Why Buddhism Deserted in India?

In the era of the Buddha, India was regarded as a pioneer in many fields. India had an economic surplus, political stability and more importantly, a history of spiritual and intellectual innovation. India was viewed as a superpower similar to 21st century America. Buddhism was received with open hearts in other countries in Asia because of its origin in India.

Then why such a formidable culture lost in India? 

Before the birth of the Buddha, Indian society had become self-centered (the intellectual class) and ritualistic (the masses). Buddhism provided a new organized form of religious Sangha, which preached a simple message of compassion in Päli, the language of laypeople. This ease and simplicity helped the extensive spread of Buddhism.

Causes of decline:

The decline of Buddhism has been attributed to various factors, especially the regionalisation of India after the end of the Gupta empire (320-650 CE), which lead to a competition with Hinduism and Jainism and the loss of patronage and donations; and the conquest and subsequent persecutions by Huns, Turks and Persians.

Patronage and religious dynamics:

Loss of patronage and donations:

In ancient India, regardless of the religious beliefs of their kings, states usually treated all the important sects relatively even-handedly. This consisted of building monasteries and religious monuments, donating property such as the income of villages for the support of monks, and exempting donated property from taxation. Donations were most often made by private persons such as wealthy merchants and female relatives of the royal family, but there were periods when the state also gave its support and protection. In the case of Buddhism, this support was particularly important because of its high level of organisation and the reliance of monks on donations from the laity. State patronage of Buddhism took the form of land grant foundations.

Religious convergence:

Buddhism’s distinctiveness diminished with the rise of Hindu sects. Though Mahayana writers were quite critical of Hinduism, the devotional cults of Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism likely seemed quite similar to laity, and the developing Tantrism of both religions were also similar. Buddhist ideas, and even the Buddha himself, were absorbed and adapted into orthodox Hindu thought, while the differences between the two systems of thought were emphasized.

Internal social-economic dynamics:

According to some scholars such as Lars Fogelin, the decline of Buddhism may be related to economic reasons, wherein the Buddhist monasteries with large land grants focussed on non-material pursuits, self-isolation of the monasteries, loss in internal discipline in the sangha, and a failure to efficiently operate the land they owned. With the growing support for Hindusim and Jainism, Buddhist monasteries also gradually lost control of land revenue.

Reform in Hinduism:

Buddhism had dealt a heavy blow to Brahminical faith. Threatened with extinction, Hinduism started to re-organize itself. Attempts were now made to give up the complex system of rites and rituals and make Hinduism simple and attractive. The Hindus even came to accept the Buddha as a Hindu incarnation and accepted the principle of non-violence. This helped revive Hinduism and made it popular again. This took away the fragrance out of the flower of Buddhism. The decline of Buddhism became inevitable.

Lose of Royal Patronage:

In course of time Buddhism came to lose royal patronage. No king, worthy of note, came forward to sponsor Buddhism after Asoka, Kaniska and Harsavardhan. Royal patronage works magically for the spread of any faith. Absence of any such patronage for Buddhism came to pave the way for its decline in the end.

Emergence of Rajputs:

Emergence of the Rajputs became an important reason for the decline of Buddhism. Kings of such dynasties as Bundela, Chahamana, Chauhan, Rathore etc. were militant rulers and loved warfare. They could not tolerate the Buddhists for their message of non-violence. The Buddhists feared persecution from these Rajput rulers and fled from India. Buddhism became weaker and faced decline.

Patronage of Brahmanism:

In course of time there was the rise of the Brahminical faith once again. Pushyamitra Sunga, the Brahmin commander of the last Maurya ruler Vrihadratha, assassinated the king and founded the Sunga dynasty replacing the Maurya dynasty.

