product quality and speed of delivery. Many thanks for your help.
Carl, UK.
I wanted to let you know how happy we are with our framed pieces of Shree Durga and Shree Kali. Thank you and thank your framers for us. By the way, this month we offered a Puja and Yagna to the Ardhanarishwara murti we purchased from you last November. The Brahmin priest, Shree Vivek Godbol, who was visiting LA preformed the rites. He really loved our murti and thought it very paka. I am so happy to have found your site , it is very paka and trustworthy. Plus such great packing and quick shipping. Thanks for your service Vipin, it is a pleasure.
Gina, USA
My marble statue of Durga arrived today in perfect condition, it's such a beautiful statue. Thanks again for giving me a discount on it, I'm always very pleased with the items I order from you. You always have the best quality items.
Charles, Tennessee
TRUSTe
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2017 © Exotic India