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Ancient Buddhist history and architecture of Pakistan

peagle

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Its only natural. Pakistan is the world most ancient civilization. Its influences are everywhere though out of jealously other nations will never recognise.

How many people know that Buddhism was introduced to Korean peninsula by a Monk (ancient Pakistani) from Gandhara?



According to some historians, Korea’s Buddhism traces its roots to the Gandharan Civilization that thrived 2,000 years ago in the territories of today’s northern Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Mahayana school of Korea’s Buddhism ― one of two main branches alongside the Hinayana school ― was introduced to the ancient Kingdom of Baekje (B.C. 18-A.D. 660) in 384 by monk Maranatha, native of Gandhara, the historical records say.

The Buddhists, they know, I met a high ranking Buddhist monk in Luang Prabang, Laos, I think around 17 years ago. I was on holiday and visiting a temple, I stood out because normally there are only locals and "white" tourists.

After brief salutations, we started talking as he took an interest in me for some reason, once he realise I am ethnically Pakistani, we must have spoke for around 30 minutes. He had spent some time in Pakistan visiting all the Buddhist sites. It's also the first time in my life I bowed in a different kind of prayer. After our discussions, he held my arm and guided me to a large statue of a Buddha and started praying, at the end of which, he bowed in prostration and asked me to bow as well, I did not want to offend him and followed through. it was a truly a memorable experience.



Nice work @Sainthood 101

I started using this word recently as it makes Indians absolutely furious :lol:
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I enjoy watching angry Indians

Jokes aside,
It is actually a correct term, and we should start using it as normal, claim our history.
For history belongs to the land, and it's people. The history of the Indus region, is the history of the people of Pakistan.
 

MultaniGuy

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Cookie Monster

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While reading this thread...I couldn't just help but chuckle thinking "what if the Buddha was a Pathan"? :rofl:
"Khocha h̶um tumko zindagi ka chaar such bataey gi"
 

Maula Jatt

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Students with their oblong palettes used for writing, in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara. The young Buddha accompanying them to go to school is also part of the complete scene. 2nd-3rd century CE, Victoria and Albert Museum.


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Historically Famous students of ancient university of taxilla considered the first and oldest university in the world
who said to have receive thier education from this "university"- it also served as an important institution for Buddhist religion

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King Pasenadi of Kosala, a close friend of the Buddha

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Aṅgulimāla(Aṅgulimāla is an important figure in Buddhism, particularly within the Theravāda tradition. Depicted as a ruthless brigand who completely transforms after a conversion to Buddhism, he is seen as the example par excellence of the redemptive power of the Buddha's teaching and the Buddha's skill as a teacher. ), a close follower of the Buddha. A Buddhist story about Aṅgulimāla (also called Ahiṃsaka, and later a close follower of Buddha), relates how his parents sent him to Taxila to study under a well-known teacher. There he excels in his studies and becomes the teacher's favorite student, enjoying special privileges in his teacher's house. However, the other students grow jealous of Ahiṃsaka's speedy progress and seek to turn his master against him.To that end, they make it seem as though Ahiṃsaka has seduced the master's wife.

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Jivaka, court doctor at Rajagriha and personal doctor of the Buddha.

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Charaka, the "father of medicine" and one of the leading authorities in Ayurveda, is also said to have studied at Taxila, and practiced there.

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Chandragupta Maurya, Buddhist literature states that Chandragupta Maurya, the future founder of the Mauryan Empire, though born near Patna (Bihar) in Magadha, was taken by Chanakya for his training and education to Taxila, and had him educated there in "all the sciences and arts" of the period, including military sciences. There he studied for eight years.The Greek and Hindu texts also state that Kautilya (Chanakya) was a native of the northwest Indian subcontinent, and Chandragupta was his resident student for eight years. These accounts match Plutarch's assertion that Alexander the Great met with the young Chandragupta while campaigning in the Punjab.
 
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Maula Jatt

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Teachers of Taxilla

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Pāṇini, is said to have been born in Shalatula near Attock, not far from Taxila. This region was then part of the Gandhara satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, but the ethnicity in his name or the way of his life shows that he was of native origin. He is likely to have been teaching at Taxila university.