Role of Hindu Preachers:

Harsavardhan drove away the Brahmins from the religious council held at Kanauj. These Brahmins, under Kumarila Bhatta, fled to the Deccan. Under Bhatta’s leadership, Brahmanism staged a come-back. Adi Sankaracharya also revived and strengthened Hinduism. He defeated Buddhist scholars in religious discourses which were held in many places in course of his tour of the whole of India.

Wars and persecution:

Hun Invasions:

Chinese scholars travelling through the region between the 5th and 8th centuries, such as Faxian, Xuanzang, Yijing, Hui-sheng, and Sung-Yun, began to speak of a decline of the Buddhist Sangha in the north-west parts of Indian subcontinent, especially in the wake of the Hun invasion from central Asia. Xuanzang wrote that numerous monasteries in north-western India had been reduced to ruins by the Huns.

Mihirakula:

Mihirakula who ruled from 515 CE in north-western region (modern Afghanistan, Pakistan and north India), suppressed Buddhism as well. He did this by destroying monasteries as far away as modern-day Allahabad.

Turk-Mongol raids:

The image, in the chapter on India in Hutchison’s Story of the Nations edited by James Meston, depicts the Turkish general Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji’s massacre of Buddhist monks in Bihar. Khaliji destroyed the Nalanda and Vikramshila universities during his raids across North Indian plains, massacring many Buddhist and Brahmin scholars.

In the Gangetic plains, Orissa, north-east and the southern regions of India, Buddhism survived through the early centuries of the 2nd millennium CE. According to William Johnston, hundreds of Buddhist monasteries and shrines were destroyed, Buddhist texts were burnt by the Muslim armies, monks and nuns killed during the 12th and 13th centuries in the Gangetic plains region. The Islamic invasion plundered wealth and destroyed Buddhist images:

From 986 CE, the Muslim Turks started raiding northwest India from Afghanistan, plundering western India early in the eleventh century. Force conversions to Islam were made, and Buddhist images smashed, due to the Islamic dislike of idolarty. Indeed in India, the Islamic term for an ‘idol’ became ‘budd’.

— Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism

The north-west parts of South Asia fell to Islamic control, and the consequent take over of land holdings of Buddhist monasteries removed one source of necessary support for the Buddhists, while the economic upheaval and new taxes on laity sapped the laity support of Buddhist monks.

In the north-western parts of medieval India, the Himalayan regions, as well regions bordering central Asia, Buddhism once facilitated trade relations, states Lars Fogelin. With the Islamic invasion and expansion, and central Asians adopting Islam, the trade route-derived financial support sources and the economic foundations of Buddhist monasteries declined, on which the survival and growth of Buddhism was based. The arrival of Islam removed the royal patronage to the monastic tradition of Buddhism, and the replacement of Buddhists in long-distance trade by the Muslims eroded the related sources of patronage.

Islamic invasion and rule:

Ruins of Vikramashila

Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji:

Vikramashila was destroyed by the forces of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji around 1200. Many Buddhist monks fled to Nepal, Tibet, and South India to avoid the consequences of war. Tibetan pilgrim Chöjepal had to flee advancing Muslim troops multiple times, as they were sacking Buddhist sites.

Fall of Pala Dynasty by Muslim Invaders:

A major empire to support Buddhism, the Pala dynasty, fell in the 12th century, and Muslim invaders destroyed monasteries and monuments. According to Randall Collins, Buddhism was already declining in India by the 12th century, but with the pillage by Muslim invaders it nearly became extinct in India in the 1200s. In the 13th century, states Craig Lockard, Buddhist monks in India escaped to Tibet to escape Islamic persecution; while the monks in western India, states Peter Harvey, escaped persecution by moving to south Indian Hindu kingdoms that were able to resist the Muslim power.

Conquest of Turk Shah:

Brief Muslim accounts and the one eye witness account of Dharmasmavim in wake of the conquest during the 1230s talks about abandoned viharas being used as camps by the Turukshahs. Later historical traditions such as Taranathas are mixed with legendary materials and summarised as “the Turukshah conquered the whole of Magadha and destroyed many monasteries and did much damage at Nalanda, such that many monks fled abroad” thereby bringing about a demise of Buddhism with their destruction of the Viharas.

