The Beginnings of Buddhist Art by A. Foucher – III

Buddha overcoming the Nāga (Sāñchi)

The whole subsequent development of Buddhist art flows logically from these premises; and henceforth there are none of the still surviving documents which do not successively corroborate the various stages of its evolution.

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The Beginnings of Buddhist Art by A. Foucher – II

The Awakening (Barhut)

To begin, we have the best reasons for thinking that the habit of adoring human images, and even the art of fabricating them, were still less general in the India of the Brahmans before Alexander than in the Gaul of the Druids before the time of Caesar.

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The Beginnings of Buddhist Art by A. Foucher – I

Foucher

The following essay discusses the important aniconic phase of Buddhist art, giving a reasonable thesis for its production and development.

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Thomas Berry and the Earth Community

Thomas Berry and the Earth Community

Thomas Berry was one of the most profound Catholic philosophers of the last century who dared to take a new look at the world that science was bringing to light and found inspiration in it.

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The History and Production of Silk

Women making Silk, 12th century

In July 2007, archeologists discovered intricately woven and dyed silk textiles in a tomb in Jiang-xi province, dated to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty roughly 2,500 years ago.

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The Silk Road Transmission of Buddhism

Central Asian Monks

The Silk Road transmission of Buddhism to China started in the 3rd century BCE during the reign of the first emperor of China, Qin Shihuang.

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The Travels and Work of Xuan-zang

Xuan-zang Statue at the Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi-an

Xuan-zang was fully ordained as a monk in 622, at the age of twenty. The myriad contradictions and discrepancies in the texts at that time prompted Xuan-zang to decide to go to India and study in the cradle of Buddhism.

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Thangkas 2: Some Examples

Jatakas

I follow up yesterday’s post on the Buddhist art of Thangka painting with a small collection of photographs from Wikimedia. The highest-definition files I could find are linked to by the small reproductions shown here.

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Angkor Wat Lotus Temple

Angkor-Wat-Lotus-Temple-Thumb.jpg

This is a short video from National Geographic’s Atmosphere podcast, which looks at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, which I visited twice this year.

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Adivasi Culture and Civilization by Lobsan Payat

A Warli painting by Jivya Soma Mashe

Adivasi traditions and practices pervade all aspects of Indian culture and civilization, and the extent and import of Adivasi contributions to Indian philosophy, language and custom have often gone unrecognized.

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Introduction to The Silk Road Series

Graeco-Indian Buddha Figure

Tomorrow I start posting the 12-part Silk Road series. I found this series about 2 years ago, and have watched it all the way through three times by now, and individual episodes at other times.

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Colour Spectrum Photography 1: Russia, in the early 20th Century

Prokudin-Gorskii

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) was commissioned to document the Russian empire, and he did so in an ingenious way and managed to get what are effectively colour photographs of his subjects by using a form of spectrum photography.

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Kazu Shimura: Buddha Meditation Ink Drawing

Sumi-e

In this wonderful video of Sumi-e ink and wash drawing of the Buddha we see both the tension and the flowing movement of the young artist Kazu Shimura as he manages to bring a Buddha to life on his canvas.

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Mural Walls at Bayon 3: Soldiers and Elephants at War

Bayon-Soldiers-and-Elephants-at-War

The video is made from three murals from the East Wall at Bayon at Angkor Thom. Scenes: the 1st mural shows the Khmer army marching from East to West; the 2nd from West to East; and the 3rd shows the Chams marching to meet them and engaging in battle.

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Moral Uplifting Society, Bukit Mertajam

Morality

This is a collection of photographs from the Moral Uplifting Society in Bukit Mertajam. The Society is ecumenicist in outlook, and there are pictures of Confucius, Buddha, Lao-Tze, Jesus and Mohammad hung over the main shrine.

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Indonesian Classical Music from Sunda (West Java)

Arum-Bandung-from-Sunda

Here is some wonderful classical Indonesian music from West Java. The music is still very popular in Java and wherever you go in the country you can always hear the melodious music being played, and also find classical concerts to attend.

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Stonework at Tua Peh Kong Temple, Bukit Mertajam

Tua Peh Kong

Photographs of a Chinese temple dedicated to the god Tua Peh Kong in Kampong Baru, Bukit Mertajam.

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Ferenc Cakó: Sand Animation of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons

Sand-Animation

Here are four magical sand animation films by Ferenc Cakó set to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, which is one of the most evocative pieces in the Western Classical repetoire.

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Glasswork at the Vaidurya Buddhist Lodge, Bukit Mertajam

Medicine Buddha

Earlier in the month I went for a tour of some of the temples in Bukit Mertajam and will be publishing the results over the next couple of weeks.

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Prasad Bhandarkar: Bansuri Raga Shivranjani

Prasad-Bhandarkar

Here are 10 minutes of magic on the Bansuri (Indian Bamboo Flute) from Prasad Bhandarkar, one of the leading disciples of Hari Prasad Chaurasia, accompanied by some friends on the Mood India series.

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