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Pāṇini was a Sanskrit philologist, grammarian, and revered scholar in ancient India, variously dated between the 6th and 4th century BCE.

Since the discovery and publication of his work by European scholars in the nineteenth century, Pāṇini has been considered the "first descriptive linguist", and even labelled as “the father of linguistics”.

Pāṇini's grammar was influential on such foundational linguists as Ferdinand de Saussure and Leonard Bloomfield.

Pāṇini is known for his text Aṣṭādhyāyī, a sutra-style treatise on Sanskrit grammar, 3,959 verses or rules on linguistics, syntax and semantics in "eight chapters" which is the foundational text of the Vyākaraṇa branch of the Vedanga, the auxiliary scholarly disciplines of the Vedic period.His aphoristic text attracted numerous bhashya (commentaries), of which Patanjali's Mahābhāṣya is the most famous.His ideas influenced and attracted commentaries from scholars of other religions such as Buddhism.

Pāṇini's analysis of noun compounds still forms the basis of modern linguistic theories of compounding in Indian languages. Pāṇini's comprehensive and scientific theory of grammar is conventionally taken to mark the start of Classical Sanskrit.His systematic treatise inspired and made Sanskrit the preeminent Indian language of learning and literature for two millennia.

Pāṇini's theory of morphological analysis was more advanced than any equivalent Western theory before the 20th century. His treatise is generative and descriptive, uses metalanguage and meta-rules, and has been compared to the Turing machine wherein the logical structure of any computing device has been reduced to its essentials using an idealized mathematical model. (I am adding them because taxilla primarily served as a Buddhist center of learning)

Chanakya born near Taxilla, Pakistan (although disputed by some) , the influential Prime Minister of the founder of the Mauryan Empire, Chandragupta Maurya, is also said to have been teaching at Taxila.

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Chanakya was an ancient polymath who was active as a teacher, author, strategist, philosopher, economist, jurist, and royal advisor. He is traditionally identified as Kauṭilya or Vishnugupta, who authored the ancient political treatise, the Arthashastra, a text dated to roughly between the fourth century BCE and the third century CE. As such, he is considered the pioneer of the field of political science and economics, and his work is thought of as an important precursor to classical economics.His works were lost near the end of the Gupta Empire in the sixth century CE and not rediscovered until the early 20th century.

Around 321 BCE, Chanakya assisted the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta in his rise to power and is widely credited for having played an important role in the establishment of the Maurya Empire. Chanakya served as the chief advisor to both emperors Chandragupta and his son Bindusara.

Two books are attributed to Chanakya: Arthashastra,and Chanakya Niti, also known as Chanakya Neeti-shastra. The Arthashastra was discovered in 1905 by librarian Rudrapatna Shamasastry in an uncatalogued group of ancient palm-leaf manuscripts donated by an unknown pandit to the Oriental Research Institute Mysore.

The Arthashastra, which discusses monetary and fiscal policies, welfare, international relations, and war strategies in detail. The text also outlines the duties of a ruler(controversial books 😁)
[unreliable source?] Some scholars believe that Arthashastra is actually a compilation of a number of earlier texts written by various authors, and Chanakya might have been one of these authors)
Chanakya Niti, which is a collection of aphorisms, said to be selected by Chanakya from the various shastras.
 
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Maula Jatt

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Kumāralāta, according to the 3rd century Chinese Buddhist monk (disputed some say.he was native ghandhara/Pakistan near Islamabad while some say he was Chinese)and traveller Yuan Chwang, Kumāralāta, the founder of Sautrāntika school was also an excellent teacher at Taxila university and attracted pupil from as far as China.
@MajesticPug ,@MH.Yang , @chinasun

According to the Chinese sources, he moved to Kabandha, where the king of the country gave him a splendid monastery in an old palace. He was known all over the Buddhist world for his genius, great learning and abilities; he also had influence on the development of Japanese Buddhism. He was considered one of the "four Suns illuminating the world", other three being Aśvaghoṣa , Aryadeva and Nagarjuna.