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The Tippa song of movie Rangoon – by Keya Dutta

kangna

Tippa Tippa
Tip tip tapke

How can’t I love Vishal Bharadwaj’s movie?

He lands in the state with entourage of 6 members. They visited Komsing Bridge Point, Bodak, Raneghat Rafting site, Partung, Pasighat, Ziro.

How can’t I love Kangana Ranawat the “Queen” who built her own Kingdom without her king?

How can’t I love Zero?

where my grandfather servered as a Assam Military officer, where my mother spent her early childhood, where I too have visited the highest altitude of Zero to see the golden sands of mighty Brahmaputra river banks, sparkling against the sunlight, visible from 100 kilometres.

How can’t I love History being a History, Travel & tourism student once?

In the song, Kangana is seen travelling in a train on her way to Burma where she is being taken against her wish. Others on the train try to cheer her up. In the song, Kangana is seen dancing and crooning at the roof of the train with her co-travellers.

** (The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Myanmar and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British conquered Myanmar after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Myanmar became an independent nation in 1948, initially as a democratic nation and then, following a coup d’état in 1962, a military dictatorship.)

Kangana Ranawat’s role is a depiction of Fearless Nadia a.k.a. Mary Ann Evans a.k.a. Mary Evans Wadia (8 January 1908 – 9 January 1996) was an actress and stuntwoman, who is most remembered as the masked, cloaked adventurer in Hunterwali (Woman with a whip) released in 1935, which was one of the earliest female-lead Indian films.

This sweet melodious song is sung by Rekha Bhardwaj, Sukhwinder Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan and O.S. Arun and it will surely cheer you up.

The song is written by Gulzar for hindi dubbed version of Alice In Wonderland, Now scratch at your memory further and you will remember another gem Tap Tap Topi Topi, which was the song for the dubbed animated version of Alice in Wonderland.

Tippa song location is in Jonai.

Tapkke taapke re hanssi
Lappki laapki re hanssi
Qatra qatraa khisski hain
Methi missri kisski hain

Galon main haalka sa
Tippa hain chalka sa..
#Rangoon #Vishalbhardwaj #Gulzar #Rekhabharadaj #kangnaranawat #film #song

Historic neighbourhood

7 years in Secunderabad 

What started as an exclusive preserve of the army in the British Raj has now turned into a city in its own right. And a beautiful one at that. Let’s take you through a tour of Secunderabad, the twin.

Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England during World War II, was posted in Secunderabad during the 1880s as a subaltern. He lived in a bungalow, surrounded by a large compound. It is still pointed out to visitors. He was very conscious of the fact that he and his colleagues were in Secunderabad to keep guard on the Nizam and the Old City of Hyderabad. They were convinced that it contained “all the scoundrels of Asia.” Legend has it that Churchill’s unit was transferred at such short notice that he was unable to settle his outstanding bill with the Secunderabad Club. This document is supposed to have become a part of the Club’s archives.

The Army still has a substantial presence in Secunderabad, which was founded at the end of the 18th century as a British cantonment. The Nizam of Hyderabad and the East India Company signed a deed of Subsidiary Alliance for military and political cooperation, to make this possible.

In terms of geographical area and population, the Secunderabad cantonment is said to be the biggest in India and also one of the largest in Asia. The infrastructure management and administration of the civilian areas in the cantonment are looked after by the Board. As per the Cantonment Act of 2006, Secunderabad cantonment is classified as a Class-I cantonment.

 

Manuscripts and stone inscription of Assam

Though Manuscripts and inscriptions from any era, any history always captivate me, but I am laying the first stone on Scriptures from North-Eastern Province of India a state called Assam. There are two reasons for that -My first reason is to highlight Assam’s History, the one in question of it’s wellspring been very much untold. My second reason is I am inhabitant of Assam, though I am not living there for past couple of years.

