EARLY IMAGES: PSTS
By the end of the III. BC Indo-Persian motifs Ashoka time to interact with others, and over the next century, they took shape in the well-developed pictorial system, now in the Indian style. Most of the early images were associated with a stupa, one of the three main types of Buddhist architecture. Unlike the other two - accommodation (vihara) and the prayer hall (Chaitya) - in which it was possible to go inside, stupa was solid monolithic construction. In addition, its architecture is not repeated wooden prototypes, and came from Hindu burial mounds, as evidenced by its exceptional role as a symbol of parinirvana Buddha, or his ultimate liberation from the world.
In the early stupas there are some specific details. The main part - anda - a simple hemispherical dome, put on a low platform. At the top - a column of round discs (chhatraveli), wind and umbrellas have been hidden from praying during bypass a fence or a terrace (harmika) of square pillars - a miniature copy of a large fence surrounding the entire stupa. Concealment of the central pillars of the ancient Indian custom is due, enclose the sacred objects, such as the sacred tree or a temple. Umbrellas at the top of the main pillars, leaving the core of the stupa (continued worship of the column of King Ashoka), are essential parts of the Buddhist cosmology, in which the column stands for "mountain of peace" or axis mundis - the axis of the universe, and discs - the number of celestial spheres. Umbrellas can also act as a sign of special reverence in which the objects give as gifts, and individual characters, in addition, three umbrella symbolize the three jewels: the Buddha, the Law and the monastic community, or sangha. The symbolism extends to the center of the building, to the burial place of the sacred relics - the internal elements of the stupa are often organized in the image geometry and magical schemes, such as a wheel, and then together with the relics of the body shut down from the top stupa.
Stone wall that surrounds the stupa at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh goes back to the wooden fence with a gate, located on the right corner - they can be seen as an ancient symbol, as a "swastika," but most likely they came from the gates of the village enclosure A livestock. Four pairs of gates, the Torah indicates the four cardinal directions and their coats with deep carving beams and columns represent the major part of learning; they came their stories fascinate and pictures, as if the pilgrims had already started to commit ritual worship. In Buddhism, ritual worship is in a circular circuit, clockwise around the stupa. Some of the stupas, such as Amaraviti in the south-east, entirely covered with marble slabs, covered with exquisite carvings. Free-standing pillars, close to the famous Ashoka pillars, also included in the sculptural composition, but often were erected outside the stupa fence in other parts of the architectural ensemble.
The most famous of the surviving stupas in the early period Bharhute, this is one of the greatest monuments related to the year 100 BC, since the excavations made in the XIX century. Still represents a mountain of rubble. And although it is difficult to recover anything, except a few pieces carved fences, and one (of four) door, to get an idea about the stupa and its place in the ensemble of possible thanks to careful restoration of the monument a little later in Sanchi.
The significance of these early stupas - the wealth represented by these images: genre scenes, figures and independent jatakas serve visual encyclopedia of the early period of art. Recent studies have shown that the reliefs in Bharhute performed subtly and skillfully in a variety of techniques and with numerous variations in the manner of narration, which refutes the naive notions of style and undeveloped.
A variety of artistic development can be seen in the reliefs depicting the history of the founding of the monastery in the forest Dzhetavanarama everyday followers of the teachings. This story was particularly important because it represents a pious act - a religious donation - one of the ways for the laity to accumulate religious merit. In the upper right corner of the composition over a two-wheeled cart, two pieces of land covered with gold, thus showing that the land sold to the former owners to the highest bidder. In this scheme, a number of selective and fine-scale, widely used throughout Asia, important characters are made larger than others, and one or two buildings is sufficient to present the whole complex, and selected elements prevail over the detailed study of pictorial space. Objects and characters in the lower part of the composition, that is closer to the viewer, cut more deeply than the second plan, to create the illusion of distance. Even with the time costs about here, for example, according to the inscription is one of the buildings pictured were actually built, but later.
