Chapter : 4

What Are Thinkers, Beliefs And Buildings ?

  • Shahjehan Begum was the Nawab of Bengal who permitted the Europeans to excavate the site of Sanchi Stupa in Bhopal.
  • The founder of Buddhism is Gautama Buddha and the founder of Jainism is Lord Mahavira.
  • Tipitaka is the compilation of the teachings of Buddha by his disciples in three volumes. Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka.
  • The Vinaya Pitaka contained the rules and regulations for the people who joined the Buddhist Sangha and for its existent members.
  • Sutta Pitaka contains the teachings of Buddha which he used to impart to his disciples.
  • The Abhidhamma Pitaka contains several philosophical matters.
  • Siddhartha was the son of the chief of the Sakya clan. He later adopted the path of asceticism and became Buddha.
  • Siddhartha adopted the path of meditation to reach the state of salvation. He was successful in attaining enlightenment and came to be known as the Buddha.
  • Gautama Buddha believed that the social world is created by humans. He did not believe that the social world is of divine origin.
  • Gautama Buddha advised the Kings and Gahapatis to exhibit humane and ethical behaviour.
  • The women who became members of the Sangha ultimately became the teachers of Dhamma. Later, they became theris and attained liberation.
  • Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa are the Buddhist chronicles that contain regional histories of Buddhism.
  • Fa Xian and Xuan Zang were Buddhist pilgrims who came to India to study the Buddhist culture and other cultural traditions of India.
  • Over the centuries the teachings of Buddha has influenced the people in China, Japan, Korea, Central Asia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.
  • The debates and discussions of the Sanghas were not recorded during the earlier period of Buddhism.
  • It was after the death of Buddha that his teachings were compiled by his disciples in the texts that came to be known as Tripitaka.
  • The Ajivikas are the fatalists who believed that everything in this world is predetermined.
  • On the other hand, the Lokayuts have a materialistic approach and do not consider that every event in the life of an individual is predetermined.
  • The followers of the older tradition of Buddhism is known as the Theravadins. These are the people who follow the path of the old, respected teachers, the theras.
  • Tirthankars are generally the teachers who guide people about worldly affairs. They spread the basic philosophy of the Jain tradition.
  • The total number of Tirthankars in the Jain tradition is 24. Mahavira is considered to be the last Tirthankara.
  • One day Siddhartha persuaded his charioteer to take him to the city. In the city, he saw different things that changed his life significantly.
  • In the city, Siddhartha saw an old man, a sick man and a corpse. These sights were very traumatic for him as he saw these things for the first time in his life. He also saw a homeless mendicant who had adopted the pathย  of asceticism.
  • The path suggested by Gautama Buddha for attaining nirvana is: An individual should adopt the righteous path for setting himself free from the cycle of birth and rebirth. An individual should free himself from ego and desire for renouncing the world.
  • Chaityas were considered to be the sacred places of the Buddhist culture.
  • The earliest Stupas at Sanchi and Bharhut had a plain architecture with stone railings. Its resemblance was like bamboo or wooden fence. The gateways were richly carved and installed at the four cardinal points.
  • The Europeans especially the French and the English were interested in the site of Sanchi Stupa.
  • The French tried to sought permission from the Shahjehan Begum to took away the Eastern gateway of the stupa.
  • The English made an excavation at the site under the command of Alexander Cunningham and spend several days on the site.
  • Some of the animals whose sculptures are found at Sanchi Stupa are elephants, horses, monkeys and cattle.
    The use of animals often represented human attributes.
  • The sculptures were removed from the Stupas by the British and other colonial powers for carrying them back to Europe. This was because of the elegance and evaluability of the sculptures.
  • There are several reasons due to which Sanchi Stupa managed to survive : The Nawab of Bhopal, Shahjehan Begum and her successor, Sultan Jehan Begum allocated a large number of funds for the preservation of the funds.
  • They funded the museums that were built near the site and also a guesthouse. The activities like the publication of volumes on the site were also funded by them.
  • Vaishnavism was a form of Hinduism in which the principal deity of worship was Vishnu. Shaivism was a form of Hinduism in which the principal deity of worship was Shiva.
  • According to the Vaishnava tradition, ten incarnations of Vishnu has come to the earth for protecting the earth from evil forces.
  • The content in the Puranas got evolved by the medium of interaction between the priests, merchants, ordinary men and women. These different sections of the people travelled along and shared their ideas and beliefs.
  • Kailashnatha temple was constructed to worship Lord Shiva. This temple is carved from huge rocks.
  • In the earliest inscriptions, the architecture of Buddhism was influenced by Greek traditions. The earliest images of the Buddha and Bodhisattas were based on the Greek models.