Discuss aniconic representations of the Buddha, such as those on

Discuss aniconic representations of the Buddha, such as those on the Great Departure relief from the east torana of Sanchi Stupa 1 or the relief depicting the Buddha’s birth from Amaravati Stupa.

Discuss aniconic representations of the Buddha, such as those on

Elaborate aniconic representations of the Buddha, such as those on the Great Departure relief from the east torana of Sanchi Stupa 1 or the relief depicting the Buddha’s birth from Amaravati Stupa. What strategies are use to allude to the Buddha without depicting him? What are some possible reasons this was done?

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Can a mound of dirt represent the Buddha, the path to Enlightenment, a mountain and the universe all at the same time? It can if it is a stupa. The stupa (“stupa” is Sanskrit for heap) is an important form of Buddhist architecture, though it predates Buddhism. It is generally consider to be a sepulchral monument—a place of burial or a receptacle for religious objects. At its simplest, a stupa is a dirt burial mound face with stone. In Buddhism, the earliest stupas contain portions of the Buddha’s ashes. Also, as a result, the stupa began to be associate with the body of the Buddha. Adding the Buddha’s ashes to the mound of dirt activated it with the energy of the Buddha himself.

Early stupas

Before Buddhism, great teachers were in mounds. Some were cremate d, but sometimes they were buried in a seated, meditative position. The mound of earth covered them up. Thus, the domed shape of the
stupa came to represent a person seated in meditation much as the Buddha was when he achieved Enlightenment and knowledge of the Four Noble Truths. The base of the stupa represents his crossed legs as he sat in a meditative pose (called padmasana or the lotus position). The middle portion is the Buddha’s body and the top of the mound, where a pole rises from the apex surrounded by a small fence, represents his head.

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