In contrast to the ruins at Sanchi in Bharhute preserved enough to allow the archaeologist John Marshall (Marshall) and the researcher Alfred Foucher Buddhism (Foucher) to recover most of the ensemble. The size and carved gates contributed glory of this monument, but that can get the most complete picture of the style that has spread all over India, and the arts rannebuddiyskoy stupa. Literary sources mention the original mortar, set at the behest of King Ashoka, which included the completion of the column with a lion, like the famous Sarnathskoy capitals, although the earliest extant dates back to Bharhuta. The ensemble of Sanchi, situated on a hill, a distance resembles the dome of the stupa, located at the crossroads of trade routes of North India - that was one reason for long-term prosperity of the place, which provided protection and in the I millennium AD. Oe.
Located on the territory of Sanchi whole complex of buildings and at least three mortars. The largest among them - Stupa I, or a large stupa was rebuilt several times, and the remains of the I century dates back to around BC. Oe.
Unlike Bharhuta relief carving at Sanchi is limited to columns and beams the four gates (Torah), although the relief deeper and more refined style, partly because of their more recent origin. Each gate is divided into three parts. In the upper section, consisting of three architrave, unfolding narrative that ends in volutes, - presenting, thus, stone pages of illustrated manuscripts, once transported from village to village by itinerant storytellers. Despite the closely spaced plots, deep carving done so skillfully that history can still be considered below - from the ground. Space is filled with human figures, animal figures (real and fantastic, some - still in the Persian style) and Buddhist symbols - such as mortar, and lotus tree. Capitals, which are connected to beams and columns at the bottom of the square, surrounded by lions, elephants and dwarfs - they violate the flatness of the fence and create a dynamic transition from vertical to horizontal beams columns. Another visual communication with the beams is transmitted with brackets in the form of female figures (22) - one of the best examples of the image Yakshin in Indian art. In general, the shape and decorative elaboration of figures drawn from dance movements and positions, which has always been a major source of inspiration for Indian artists. The square bottom of the gate is a column, covered with richly carved - scenes from the Jataka, the figures of soldiers and elements of a modern secular architecture. Although the most common motive - it's stupa fence, the same as a real stone wall surrounding the entire stupa, and the spire and umbrellas on the top of the dome. This "fence" limits the architrave, runs along the capitals, but also separates the stage from each other.
Among the most prominent images in Bharhute and Sanchi - standing male and female figures. Some of them are depicted in a pose of worship - with her hands pressed to his chest, while others carry different items, and frankly sensuous female figures grasping the trunk and branches of a tree. Whatever is shown, Yakshina, defenders, warriors or Nagaraja (king of snakes) - female figures represent fertility, and yakshas - a widespread realization of the ideal man for the whole of India - the power and wealth. These images are entirely associated with the prosperity of an agrarian culture. Although yakshas usually appear as ancillary figures, they served as a model for such deities as protectors of the world, or guards, and Bodhisattvas, together with the fact that they have become one of the most important sources for the earliest images of the Buddha. A vivid illustration of this scheme - with the accompanying figures yaksh pillars at Sanchi stupa Large with their massive forms, with well developed details of the allusions to the abundance of nature - an image that often appears after the I century.
Another style of Buddhist art, which had a significant impact on the development of South-East Asia, was born on the East Coast, along the river Krishna. From the time of Ashoka, the region was a haven for well-known monastic center and the great teachers of Buddhism. In addition, it was a vibrant area of economic activity, which contributed to the spread of the Buddhist religion, especially along the sea route to the east. Although none of the earliest monuments are not completely preserved, according to the reliefs on the marble slabs in Amaravati and Nagardzhunakonda, it was the grand stupa size, the richness of the decoration superior to the northern sites. Reconstruction of the stupa in Amaravati, based on these reliefs, reflects not only the complex composition of carved doors and foundation, but also on the availability of reliefs on the body of the stupa, which creates the most complex decoration of stupas all known to us.
