Go around the world of Buddha statues 15: the birth of Buddha statues2


< 1. a biography of Buddha “ first meeting with the Brahman, 2nd century, Gandhara, stone relief >

This is a scene that Buddha who has become a priest asks a famous hermit, and asks an instruction.




I investigate why Buddha statue was born in Gandhara.




.  Butkara ruins, Gandhara, Swat valley, Pakistan 

< 2.   Butkara ruins, Gandhara, Swat valley, Pakistan >

Above: many pedestals of stupas were built after the 3rd century B.C.

Below: sculptures remain at lateral sides of the pedestals.


上: 紀元前3世紀から建設されたストゥーパの基壇が並んでいる。

下: 人物像が基壇側面に残っている。多くが剥がされた。


.  a stupa 

< 3. a stupa >


What was happening in India?

Buddha died in the 5th century B.C.

In the 3rd century B .C., Emperor Ashoka of Mauryan Empire that ruled whole India protected Buddhism.

Across the country, he built many stupas (huge circle mound) that ashes of Buddha were rested in.

Before long, people who worshiped Buddha increased around those stupas.

Then it became necessary to explain the biography of Buddha to the people who visited to the stupas.

Believers donated relief engravings of the biography of Buddha around the stupas.


Priests who were following the teaching and religious precepts of Buddha were not concerned with those stupas and lived in monastic building.

Hinayana Buddhism was born from this group after that.

The group that had led the believers gathering in the stupas produced Mahayana Buddhism after that.

Just about, such a thing had been happening in whole India at about first century B.C.
















a map of power relationships, red circle shows Gandhara 

< 4. a map of power relationships, red circle shows Gandhara >

Above: Mauryan Empire, the 4th ~2nd century B.C.

Below: Indo-Parthian Kingdom, 1st century B.C.






What was happening in Gandhara?

Gandhara was located in the valley of upper portion of Indus, and was a key place of transportation that connected with India, Central Asia and Iranian plateau.

Therefore this area was invaded by Persia, subsequently, Alexander the Great, and additional the many nomadic tribe of Central Asia.

On the other hand, this rooted here the culture of Persia and Greece, and the fusion with Indian culture progressed.

Just the 1st century, Iranian nomad (Indo-Parthian Kingdom) ruled this area, and the fine arts of the West were established.

Therefore Greece and Iranian fine arts were incorporated into the relief engravings of the stupas.










a biography of Buddha” Brahma and Indra entreat Buddha to preach, about 1st century, Gandhara 

< 5. a biography of Buddha” Brahma and Indra entreat Buddha to preach, about 1st century, Gandhara >


What appeared first?

No. 5 is an oldest expression of Buddha in Gandhara.

This scene is that important Hindu Gods (Brahma etc.) are entreating seated Buddha to preach.






Buddha triad, the 3rd~4th century, Gandhara 

< 6. Buddha triad, the 3rd~4th century, Gandhara >

Two Bodhisattvas stand on both sides of Buddha.


Also in Mathura of India, Buddha statues were born approximately at the same time.








Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: Go around the world of Buddha statues | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Go around the world of Buddha statues 15: the birth of Buddha statues2

  1. Reblogged this on @シャララネット ,Shalala net / @ラスカル39号 @矢萩 Senkou仙孝 join tracking records. and commented:
    I favorite this. 私,お気に入り.
    #歴史 #仏教
    / @シャララネット @ラスカル39号 @矢萩 Senkou.仙孝 Join Tracking records.

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