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The founding of the Sautrāntika school is attributed to the elder Kumāralāta (c. 3rd century CE), author of a "collection of dṛṣtānta" (Dṛṣtāntapaṅkti) called the Kalpanāmaṇḍitīkā. The Sautrāntikas were sometimes also called "disciples of Kumāralāta".

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According to the Chinese sources, Harivarman (250-350 CE) was a student of Kumāralāta who became disillusioned with Buddhist Abhidharma and then wrote the Tattvasiddhi-śāstra in order to "eliminate confusion and abandon the later developments, with the hope of returning to the origin".This writing then formed the basis of formation of Jōjitsu school of Japanese Buddhism.

Kumāralāta's work Kalpanāmaṇḍitikā Dṛṣṭāntapaṅkti (“Garland of Examples,” henceforth Kumāralāta’s Garland) reflects an urgent statement of the core values of Buddhist urban businesspeople. According to Loukota Sanclemente and Diego, it emphasize both religious piety and the pursuit of wealth, a concern for social respectability, a strong work ethic, and an emphasis on rational decision-making. These values inform Kumāralāta’s religious vision of poverty and wealth. His vision of religious giving conjugates economic behavior and religious doctrine, and the outcome is a model that confers religious legitimation to the pursuit of wealth but also an economic outlet for religious fervor and a solid financial basis for the monastic establishment, depicted by Kumāralāta in close interdependence with the laity and, most importantly, within the same social class
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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In Achaemenid times, these areas from the article were Bactria, Gandhara, Sattagydia and Hindush. The map below might help. Sadly, Hindush is not marked.
This is a better map, also shows Hindush province:

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First, let's get it on board that the majestic Persian Empire was practically a pensioner of these 'Indian' provinces
There was no concept of "Indian provinces" to the Achaemenids. "India" to them was the lower Indus Valley. The region was called Hapta Həndu, related to the Indo-Aryan Sapta Sindhava (Seven rivers), the land between the Helmand and Beas rivers.

This is a better map, which also shows the Hindush (India) province.
 

Joe Shearer

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This is a better map, also shows Hindush province:

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There was no concept of "Indian provinces" to the Achaemenids. "India" to them was the lower Indus Valley. The region was called Hapta Həndu, related to the Indo-Aryan Sapta Sindhava (Seven rivers), the land between the Helmand and Beas rivers.

This is a better map, which also shows the Hindush (India) province.
You are right on both counts, it is a better map, and 'Indian provinces' was my coinage, following Herodotus.

However, the reference to the Helmand was completely different and VERY interesting. Maybe we can take that up tomorrow?
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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From having nothing, how did we get to sculptures where the stone looks like fine drapery? Look at this:
Early Indo-Aryans were iconoclastic. Apart from primitive figurines, there wasn't much artistic output from the early Indo-Aryans.

The introduction of Hellenic culture into the region would break that taboo; creating a set of unique art forms that would define Gandharan and Indo-Greek art.

However, the reference to the Helmand was completely different and VERY interesting. Maybe we can take that up tomorrow?
Yes of course, mention me whenever you're ready to discuss the topic.
 

Joe Shearer

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Early Indo-Aryans were iconoclastic. Apart from primitive figurines, there wasn't much artistic output from the early Indo-Aryans.
Quite right, Sir.

The earliest structure that I have come across is dated the 2nd century CE. I do not know what primitive figurines you are referring to, but shall look it up; AFAIK, there were none.

The introduction of Hellenic culture into the region would break that taboo; creating a set of unique art forms that would define Gandharan and Indo-Greek art.
I am not sure taboo is the right word. Quite simply the practice did not exist. But you are right about the rest.

Early Indo-Aryans were iconoclastic. Apart from primitive figurines, there wasn't much artistic output from the early Indo-Aryans.

The introduction of Hellenic culture into the region would break that taboo; creating a set of unique art forms that would define Gandharan and Indo-Greek art.


Yes of course, mention me whenever you're ready to discuss the topic.
A couple of days, please. I have, in fact, other than the matter of the Helmand, some of which is speculative, a set of pictures of the oldest temples, that I would like to share with you.
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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Quite right, Sir.