In the early reliefs of Amaravati stupa in repeated many of the themes familiar from Bharhutu and Sanchi, - an empty throne, the Bodhi tree and the crowd of worshipers - and still no images of Buddha. But in style they are noticeably different. Compared with the northern of figures is more subtle and sensuous, richly decorated with more. Empty space is unacceptable, so the entire plane is covered with moving figures, the only respite in this crowded scenes created by the transverse beams, which are arbitrarily separate one group from another - just as at Sanchi. However, when compared with these reliefs northern scenes seem almost frozen: the figures are uniformly distributed and often arranged in a row, while in Amaravati figures bend and move, are grouped in a limited space and sometimes go beyond the boundaries of a scene that brings these songs soon with wall paintings in Ajanta, than with a sculpture in Bharhute or at Sanchi. Even the later reliefs II and III centuries, which already have images of Buddha, do not differ much in style. Marble reliefs of Amaravati remained an exceptional example of a regional style, one of the brightest in the early art of India, who had a direct impact on the art of Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.
Architecture and the first cave temples
Most of our knowledge about the early architecture was obtained indirectly - through the buildings pictured on the reliefs, such as in Bharhute and Sanchi. But the most impressive examples of architecture rannebuddiyskoy, however, remained among the cave temples of western India, mostly in areas south and east of Bombay. This technique has received the priority development areas, where the towering mountain plateau abruptly cut off, creating a stepped wall of solid rock the length of several hundred kilometers along the west side of the continent. Trade routes connecting cities in India, contributed to the emergence of many of sanctuaries, as the clergy supported the travelers and caravans, which also resulted in a device similar to the cave temples along the trade routes of Central Asia. Typically, these shrines were built fairly close to the caravan routes to attract donations, and yet far enough away from urban centers to create the conditions for the life of monks.
Despite the devotion of traditional wooden structures in the early Buddhist buildings, these huge hollowed-out caves were largely the product of sculptors and engineers than architects. The earliest, around 100 BC. Oe. in Kondivte and Bhaja, were already much bigger than their predecessors - the cave of Ashoka in the province of Bihar. On imitation of wooden structures indicate not only the facades of the caves with carved columns and beams - in this relationship with the wooden architecture has been extended: from imitation to be included in the composition of wood inserts. The wood beams are still visible - after two thousand years we can see fragments, barely inserted between the ribs carved stone arch to create a kind of visual deception as an imitation of wooden structure. In accordance with their monastic origins, the caves in the rocks also correlated with the main types of Buddhist buildings. The largest number of caves - in the part, which housed the monks - a square room to the general meeting (vihara), onto which the individual cells, larger Chaitya - a place for collective prayer. Interior Chaiten, such as in Carly, consists of a curved wall, a sort of apse, simulating the barrel vault ceiling, and flanking rows of columns. And while other structures were added to store additional images or special needs, to support the daily life of the community, these two types of buildings were basic to the Buddhist community. The third most important structure - the stupa - was moved inside the chapel, Chaiten, narrow space is left to perform the ritual round. Stupas in the early caves, such as in Ajanta, very close stupas at Sanchi and Bharhute: simple, solid form without any additional images. But by the time of the Gupta dynasty (from IV to VII century), the attraction to more abstract images of the Buddha has affected the composition of mortar: the lower part of it was given to the celestial Buddha, and thus formally separated the ideas of the stupa of the Buddha and merged. The architecture of Gandhara rare cave temples, and it differs from the style of other buildings of the Kushan Empire.
