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Ancient Buddhist history and architecture of Pakistan

Joe Shearer

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Sainthood 101

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The Dharmarajika Stupa, also referred to as the Great Stupa of Taxila, is a Buddhist stupa near Taxila, Pakistan. It dates from the 2nd century CE, and was built to house small bone fragments of the Buddha. The stupa, along with the large monastic complex that later developed around it, forms part of the Ruins of Taxila - which were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
It has been claimed that that Dharmarajika Stupa was built over the remains of an even older stupa that had been built by the Mauryan emperor King Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE, though other archeologists alternatively suggest that this is unlikely. Indo-Greek coins found at the site date from the 2nd century BCE, suggesting earliest possible establishment of a religious monument at the site

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Beautiful aerial view of the Aziz Dhari Buddhist site at Swabi.


When Greek Mythology and Buddhism mixed

pl-8heracles-vajrapani1.jpg

The divinity Vajrapani (on the right), protector of the Buddha, depicted as the Hellenic Hercules in a 2nd century Greco- Buddhist bas-relief from Gandhara, British Museum. (people always crap talk Indians about nude art well Greeks were obsessed with it too- those Greek influences resulted in Gandharan people making these sculptures dedicated to Greek gods and Buddhist figures- both of these deities held religious significance for the people

 
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Indos

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Nice thread here, no need to Google if we want to find Budish history, picture, etc

This kind of thread IMO can make PDF become more unique than just defense focused forum.

We need to have some relax in our head !!!!
 

Sainthood 101

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Hariti, is one such deity who was essentially a demoness and after being converted to the Righteous Path by the Buddha himself, eventually became one of Buddhism’s and India’s most revered Mother-Goddesses, whose hero-worship extended from Gandhara to India, and to China and Japan in the Far-East, and right through the ages from the 1st century BCE to the present times.
Panchika, consort of Hariti and commander of the Yakṣa army

-Kushani stone relief showing three interlocking wheels held by Atlas. One knee on the pedestal, the other raised, Atlas lifts both hands to hold each of the outer wheels; his tilted head has a vertical gash on the forehead.
-Flanking this atlas figure are five kneeling and standing monks, all with hands joined, part of another above, throwing flowers and Vajrapāṇi, depicted as Hēraklês.
-The monks all wear their robes with their right shoulder bare, they have shaven heads without a hairline, large, almost staring eyes ringed with narrow lids and fixed expressions; Vajrapāṇi wears a long cloak knotted over the chest like that of Atlas and a short lower garment.

 
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Mugen

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Look at these low lives clowns on wiki. They claming him as "Indian" monk! LOL




Malananta (fl. late 4th century) was an Indian Buddhist monk that brought Buddhism to the southern Korean peninsula
This is what happens when we don't care about our own history. I have yet to meet another country that neglects their glorious past like Pakistanis do because it's un-Islamic.
 

Joe Shearer

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View attachment 820539
Statue of a Buddha seated on a lotus throne in Swat, Pakistan.
View attachment 820540

Gilgit Baltistan​

Buddhism came to Gilgit Baltistan in the late 7th century when most of the masses were practicing the Bon religion. Before the arrival of Islam, Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, to a lesser extent, were the main religions in Baltistan. Buddhism can be traced back to before the formation of the Tibetan Empire. The region has a number of surviving Buddhist archaeological sites, including the Manthal Buddha Rock—a rock relief of the Buddha at the edge of the village (near Skardu)—and the Sacred Rock of Hunza. Nearby are former sites of Buddhist shelters.

Baltistan was Buddhist majority until the arrival of Islam in this region in the 15th century. As most of the people converted to Islam, the presence of Buddhism in this region has now been limited to archeological sites, with the remaining Buddhists moving east to Ladakh, where Buddhism is the majority religion.
Bronze statue of Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva from Gandhara. 3rd–4th century.
View attachment 820542
Buddha from the Kahu-jo-daro stupa displayed in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya.
View attachment 820543
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Buddhism_in_Pakistan

Well preserved ancient Stupas of Pakistan
View attachment 820544
Gumbatona stupa, Swat, KPK, a rare example true domed stupa 1st or 2nd century AD
View attachment 820546
Amlukdara stupa

These walls represent a relgious storyline
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View attachment 820571 @Joe Shearer aren't Pandavas Hindustani people? not to sure how correct this is
Would love to know if there's a record of pandavas ever visiting these salt range areas of Punjab (going by mythology)
Very cool if true
Not sure how to tackle this.
  1. What was a Pandava?
  2. What were the dates of a Pandava?
  3. What was Hindustan at that time?
  4. Is it possible to say that a Pandava was a Hindustani?
  5. Where were they located?
  6. How far was the Salt Range from the location of the Pandavas?
  7. Are there any mentions of the Pandavas travelling to the Salt Range in their time?
  8. Who were the northernmost people of that collection of tribes, and where were they located?
@Talwar e Pakistan

About the Helmand.....
 
