Devotees celebrate Buddha Purnima in Uttar Pradesh
Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh), May 27 (ANI): Devotees in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar District celebrated Buddha Purnima, the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha on Thursday.
Devotees and monks from various countries participated in a procession at the Buddhist pilgrimage site here to mark the festival.
“Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Devotees from all over Thailand, Burma, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and India are taking part in the celebrations of Buddha Purnima to offer their prayers to Lord Buddha,” said Baanti Mahendra, a devotee.
“Devotees try to use the teachings of Buddha in their own lives so that they can attain a peaceful life,” he added.
Buddha Purnima falls on the Full Moon day. This day holds special significance for followers of Lord Buddha as all three main events of his life took place on the same day.
It is believed that Buddha’s wife Yashodara, his charioteer Channa and even his horse Kantaka, were born on the same day.
The message of Lord Buddha inspires to follow the path of truth, peace and compassion and serve humanity to affirm our faith in the eternal values of non-violence and universal brotherhood. (ANI)
Emperor Asoka’s contribution to Indian arts
He stayed in Ujjain for 14 years and had two children by her. On his return to Pataliputra the capital of Maghadhadesha, he was anointed the King. In his eighth year, Asoka invaded Kalinga Kingdom (modern Orissa) on the North Eastern coast of India in a genocidal war on the banks of Daya river near Dhauli, in Kalinga. At Dhauli he met with the Samanera (novice monk) Nigrodha, and listened to the Dhamma and through this Samanera met the Samenera’s teacher Ven. Upagupta of royal lineage (Moggaliputta Tissa) and embraced Buddhism, having had a clear insight into his genocidal career and became remorseful.
Dhauli Rock Edict
His remorse Asoka recorded in the Dhauli Rock Edict in the following manner.” “By King Devanampiya Priyadarshin, who was consecrated for eight years Kalinga was conquered. One hundred and fifty thousand there in number were slain there. Many times that number were deported from there. Many times that number perished there now that Kalinga was conquered Devanampiya’s observance of Dhamma, love of Dhamma and propagating of Dhamma became ardent. Here is this remorse of his that he conquered Kalinga” Epigraphis Indica - English translation of Brahmi script edict).
This is the first instance of a monarch becomes remorseful of war activities. Therefore this conversion of Asoka could be called, ‘The Conquest of a Conqueror by Dhamma.” In the tenth year of his reign as recorded in the Gurnar version of Asoka’s pillar edict, that he went and worshipped Buddha Gaya. Rock Edict VII. Layer Asoka opened the seven of the eight stupas originally built immediately after the Great Demise (Mahaparinirvana) at Kushinagar, the Naga Kings of Ramgram, Nepal refused permission to open their stupa in present Nepal, and built 84,000 all over India enshrining the sacred relics of the Buddha recovered from these seven stupas.
Third Buddhist Council
Asoka too convened the Third Buddhist Council (Sangayana) at Pataliputra (modern Patna, capital of Bihar State) under the chairmanship of his Ven. Maha Moggaliputta Tissa Mahathera and despatched Buddhist missions headed by erudite monks to eight countries including Sri Lanka and (under Arahat Mahinda, his son) and to Burma Myanmar (Burma) under Arahaths Sona and Uttara.
Asoka set up minor rock, Rock and pillar edicts all over India.
Thus the Buddhist creed came to be given longevity in India as well as overseas. The capitals of Asokan pillars are the most magnificent pieces of sculpture in the world. The Lion capital of the Saranath Pillar, provided the legislature of independent India to insert the Dhammacakka in the centre of the Indian tri-colour national flag, which Chakra (Wheel) represents, the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta, the first discourse of the Buddha and also adopt the Lion capital with four lions as the national emblem of independent India in 1949.
After the period of Asoka, the 2nd century BC saw another chapter of Buddhist stupas sculpted reliefs of the railings of the great stupas of Bharhut and Sanchi. These sculptures gave a new dimension to the latent artistic talents of the Indian, to sculpts or print for the first time scenes from the life of the Buddha of the 6th century BC and the Jataka stories of running through innumerable millennia illustrating the high cultural and civilization of India or Maha Bharath.