The earliest structure that I have come across is dated the 2nd century CE. I do not know what primitive figurines you are referring to, but shall look it up; AFAIK, there were none.
Look into the Gandhara grave culture. It's an amalgamation of Indo-Iranian migrations and IVC continuity.

A couple of days, please. I have, in fact, other than the matter of the Helmand, some of which is speculative, a set of pictures of the oldest temples, that I would like to share with you.
Looking forward to it.
 

Joe Shearer

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Look into the Gandhara grave culture. It's an amalgamation of Indo-Iranian migrations and IVC continuity.
This is getting uncanny.

I gave a presentation to a school group (my school) where the Swat-based Grave Culture (this one) and Cemetery H Culture both figured prominently!

I feel a little nervous. Please assure me that you are not working with an intelligence agency.


From 08:00 onwards, for a few seconds.
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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This thread is about discussing Buddhist history of Pakistan and civilizations associated with it
I'll start with an article and than post pictures of ancient sites, temples, universities
Encountering architectural riches while travelling through Gandhara, the land of forgotten Buddhist relics
https://www.firstpost.com/long-read...and-of-forgotten-buddhist-relics-9268301.html

It was with a sense of awe that I journeyed through the vast Gandhara, to the quiet and forsaken abode of the Buddha where mystery still wraps its ruins.


Made up of the present-day north-western Pakistan and eastern and north-eastern Afghanistan, the green valleys of the Indus, the Kabul rivers and their tributaries, while also lying along the pleasant foothills of the Hindu Kush ranges, these ruins of the ancient monasteries have presented astonishing statuary art, paintings, rare manuscripts and inscriptions from their depths.

A peep into the heritage sites and museums of Pakistan and Afghanistan gives an idea of the beauty of Gandhara’s architectural wealth. The rare Buddha colossi, bejewelled bodhisattvas and intricately carved Jataka stories on stair risers at Gandharan sites — now reposing in the museums of Kabul, Peshawar, Taxila and Lahore — make up just a fraction of the incredible art discovered here during archaeological excavations.

Sadly, most ancient sites of Gandhara that once bustled with life and vigour, forming the hub of art, history and culture, have now become objects of human greed. Encroached and built over, they are fast becoming a thing of the past. Hundreds of Buddhist sites in this wondrous region have been crumbling into mounds over which village settlements have come up. Illegal mining and trafficking of precious antiquities at the hands of unscrupulous miners, traders and builders have also been responsible for the destruction and death of the historical sites.

In Afghanistan, the impending destruction facing the 2,000-year-old Buddhist city of Mes Aynak around the Baba Wali mountains at the hands of the Chinese mining company MCC is of great concern. The contract involves extraction of the world’s largest copper reserves in large open-cast mines, posing an environmental threat with possibility of extinction of the heritage site and historical and religious treasures buried in the mountains.

Bamiyan in the Bamiyan Valley and Kakrak and Foladi sites in the Kakrak and Foladi valleys respectively, speak of the glory of ancient Afghanistan. Even today, a visitor to these valleys can savour the remnants of paintings, stucco sculptures, intricate ceiling and wall art, and the gigantic silhouette of ‘Lokottara’ in the honeycomb of rock-cut shrines and monastic cells. However, the dark empty niches of the Buddha colossi, standing like gigantic black pillars against the backdrop of the snow-laden Hindu Kush, remind one of the most sordid and gruesome event in the history of Buddhist heritage, when the giant Buddhas were blown up in March 2001 by the Taliban.

The splendid decoration of the caves of the Buddha colossi and the soffit of its vault are fortunately still alive, but only in the records of the Bamiyan Information Bureau and Archaeological Survey of India's [ASI] publication Bamiyan: Challenge to World Heritage.

The renowned Naubahar of Balkh, the ‘Little Rajgriha’ of Xuanzang, and one of the most splendid monasteries of the Buddhist world have not been seen in recent times. I was only a few kilometres from Balkh at Mazar-i-Sharif when a massive blast blew up the road to the site. However, another Naubahar in the neighbouring city of Aibak, Samangan, 118 kilometres from Mazar, was my focus. Here, the famous Top-e-Rustam and Takht-i-Rustam (stupa and the monastery, respectively) have been well preserved with an immense rock-cut stupa, pradakshinapatha, exotic pillared galleries, decorated shrines and ablution kunds.