 

Where is the Renaissance woman?

renaisssance women
Where is he Renaissance woman?

She enamored music, poetry and literature

Garnished herself of Raphael, Titan and Michelangelo’s painting,

Heritage denied her all political rights to live independently

though, she never let her down by bereaved playing dancing and singing!

She was the Renaissance woman strong and astute

she would enable all to live together in “tranquility and virtue”

Oddly given her renown as a brilliant conversationalist

She sung and made the night-bird in mute!

Her hair was beautiful with loose curls twisted chignon,

Subtle allure, she worn with a draped Grecian gown.

Her make up was one shade lighter than her skin

smeared red rouge and lipstick fairly thin,

gentle in her voice and elegant manner

Portrayed herself refined at her own grin!

She celebrated development and intellectual reform

Crushing on Shakespeare, Marlowe, Sidney, Ben Jonson, John Donne, and John Milton.

Stands foremost among the extravagant, fastidious lovers of the beautiful of all artform!

left no Nobel men in her town unturned,

Illuminating scholarship besides her charm, missal and her talk, they yearned!

striking a note of natural passion, very rare in her day

enjoy the quietness of God’s place and sit alone to pray!

She can mix the knowledge, considered disparate spheres into a new whole

She was multi-dimensional, knitting , greeting, painting and self control,

Where is the immortal Renaissance woman

In the midst of  prodigious soul!

paper-7
Where is the Renaissance woman? (Poem)

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Great Epics of India

          Once Indian writers got going, they kept going” 

No wonder The Mahabharata is the longest known epic poem and has been described as “the longest poem ever written”. Its longest version consists of over 100,000 shlokas(“song”, from the root śru)or over 200,000 individual verse lines (each shloka is a couplet), and long prose passages.

Undeniably India has great Epics and scriptures for ages in oodles. It is utterly my frame of reference to consider these 10 Epics stood without exception of all the time great –

1. Mahabharata:

Author: Vyasa

mahabharata
Mahabharata

The Mahabharata or Mahabharata  or Mahābhāratam, is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. The Mahabharata is an important source of information on development of Hinduism between 400 BCE  and 200 CE and is regarded by Hindus as both test about Dharma (Hindu Moral Law)  and history. Appearing in its present from about 400 CE, the Mahabharata mass of mythological and didactic materiel arranged around central heroic narratives that tells of the struggle for the sovereignty  between two groups of cousins, the Kauravs and Pandavas. The poem is made up almost 100, 000 couplets about seven times the length of Homer’s the Iliad and the Odyssey combined.

2. Ramayana:

Author : Sage Valmiki Ramayana

The Ramayana plays an important role in Hindu literature.  It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king. The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of Rāma and ayana (“going, advancing”), translating to “Rama’s Journey“. The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books and 500 cantos and tells the story of Rama (the seventh avatar of the Hindu supreme-god Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by Ravana, the king of Lanka (current day Sri Lanka). Incidentally the first letter of every 1000 verses (total 24) make the Gayatri mantra. Thematically, the Ramayana explores human values and the concept of dharma (Hindu moral Law)

Verses in the Ramayana are written in a 32-syllable meter called anustubh. The Ramayana was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Hindu life and culture. Like the Mahabharata, the Ramayana is not just a story: it presents the teachings of ancient Hindu sages in narrative allegory, interspersing philosophical and devotional elements. The characters Rama, Sita,Lakshman, Bharata, Hanuman and Ravana are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India, Nepal and many south-east Asian countries such as Thailand and Indonesia.