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Talwar e Pakistan

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@Joe Shearer aren't Pandavas Hindustani people? not to sure how correct this is
Would love to know if there's a record of pandavas ever visiting these salt range areas of Punjab (going by mythology)
Pandavas were a mythical group of five brothers. They were not a people.

The well being associated with the Pandavas is likely a recent concoction.
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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About the Helmand.....
I should have elaborated further.

The Sapta Sindhava ("Seven Rivers") is a region described in the Rigveda and Zend Avesta. It comprises of the Sarasvati, the Indus and it's five tributaries.

To the early Indo-Aryans, the 'Sarasvati' was most likely the Helmand river. The Avestan term for the Helmand river was Haraxvaiti which is a cognate of the Sanskrit Sarasvati. Both the Avesta and Rigveda describe Haraxvaiti/Sarasvati with astonishing similarities and the Rigvedic description of the Sarasvati matches the geography of the Helmand river.

The Sarasvati described in the post-Rigvedic texts is most likely a different river compared to the Sarasvati that was known to the early Indo-Aryans.

Rajesh Kocchar has extensively written about this I believe, if you'd be interested to look more into it.
 

Joe Shearer

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I should have elaborated further.

The Sapta Sindhava ("Seven Rivers") is a region described in the Rigveda and Zend Avesta. It comprises of the Sarasvati, the Indus and it's five tributaries.

To the early Indo-Aryans, the 'Sarasvati' was most likely the Helmand river. The Avestan term for the Helmand river was Haraxvaiti which is a cognate of the Sanskrit Sarasvati. Both the Avesta and Rigveda describe Haraxvaiti/Sarasvati with astonishing similarities and the Rigvedic description of the Sarasvati matches the geography of the Helmand river.

The Sarasvati described in the post-Rigvedic texts is most likely a different river compared to the Sarasvati that was known to the early Indo-Aryans.

Rajesh Kocchar has extensively written about this I believe, if you'd be interested to look more into it.
Well, I have a reconstruction, if you would care to read it.

You will recall that some authors, I think Parpola was among them, had speculated that the Gandhara Grave Culture was constituted of two sets of remains, remains of the original inhabitants of the IVC, and remains of the steppe migrants. The speculation was that there were two waves of migration, one, around 1900 BCE, of people of that genetic profile, but without the connections to the Rg Veda and other parts of the Vedic theogony.

This was with very little concrete evidence.

It is also clear from the Vedic references that there were two distinct references to the Saraswati. One - the earlier - spoke of it as a foaming river. The other, the later, spoke of it as a river that disappeared into the desert. From the reconstructions of the writing of the Vedas, it is apparent that there was a significant gap between the writing of the earlier cycles and the later cycles.

We also know that the Persian equivalent, as you have pointed out, in your latest note, for instance, was Haraothi. We know also that such a river exists, not just in ancient times but today, and that this river flows into the Helmand.

Finally, we have the incident that was reported as the Battle of the Ten Kings. In this, the Bharata tribe, ancestor to both the later Kurus and their branch, the Pandavas, and located in the Punjab-Haryana area, fought and defeated a confederation of many kings from southern and western parts. The scant references seem to indicate that there were older and more settled, and more powerful tribes among the opponents, and that the Bharata tribe was not dominant before this battle, but was dominant after their victory in this battle.

This gives rise to a lot of possibilities.

What if the earlier branch of the migrants had not merely penetrated to Swat, but had also gone straight on, and reached the Afghan Haraothi flowing into the Helmand? They would have had easy access to the Gomal Pass and found themselves among the earliest settlers, and presumably the better established ones, and have been settled along the Indus up to the five rivers region.

What if the Bharata tribe and many others had come in a later wave and found, on crossing the Khaibar, that the way to expand, along the Indus, was blocked, and therefore spread out to the east?

That would explain that the earlier reference to the Saraswati was to the foaming river that the southern settlers had actually seen (and named) flowing into the Helmand, and that the later reference was to the river that flowed into the desert. This later reference is a very weak one, and the river that it is thought it might refer to, the Ghaggra Hakra, is also a v ery weak one. It was established geologically that it was weak even in those early days.
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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Well, I have a reconstruction, if you would care to read it.