The figures in the reliefs of Bharhut are endowed with a generous sense of peace and well being, transferring same to the onlooker. There is thus created a sense of the lyrical, unending melody of life of peace and tranquillity. Moving from Bharhut we come to the reliefs on the gateways of the Sanchi Stupas Complex of the 2nd century BC. In the Bharhut figures are single, in contrast to the Sanchi reliefs that bring forth large groups in variety of poses of reverence and honour to the Buddha, though the figure of the Buddha had not been created by then, but represented by a Bodhi tree, empty throne, stupa or a wheel. With the diagonal movements of the figures, depict the figures in motion out of boundaries of the stone, which give the impression to the onlooker.
The Stupa at Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh) a few miles from Vidisha, the homeland of the first spouse of King Asoka, Sujata, the mother of Mahinda and Sanghamitta, of the Vaishya - Setti clan, has an inscription on the Eastern Gateway right side, that the carvings on the gateway are the work of ‘Dantakarins’ (Ivory-carvers), and any person or persons shifting these carvings elsewhere or claiming them to be of theirs would be subject to the punishments for panchanikarma (five heinous crimes - meaning execution).
These caves were from Vidisha. Magnificent carvings with minute and exquisite detail of the sculpture of Sanchi depict the skill of ivory workers, as ivory does not permit any human error, of any magnitude. In the gateways of Sanchi the scenes sculpted are in a continuous narration, like the modern day films and are in a harmonious relationship with each other and give to the mind of the onlooker a complete scene as being enacted before his eyes, like in a film.
These scenes remind us that the Indian view of time and life is not on a chronological movement of the past, present and future, but an eternal process reaching to the time of eternity. The artist is imbibe with a deep sense of Indian life that existed, exist and that would continue to exist, whatever the upheavals that take place in Indian life.
The dynasty of rulers who made the sculpted railings and gateways of the great stupa at Sanchi, had their Eastern Indian sect of such sculptures in their own kingdom of present day Andhra Pradesh, at Amravadi and Nagajunakinda in the Krishna river valley.
Maha Bodhi Vihara
At Amravati, a great stupa of Mauryan times was reconstructed during the 2nd century AD by Satavahanas and the stupa was provided with stone sculpted railing like that at Buddha Gaya Maha Bodhi Vihara. Similar to railings at Sanchi, the railings at Amravati and Nagarjunakanda (short time later) were profusely sculpted with Jataka stories, to give the onlooker that attainment of Buddhahood is possible through a tedious process of innumerable lives performing the ten perfections (dasa paramita), and that the Buddha is human, but a self made (Swayambu) supreme human being. These figures of the railings are in steady movements and not stable, giving the onlooker the spirit of the Dhamma as a great moving force from the dark into the light.
The scenes too represent the world within and understanding life. There in the pliable flesh is never disregarded. These are all in all the finest representations in the art of the world.
Asoka besides his construction of stupas, erection of pillars with Dharmapili and rock, minor rock and pillar edicts, began the tradition of making beautiful cave temples for Ajivakas and Brahamins, which he sculpted out of the Barabar hills in Bihar State with cave donative inscriptions.
Mayawati for a people-friendly image of the party
STAFF WRITER 20:5 HRS IST
Lucknow, May 13 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati today asked party leaders not to confine their efforts to expanding its support base but also to create an image for the party in accordance with expectations of the people.
Delivering the message at a meeting of senior party functionaries here, Mayawati said her government was committed to create an atmosphere in the state free of “fear, crime, terror and corruption”, a BSP spokesman said.
She also reviewed preparation for the party’s proposed state-wide agitation against ‘wrong policies’ of the Congress beginning May 22, the day UPA completes one year in office and asked party workers to make the stir a success, saying it was related to the interest of the common people.
Mayawati seeks inclusion of caste in census
STAFF WRITER 17:12 HRS IST
Lucknow, May 15 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati today demanded inclusion of caste in the census which would help in drawing welfare schemes for the weaker sections.
In a letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she stressed on caste based census in order to ensure academic, social and economic development of the deprived groups.
She slammed Congress, BJP and other political parties for depriving the backwards of their rights by denying caste-based census since Independence.
“With an aim to maintain their hold over power they conspired to deprive the other backward castes (OBC) of their rights by denying caste-based census since Independence”, she said in an official statement.
She claimed that on her directives the BSP members were the first to raise the issue of caste-based census in the Parliament. Other parties were now trying to take credit for it, she added.