 3. Shakuntala:

Author: Kalidas

                       “She was surrounded in the solitude of the wilderness by śakuntas,
                       therefore, hath she been named by me Shakuntala (Shakunta-protected)”

In  the first book of the vast epic poem Mahabharata, Kalidasa found the story of Shakuntala. The story has a natural place there, for Bharata, Shakuntala’s son, is the eponymous ancestor of the princes who play the leading part in the epic.is a well-known Sanskrit play by Kalidas.

shakuntala
Solitude of Shakuntala
Raja_Ravi_Varma_-_Mahabharata_-_Bharata
Bharata, Shakutala’s son

King Dushyanta first encountered Shakuntala while travelling through the forest with his army. He was pursuing a male deer wounded by his weapon. Shakuntala and Dushyanta fell in love with each other and got married as per Gandharva marriage system. Dushyanta, offered his personal royal ring to the girl as a token of his love, and left for his kingdom, promising to come back soon and take Shakuntala with him.

Shakuntala spent much time dreaming of her new husband and was often distracted by her daydreams. One day, a powerful rishi, Durvasa, came to the ashrama but, lost in her thoughts about Dushyanta, Shakuntala failed to greet him properly. Incensed by this slight, the rishi cursed Shakuntala, saying that the person she was dreaming of would forget about her altogether. As he departed in a rage, one of Shakuntala’s friends quickly explained to him the reason for her friend’s distraction. The rishi, realizing that his extreme wrath was not warranted, modified his curse saying that the person who had forgotten Shakuntala would remember everything again if she showed him a personal token that had been given to her.

4. Kama-Sutra:

Author: Vātsyāyana

kamasutra

The Kama Sutra is the oldest and most notable of a group of texts known generically as Kama Shastra (Sanskrit: Kāma Śāstra).

Historians attribute Kamasutra to be composed between 400 BCE and 200 CE. John Keay says that the Kama Sutra is a compendium that was collected into its present form in the 2nd century CE.

It is largely in prose, with many inserted anustubh poetry verses. “Kāma” which is one of the fourgoals of Hindu life, means desire including sexual desire the latter being the subject of the textbook, and “sūtra” literally means a thread or line that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. Contrary to popular perception, especially in the western world, Kama sutra is not exclusively a sex manual; it presents itself as a guide to a virtuous and gracious living that discusses the nature of love, family life and other aspects pertaining to pleasure oriented faculties of human life. Kama Sutra, in parts of the world, is presumed or depicted as a synonym for creative sexual positions; in reality, only 20% of Kama Sutra is about sexual positions. The majority of the book, notes Jacob Levy, is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, how and when it is good or bad.

5.Gitanjali:

Author:  Nobel Prize laureate Rabindranath Tagore

gitanjali
Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore

Gitanjali is a collection of poems by the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore. The original Bengali collection of 157 poems was published on August 14, 1910.

Gitanjali” is one of Rabindranath Tagore’s best known works for which he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.

Many of the verses in Gitanjali are beautiful prayers written after a gut-wrenchingly painful period in Rabindranath Tagore’s life, during which he lost his father, wife, daughter and a son in quick succession. His unfathomable pain and unshaken devotion to God are captured in the moving prose-verses of Gitanjali, which Tagore dedicated as “Song Offerings”.

For a reader uninitiated in Tagore, it is my humble recommendation that they read the prose-verses of Gitanjali only after gaining familiarity with some of his other works.

When one reads the works of Tagore, one detects a clear stream of spirituality and an intense love for Nature that flows through most of his books. It is no exaggeration that the more works of Tagore one reads, the more one falls in love with this simple and beautiful poet.

He shone forth brightly his lamp of timeless wisdom of the East – that this Universe has been created out of pure love, and it is only our love for each other together with peace, justice and freedom that will sustain it. It is no wonder that in India, Rabindranath Tagore is revered as “Gurudev” – “a teacher embodying God-like knowledge”, a title conferred upon him by Mahatma Gandhi.