You will recall that some authors, I think Parpola was among them, had speculated that the Gandhara Grave Culture was constituted of two sets of remains, remains of the original inhabitants of the IVC, and remains of the steppe migrants. The speculation was that there were two waves of migration, one, around 1900 BCE, of people of that genetic profile, but without the connections to the Rg Veda and other parts of the Vedic theogony.

This was with very little concrete evidence.

It is also clear from the Vedic references that there were two distinct references to the Saraswati. One - the earlier - spoke of it as a foaming river. The other, the later, spoke of it as a river that disappeared into the desert. From the reconstructions of the writing of the Vedas, it is apparent that there was a significant gap between the writing of the earlier cycles and the later cycles.

We also know that the Persian equivalent, as you have pointed out, in your latest note, for instance, was Haraothi. We know also that such a river exists, not just in ancient times but today, and that this river flows into the Helmand.

Finally, we have the incident that was reported as the Battle of the Ten Kings. In this, the Bharata tribe, ancestor to both the later Kurus and their branch, the Pandavas, and located in the Punjab-Haryana area, fought and defeated a confederation of many kings from southern and western parts. The scant references seem to indicate that there were older and more settled, and more powerful tribes among the opponents, and that the Bharata tribe was not dominant before this battle, but was dominant after their victory in this battle.

This gives rise to a lot of possibilities.

What if the earlier branch of the migrants had not merely penetrated to Swat, but had also gone straight on, and reached the Afghan Haraothi flowing into the Helmand? They would have had easy access to the Gomal Pass and found themselves among the earliest settlers, and presumably the better established ones, and have been settled along the Indus up to the five rivers region.

What if the Bharata tribe and many others had come in a later wave and found, on crossing the Khaibar, that the way to expand, along the Indus, was blocked, and therefore spread out to the east?

That would explain that the earlier reference to the Saraswati was to the foaming river that the southern settlers had actually seen (and named) flowing into the Helmand, and that the later reference was to the river that flowed into the desert. This later reference is a very weak one, and the river that it is thought it might refer to, the Ghaggra Hakra, is also a v ery weak one. It was established geologically that it was weak even in those early days.
Very interesting and probable theories.

Though, if you could elaborate on this; I was not sure what you meant here:
You will recall that some authors, I think Parpola was among them, had speculated that the Gandhara Grave Culture was constituted of two sets of remains, remains of the original inhabitants of the IVC, and remains of the steppe migrants.
 

Joe Shearer

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Very interesting and probable theories.

Though, if you could elaborate on this; I was not sure what you meant here:
I shall look it up and give you the name of the specific expert authority who had suggested this, but his conjecture was that the remains buried at Swat were remains of two types. He believed that there were remains that belonged to the original inhabitants; also that some other remains were those of migrants from the Andronovo culture, that is associated with the immigrating steppe dwellers.

Presumably these conjectures were based on the orientation of the buried remains; the arrangement of the limbs; grave goods buried alongside, and signs of that sort. It is already known that the Andronovo culture and the IVC had distinct methods of doing these three indicative things.

His further speculation was that the migrant skeletons themselves represented two distinct waves of migration, one occurring c. 1900 BCE and the other c. 1500 BCE. I will have to look these up if you wish, but will ask for a little time.

It is based on this two-wave theory that I based my own conjecture. It is also a little unlikely that all the migrants used only one pass of the three major ones into India in the north-west, unless they were consciously restricting themselves to a particular route into India. Such behaviour applied to migrants having set out from familiar surroundings and unaware of what lay ahead implies either premonition or a transition through a well-scouted terrain to a pre-determined objective.

Please let me know specifically what attracted your interest, and I will look up the evidence and the authorities available on that point and get back with it.
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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I shall look it up and give you the name of the specific expert authority who had suggested this, but his conjecture was that the remains buried at Swat were remains of two types. He believed that there were remains that belonged to the original inhabitants; also that some other remains were those of migrants from the Andronovo culture, that is associated with the immigrating steppe dwellers.

Presumably these conjectures were based on the orientation of the buried remains; the arrangement of the limbs; grave goods buried alongside, and signs of that sort. It is already known that the Andronovo culture and the IVC had distinct methods of doing these three indicative things.