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Colossal Buddhas, bodhisattvas, rare coins and paintings recovered from several Buddhist cities in and around Kabul, and displayed at the National Museum of Afghanistan, are a scholar’s delight. The antiquities were unearthed during excavations in the 19th-20th century at the monastic site of Sarai Khuja, Paitava, Shotorak , Goldarrah, Tepe Maranjan,Tepe Narenj, Shewaki Stupa and monastery, Tope Darra or the Valley of Stupas near Istalif, and the Stupa at Tapa Iskandar.

Some of the most beautiful and well preserved monasteries of Asia are located in Pakistan, in and near Taxila and at Mardan in the Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions.

Perched on the top of the hills and home to rare Buddha images and superbly embellished stupas, Jaulian, Pipplan, Mohra Moradu and Dharmarajika are some of the most beautiful and well-preserved monastic sites at Taxila, and are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The monuments are dated to the Kushan period between the 1st and the 2nd centuries CE. Dharmarajika Stupa is considered one of the earliest Buddhist monuments at Taxila built, around the 3rd century BCE, during the reign of the Mauryan emperor, Asoka.

The most well-preserved monastery yet seen on the Asian Silk Road is the UNESCO Heritage Site of Takht-i-Bahi, dating back to the 1st-2nd century CE. The site has many peculiarities and seems to be the main monastic location of Gandhara, where a large multitude of scholars and monks resided. The underground chamber with separate meditational cells is evidence that very senior monks and scholars lived here.

However, the same cannot be said about other monastic sites. At Jamalgarhi in Mardan, the focus of the establishment is the circular stupa, of which only the circular base remains. One can barely trace the eroded pilasters, niches and missing figures. A ring of roofless chapels that were erected to hold standing images of the Buddha and bodhisattvas lie empty, as their images have been pilfered.

Peshawar the renowned Kanishka Stupa is lost in a maze of graves and all efforts to find it have failed. At the Hissara village in Charsadda, which was once part of the expansive site of Pushkalavati — the 6th-century BCE capital of Gandhara — the ancient fortress has now turned into layers of glistening yellow earth. Within the ruins, one can trace the entrance towers, galleries and guard quarters. Marvellous pieces of statuary art recovered from mounds around Hissara are now housed at the Peshawar Museum.

At Sahri Bahlol, the high mounds of the renowned monastic establishment has been totally occupied and encroached upon by villagers. At the remote but historic village of Sikri across the Kalpani stream, no trace remains of its Buddhist history. A severely damaged stupa found there has been restored and put on display at the Lahore Museum.

It is heartening to note that the Afghan Institute of Archaeology in Kabul, and the Department of Archaeology and Museums of Pakistan are carrying out new excavations and conservation in their respective regions and taking steps to prevent illegal mining of Buddhist treasures.

Afghan, Japanese and French archaeologists and conservators are at Bamiyan taking special care of cave paintings, while also conducting further research and explorations. Marvellous statuary art has been recovered during new excavations at Mes Aynak and Tepe Narenj near Kabul.

Similarly, excavations at the historic villages of Sawal Dher in Mardan, Mian Khan in Katlang, and Koi Tangey Kandaray have revealed Buddhist antiquities from the 2nd-3rd century BC. Recently, Pakistan unveiled the remains of a 1,700-year-old, 48-feet-long Sleeping Buddha dated 3rd century CE at Haripur. According to Dr Abdul Samad, director of the Archaeology and Museums Department, it is the world’s oldest Sleeping Buddha.

As a thousand more Buddhas wait to be dug out from buried monasteries of Gandhara, the essential task before the world now, is to protect and preserve the forgotten cities and their treasures.

@Joe Shearer ,@Talwar e Pakistan , @-blitzkrieg-, @jus_chillin ,@Indus Pakistan

Mohra moradu - Buddhist monastery near taxilla (Pindi/Islamabad)
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One of my projects where we utilized AI to create a photorealistic face of a man from a Gandharan sculpture:

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Inspired by this project:
 

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