I.       Important influences on India

                   1.      521 B.C., invasion of Darius, king of Persia

                             a.      invades Hindu Kush

                             b.      Indian troops fighting in the forces of Xerxes during Persian invasion of Greece

                   2.      327 B.C., invasion of Alexander the Great of Greece

                   3.      324 B.C., Chandragupta Maurya, founds of the Mauryan Dynasty

                             a.      capital at Pataliputra (modern Patna)

                             b.      became a Jain and abdicated for son

                   4.      269 - 232 B.C., reign of Ashoka

                             a.      grandson of Chandragupta

                             b.      name means "without sorrow"

                             c.       mother a Greek princess

                             d.      war with Kalinga (modern Orissa)

                                      (1)     100,000 died

                                      (2)     150,00 captive and deported

                             e.       details of war and Ashoka's philosophy inscribed on rocks around kingdom

                             f.       descendants cling to power until 184 B.C. when last Mauryan king assassinated in front of his own army by his generals

          B.      Buddhism is referred to as Hinyana - The Lesser Vehicle

                   1.      Theravada (The Sayings of the Elders) is the only Hinyana sect in practice today

                   2.      Sri Lanka, Burma, and southeast Asia


Ashoka and Maurya Art/Hinyana Buddhism

          A.      Ashokan Columns

                   1.      proclaiming his decrees in stone

                             a.      reflects Persian influences

                             b.      sites, highways to pilgrimages and at boarders of kingdom

                   2.      monolithic, smooth shaft

                             a.      Chunar sandstone

                             b.      seems to have been turned on stone lathe

                             c.       high luster finish

                   3.      lotus-form bell capital

                   4.      surmounted by Wheel of Law - Dharmachakra

                   5.      Sarnath Capital from Ashokan Column

                             a.      lotus-form bell

                             b.      plinth with 4 animals between 4 wheels

                                      (1)     style very naturalistic

                                      (2)     style is reminiscent of Indus Valley seals

                             c.       4 addorsed lions

                                      (1)     heraldic

                                      (2)     mask-like heads

                                      (3)     muzzles incised with parallel lines, Persian

                                      (4)     style very different from animals on plinth

                             d.      originally topped by giant wheel

                   6.      Primary function of columns magical and auspicious

                             a.      4 beasts

                                      (1)     Lion, elephant, bull, horse

                                      (2)     symbolic of four directions

                             b.      wheels between animals

                                      (1)     originally held precious jewels

                                      (2)     symbolic of 4 great planets of the equinoxes

                             c.       shaft symbolic of world axis between heaven and earth

                   7.      Symbol of time and space and the cosmos

                             a.      sun's yearly round through the heavens

                             b.      axis with the 4 directions

                             c.       universal extension of the power of Buddhist Law and, hence, universal extension of Maurya Dynasty through Dharma

                             d.      cosmology to the glory of Buddhism and the royal house

          B.      Stupa

                   1.      Symbolism of parts

                             a.      anda - dome of heaven and world egg

                             b.      harmika - summit of world mountain

                             c.       yasti - world axis

                             d.      chattra - umbrella -  levels of heaven

                   2.      Sanchi

                             a.      monuments cover entire period when Buddhism was important in India, 3rd century B.C. - 12th century A.D.

                             b.      area had not importance in life of Buddha nor did any significant event in Buddhist history happen here

                             c.       Ashoka married a daughter of a merchant from a nearby town

                                      (1)     Ashoka had 7 of the 8 stupas containing the body relics of the Buddha opened

                                      (2)     had a stupa built on site containing part of the original body relics

                                      (3)     also had an Ashokan Column erected

                             d.      site close to wealthy merchant town with rich mercantile Buddhist community and a perfect site to withdraw either for monks or lay people

                             e.       2nd century B.C. enlargement of Ashokan stupa and building two other stupas

                             f.       from 14th century A.D. site deserted

                             g.      British excavations in 19th century

                             h.      John Marshall restoration begun in 1912 still on going

                   3.      Stupas at Sanchi

                             a.      Stupa 2

                                      (1)     built on artificial terrace on side of hill below other stupas

                                      (2)     built in last quarter of 2nd century B.C.

                                      (3)     carvings on fence posts

                                                (a)     makaras - elephant head with fish tail

                                                (b)     yakshi and yaksha - male and female nature (tree) spirits

                                                (c)     kinnara - bird with human head

                                                (d)     naga - snake

                                      (4)     contained relic caskets

                                                (a)     largest had relics of Kasyapagotra and Suvijayita, two very important Buddhist arhats (teachers)

                                                (b)     4 smaller caskets with the names of 10 Buddhist saints all of whom took part in the Third Buddhist Council call under Ashoka

                             b.      Stupa 3

                                      (1)     only one gateway standing

                                      (2)     dome extensively rebuilt

                                      (3)     original built soon after Stupa 1 because name of common donor inscribed on both, 2nd century B.C.

                                      (4)     gateway erected 1st century B.C.

                                                (a)     ground of gateway had risen 3 meters since stupa built

                                      (5)     relic casket with two of the most important disciples of the Buddha along with five precious jewels (pearl, garnet, lapis, crystal, amethyst)

                             c.       Stupa 1

                                      (1)     built over original Ashokan stupa

                                                (a)     Ashokan stupa had been intentionally damaged in the middle of the 2nd century B.C.

                                      (2)     all sandstone locally quarried in core of stupa

                                      (3)     ashlar covering, thick coat of concrete, facing of fine plaster

                                      (4)     names of donors inscribed on fence

                                      (5)     Toranas

                                                (a)     baffled

                                                (b)     tops would have trident symbol of the Triratna

                                                          i)       Buddha

                                                          ii)      Dharma

                                                          iii)     Sangha

                                                (c)     bracket figures of women embracing tree

                                                (d)     scenes show people worshipping symbols of Buddha or Buddha's life

                                                (e)     scenes often from Jataka Stories

          C.      Rock cut halls

                   1.      ascetics sought out natural caves

                   2.      early carved caves around Ragjir

                             a.      sponsored by Ashoka

                             b.      even earliest have impressive acoustics

                   3.      most famous located at the three natural passes through the Gnats on west coast, south of present day Bombay

                   4.      overlooks trade routes

                   5.      strategically placed for missionizing

                   6.      carved from the top, straight back and then down so scaffolding not needed

                   7.      two types of caves

                             a.      vihara is the monastery, dormitory

                             b.      chaitya cave

                                      (1)     place of worship

                                      (2)     reproduction carved out of stone of temples built in more temporal materials

                                      (3)     Bhaja Cave

                                                (a)     interior has original teak beams

                                                (b)     wooden screen over entrance has disappeared

                                                (c)     columns under beams at acute inward slant

                                                          i)       reproduces wooden structures

                                                          ii)      needed to offset outward thrust of chaitya shaped beams in wooden temple

                                                (d)     stupa moved inside and is votive

                                                (e)     apse end

                                                (f)     circumambulation of stupa still important

                                                (g)     Indra relief

                                      (4)     Karla Caves

                                                (a)     porch

                                                          i)       elephants carrying facades on back

                                                          ii)      mithuna couples

                                                (b)     columns

                                                          i) set in imitation pottery pots

                                                          ii)      capitals mithuna couples riding elephants or horses

                                                          iii)     under capitals are inverted lotus bell shapes

                                                (c)     stupa retains original yasti and wooden harmika

                                                (d)     holes in stupa originally used to hang garlands