His further speculation was that the migrant skeletons themselves represented two distinct waves of migration, one occurring c. 1900 BCE and the other c. 1500 BCE. I will have to look these up if you wish, but will ask for a little time.

It is based on this two-wave theory that I based my own conjecture. It is also a little unlikely that all the migrants used only one pass of the three major ones into India in the north-west, unless they were consciously restricting themselves to a particular route into India. Such behaviour applied to migrants having set out from familiar surroundings and unaware of what lay ahead implies either premonition or a transition through a well-scouted terrain to a pre-determined objective.

Please let me know specifically what attracted your interest, and I will look up the evidence and the authorities available on that point and get back with it.
This is all very fascinating, thank you for sharing.

Initially I had believed that migration of Indo-Aryans into the GGC area was a very gradual process that may have continued into 1000 BCE as archeological finds have suggested local cultural continuity to a degree that would have been unlikely had GGC seen a sudden and large migration.

However, I analyzed the DNA samples collected from ancient skeletons of the Swat Valley, with the earliest being dated to around 1200 BCE, and found little to no genetic variation between older and recent samples. Highlighting that the local and migrant populations had already homogenized together far before 1200 BCE and would see no other future influx that would have had further relevant genetic impact.
 

Joe Shearer

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This is all very fascinating, thank you for sharing.

Initially I had believed that migration of Indo-Aryans into the GGC area was a very gradual process that may have continued into 1000 BCE as archeological finds have suggested local cultural continuity to a degree that would have been unlikely had GGC seen a sudden and large migration.

However, I analyzed the DNA samples collected from ancient skeletons of the Swat Valley, with the earliest being dated to around 1200 BCE, and found little to no genetic variation between older and recent samples.
That means there was a single event, and nothing, no trickle migration thereafter.
Highlighting that the local and migrant populations had already homogenized together far before 1200 BCE and would see no other future influx that would have had further relevant genetic impact.
Fascinating!

Sir, buying these is beyond my means, but I understand from an online source that the two publications of interest on this point are:


Olivieri, Luca M., Roberto Micheli, Massimo Vidale, and Muhammad Zahir, (2019). 'Late Bronze - Iron Age Swat Protohistoric Graves (Gandhara Grave Culture), Swat Valley, Pakistan (n-99)', in Narasimhan, Vagheesh M., et al., "Supplementary Materials for the formation of human populations in South and Central Asia", Science 365 (6 September 2019)

As you already know, Parpola and Witzel are among the two most reputed authorities on the subject of the prehistory of the sub-continent, and Parpola never fails to keep us on the edges of our chairs.

Vagheesh Narasimhan is an authority whose work and writings I have come to trust, in sharp contrast to the reputed Professor Shinde or Thangaraj.

I realised with a thrill of excitement that you have access to the DNA analysis of these remains. Are you professionally involved with these studies, Sir?
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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I realised with a thrill of excitement that you have access to the DNA analysis of these remains. Are you professionally involved with these studies, Sir?
DNA samples of the remains are publicly available and can be analyzed with genetic analysis tools. There is a massive database known as the Eurogenes Global25 Datasheet consisting of both ancient and modern genetic samples.

Here is a PCA chart (visualizes the genetic relations/distances between sample groups) of modern regional ethnicities and ancient DNA sample groups found from Swat and adjacent valleys (GGC and post-GGC):

Ancient samples from 1300 - 1000 BCE compared to modern ethnic groups:

1647209997373.png


Added in Samples from 900 - 700 BCE. Interestingly, there is significantly more variation:

1647210158286.png


Added in samples from 600 - 200 BCE, removed samples from 900 - 700 BCE to prevent over-cluttering:

1647210429932.png


Added in samples from 100 BCE - 100 CE and 1000 - 1400 CE, removed samples from 600 - 200 BCE:

1647210641617.png
 

Talwar e Pakistan

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That means there was a single event, and nothing, no trickle migration thereafter.

Fascinating!

Sir, buying these is beyond my means, but I understand from an online source that the two publications of interest on this point are:





As you already know, Parpola and Witzel are among the two most reputed authorities on the subject of the prehistory of the sub-continent, and Parpola never fails to keep us on the edges of our chairs.

Vagheesh Narasimhan is an authority whose work and writings I have come to trust, in sharp contrast to the reputed Professor Shinde or Thangaraj.

I realised with a thrill of excitement that you have access to the DNA analysis of these remains. Are you professionally involved with these studies, Sir?
There are also some fascinating ancient outlier samples that are not from the region but are still somewhat related. Do let me know if you would be interested in seeing them.
 

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