Warning: include(domaintitles/domaintitle_wiki.exoticindiaart.php3): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 761

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'domaintitles/domaintitle_wiki.exoticindiaart.php3' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 761

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
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Buddhist > Art > ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY
Subscribe 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 13896 times since 17th Oct, 2018

 

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
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to ON THE ICONOGRAPHY OF THE BUDDHA'S NATIVITY (Buddhist | Books)

The Tibetan Iconography of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and other Deities: A Unique Pantheon
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: IDD153
$255.00$204.00
You save: $51.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Elements of Indian Art:  Including Temple Architecture, Iconography and Iconometry
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: IDI055
$27.00$21.60
You save: $5.40 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Elements of Indian Art Including Temple Architecture, Iconography and Iconometry 
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: IDD288
$40.00$32.00
You save: $8.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Elements of Indian Art Including Temple Architecture, Iconography and Iconometry 
Deal 20% Off
Item Code: IDD289
$30.00$24.00
You save: $6.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Buddhist Iconography of Northern Bactria
Item Code: NAM672
$55.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Numbers Their Iconographic Consideration in Buddhist and Hindu Practices
Deal 20% Off
by Fredrick W. Bunce
Hardcover (Edition: 2002)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDD022
$37.50$30.00
You save: $7.50 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Mudras in Buddhist and Hindu Practices: An Iconographic Consideration
Deal 20% Off
by Fredrick W. Bunce
Hardcover (Edition: 2017)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDE188
$70.00$56.00
You save: $14.00 (20%)
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Elements of Buddhist Iconography
Item Code: IAB24
$45.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
Thank you for such wonderful books on the Divine.
Stevie, USA
I have bought several exquisite sculptures from Exotic India, and I have never been disappointed. I am looking forward to adding this unusual cobra to my collection.
Janice, USA
My statues arrived today ….they are beautiful. Time has stopped in my home since I have unwrapped them!! I look forward to continuing our relationship and adding more beauty and divinity to my home.
Joseph, USA
I recently received a book I ordered from you that I could not find anywhere else. Thank you very much for being such a great resource and for your remarkably fast shipping/delivery.
Prof. Adam, USA
Thank you for your expertise in shipping as none of my Buddhas have been damaged and they are beautiful.
Roberta, Australia
Very organized & easy to find a product website! I have bought item here in the past & am very satisfied! Thank you!
Suzanne, USA
This is a very nicely-done website and shopping for my 'Ashtavakra Gita' (a Bangla one, no less) was easy. Thanks!
Shurjendu, USA
Thank you for making these rare & important books available in States, and for your numerous discounts & sales.
John, USA
Thank you for making these books available in the US.
Aditya, USA
Been a customer for years. Love the products. Always !!
Wayne, USA
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2020 © Exotic India