6. Panchatantra:

Author: Vishnu Sharma

panchatantra
Panchatantra

The Panchatantra is a series of inter-woven fables, many of which involve animals exhibiting animal stereotypes. According to its own narrative, it illustrates, for the benefit of three ignorant princes, the central Hindu principles of nīti( Ethics).While nīti is hard to translate, it roughly means prudent worldly conduct, or “the wise conduct of life”. The Panchatantra discusses varied topics like philosophy, psychology, politics, music, astronomy, human relationship, etc., in a simple yet elegant style. This makes it a rare piece of literature, and a unique book. It attempts to illustrate how to understand others, how to choose reliable and trustworthy friends, how to overcome difficulties and problems through tact and wisdom. Moreover, it illustrates how to live in peace and harmony even in the midst of deceit, hypocrisy and other pitfalls in life.

These are the very objectives that the composer of Panchatantra, Pandit Vishnu Sharma, wanted to accomplish in order to provide maximum knowledge to three young princes through stories and examples. In fact, not just the princes, this most unique book has enlightened millions of readers and listeners for centuries.
It is “certainly the most frequently translated literary product of India”, and these stories are among the most widely known in the world. To quote Edgerton (1924).

there are recorded over two hundred different versions known to exist in more than fifty languages, and three-quarters of these languages are extra-Indian. As early as the eleventh century this work reached Europe, and before 1600 it existed in Greek, Latin, Spanish, Italian, German, English, Old Slavonic, Czech, and perhaps other Slavonic languages. Its range has extended from Java to Iceland… [In India,] it has been worked over and over again, expanded, abstracted, turned into verse, retold in prose, translated into medieval and modern vernaculars, and re-translated into Sanskrit. And most of the stories contained in it have “gone down” into the folklore of the story-loving Hindus, whence they reappear in the collections of oral tales gathered by modern students of folk-stories.

7. Anand Math:

Author: Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay

“In mild breeze, by the bank of the river,
                               In the forest, resides a respectable lady.”

Anandamath (first English publication title: The Abbey of Bliss) is a Bengali novel, written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and published in 1882. Set in the background of the Sannyasi Rebellion in the late 18th century, it is considered one of the most important novels in the history of Bengali and Indian literature. Its importance is heightened by the fact that it became synonymous with the struggle for Indian independence from the British Empire. The novel was banned by the British. The ban was lifted later by the Government of India after independence.

The book is set in 1771during famine in Bengal  Book starts with introduction to a couple- Mahendra and Kalyani, who are stuck at their village Padchinha without food and water in the times of famine. They decide to leave their village and move to the next closest city where there is a better chance of survival. During the course of events, the couple got separated and Kalyani had to run through the forest with her infant, to avoid getting caught by man-hunters. After a long chase, she loses consciousness at the bank of a river. A Hindu monk, Satyananda, stumbles upon her and the baby, and takes care of her till she reunites with her husband again.

Mahendra at this point is more inclined towards joining the brotherhood of the monks and serving the Mother Nation. Kalyani wants to help him in attaining his dreams by trying to kill herself, thereby relieving him of worldly duties. At this point, Satyananda joins her but before he can help her, he is arrested by the British soldiers, because other monks were fuelling revolt against the British rule. While being dragged away he spots another monk who is not wearing his distinctive robes and sings,

“In mild breeze, by the bank of the river,
                               In the forest, resides a respectable lady.”

8. The Arthashastra of Kautilya: 

Author: Kautilya also known as Chanakya

cover-arthasastra
Kautily’s Arthashastra

The title “Arthashastra” is often translated to “the science of politics”,but the book Arthashastra has a broader scope. It includes books on the nature of government, law, civil and criminal court systems, ethics, economics, markets and trade, the methods for screening ministers, diplomacy, theories on war, nature of peace, and the duties and obligations of a king.The text includes ancient economic and cultural details on agriculture, mineralogy, mining and metals, animal husbandry, medicine, forests and wildlife.

Arthashastra remains unique in all of Indian literature because of its total absence of specious reasoning, or its unabashed advocacy of realpolitik, and scholars continued to study it for its clear cut arguments and formal prose till the twelfth century. Espionage and the liberal use of provocative agents is recommended on a large scale. Murder and false accusations were to be used by a king’s secret agents without any thoughts to morals or ethics. There are chapters for kings to help them keep in check the premature ambitions of their sons, and likewise chapters intended to help princes to thwart their fathers’ domineering authority. However, Kautilya ruefully admits that it is just as difficult to detect an official’s dishonesty as it is to discover how much water is drunk by the swimming fish.

Kautilya helped the young Chandragupta Maurya, who was a Vaishya, to ascend to the Nanda throne in 321 BC. Kautilya’s counsel is particularly remarkable because the young Maurya’s supporters were not as well armed as the Nandas. Kautilya continued to help Chandragupta Maurya in his campaigns and his influence was crucial in consolidating the great Mauryan empire. He has often been likened to Machiavelli by political theorists, and the name of Chanakya is still reminiscent of a vastly scheming and clever political adviser. In very recent years, Indian state television, or Doordarshan as it is known, commissioned and screened a television serial on the life and intrigues of Chanakya.

9. Natya Shastra:

Author: Sage Bharata or Bharata Muni

(What is Natya Shastra?

Mostly, perhaps, we go to the theatre looking for some kind of story.  We hope to see characters with which we identify doing stuff that we care about.  Perhaps we go to the theatre to see a “slice of life” played out in a way that seems familiar.  This interest in theatre may be described as an “Aristotelian sensibility”, since Aristotle asserted that we mostly go to the theatre to see the theatre imitate the world we know outside of the theatre.)

natya shatra
Make up, aspect of stagecraft
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Natya(Drama)

 

The Natya Shastra is an ancient Indian treatise on the performing arts, encompassing theatre, dance and music. It was written during the period between 200 BCE and 200 CE in classical India and is traditionally attributed to the Sage Bharata.

The Natya Shastra is incredibly wide in its scope. While it primarily deals with stagecraft, it has come to influence music, classical Indian dance, and literature as well. It coversstage design, music, dance, makeup, and virtually every other aspect of stagecraft. It is very important to the history of Indian classical music because it is the only text which gives such detail about the music and instruments of the period. Thus, an argument can be made that the Natya Shastra is the foundation of the fine arts in India. The most authoritative commentary on the Natya Shastra is Abhinavabharati by Abhinavagupta.

10. Buddhacarita:

Author: Asvaghosa

budhicarita
Buddhacarita

Buddhacharita (Acts of the Buddha)is an epic poem in the Sanskrit mahakavya(great epic) style on the life of Gautama Buddha by Asvaghosa composed in the early second century CE. Of the poem’s 28 cantos, the first 14 are extant in Sanskrit complete (cantos 15 to 28 are in incomplete form).

The Buddhacarita is the most famous work of Asvaghosa, the well-known Buddhist poet-philosopher supposed to have been a contemporary of King Kaniska of the early 2nd century A.D., of the twenty-eight cantos of the epic poem a little less than half is now available in the original, but complete translations in Chinese and Tibetan have been preserved. This edition consists of three parts. The first part contains the Sanskrit text and the second the translation of the first fourteen cantos, filling up the lacunae in the Sanskrit from the Tibetan, together with an introduction dealing with various aspects of the poet’s works, with notes which discuss the many difficulties of text and translation and an Index. The third part contains translation of Cantos XV-XXVIII based on the available Tibetan and Chinese versions so as to arrive as near the meaning of Asvaghosa’s original text. The poem falls into four distinct quarters of seven cantos describing birth and youth of the hero, enlightenment after long questing, how the Buddha made his discovery by teaching available to all beings, a mission ending with a universal conquest in which the hero converts the rulers and people in many countries to the new doctrine and the events leading up to the Parinirvana of the Buddha.