About Buddhist art JN Roerich wrote enthusiastically: "Contemplating the serene simplicity of the Buddha from Gandhara, exquisite frescoes of Ajanta figure, powerful and sometimes combative spirit of the Central Asian pictorial composition and religious fervor veyskogo art in caves and Yungana Lunmenya - we feel before the high altar of beauty, built the combined efforts of many eastern and Western artists. "
Buddhism, being focused on the monastic life caused a powerful surge of Indian art. Cave monasteries of India, richly decorated with stone carvings and murals for more than two millennia delight all connoisseurs. Until we almost did not get the other monuments of early Buddhist art, architecture, and besides the fact that it involves, that is, sculptures and frescoes.
The main forms of Buddhist art were not original and transformed all-India. But otherwise it could not be, because then the symbolism of Buddhist structures was not clear to the people, to whom, in fact, was largely drawn Buddhist art (recall the role of art in society nonliterate!). In some cases, Buddhism borrowed the images of Hindu deities or principles of composition-narratives (the frescoes of Ajanta), and others - used the stories going back to pre-Aryan population of India and clear of the lower varna (caste) in the third - creating their own art forms, transforming existing ones. If we consider the Indian Buddhist art in general, the difference between him and the art of Hinduism is much smaller than that between philosophy and other religions.
There are three main types of rannebuddiyskih facilities. This is a memorial monument to the stupa, vihara monastery and temple Chaitya.
The ancient monastery that has been preserved to our days, has been found in Bengal, Bihar, in the town of Bhasha (the name of the Indian state of Bihar, as well as Central Asian city of Bukhara derived from the Sanskrit "Vihara", ie the monastery). It belongs to the fifth century BC, it inhabited a five hundred monks.
The first of the great bursts of Buddhist art was the king Asoka (III century BC), which is rightly called the emperor, his government covered almost the entire breadth of modern India to the south of Madras, Deccan, part of Afghanistan. When Ashoka was conducted rapid construction of stone, so to this day kept some stupas, built by him and later inlaid, as well as the famous pillars-stambha with their exceptional beauty capitals.
According to legend, Ashoka commanded to erect 84 000 stupas. If it were re-divided the relics of the Buddha, before the mortars were kept in eight. In one of the stupas time of Ashoka archaeologists have discovered an urn with the inscription: "The Treasury remains the sublime Buddha is the construction of a pious brothers Shakiev with their sisters, wives and children." This urn is different noble simplicity and perfect proportions.
Buddhism more easily assimilated indigenous beliefs (including at home), the closer they were to popular belief. This explains so prevalent in Buddhist art images yakshas - a sort of Indian gnomes, mountain gods, producers and custodians of the treasure. Yakshi is traditionally represented by low, stocky, with a pendulous abdomen. This iconographic type in the next century will be extremely popular in Buddhist art, as evidenced by the work performed is not in India and in China, Tibet, Mongolia ...
Together with yakshami portrayed women and pyshnobedrye Yakshin associated with the forces of fertility. Yakshi Yakshin and were not simply assimilated into Buddhist art, they took their place in the mythology of Buddhism: in one of the legends of King Ashoka, it yakshas help him find the treasure you need to build many stupas.
The most expressive works of art Ashoka - a column-stambha erected in areas associated with the activities of the Buddha. The columns were independent monument erected on the path of pilgrims. Beside these columns stop wandering monks, so that archaeologists find traces of small settlements.
Perfection finish these columns raises serious questions art: sculptures of Ashoka's skill is not related to previous artistic tradition and has no successors. In the figures of lions perceive the influence of Iran, but on the whole question of the sculptor of King Ashoka can not be resolved.
The most famous is the pillar of Sarnath stambha (Isipatana in the ancient texts, Uttar Pradesh), erected in the years 250-232 BC on the spot where, according to legend, the Buddha created a community of monks. This column is crowned lion's capitol, which has become a century later, the emblem of independent India.
Form an inverted lotus cap on it - a cylindrical abacus with symbols on the abacus are four lions back to back. At the lions rose a Wheel of Law (unfortunately, in the fall of the column it was broken, its fragments are stored in the Museum of Sarnath). The symbolism of this composition is as follows.
Leo means the Buddha, his fearlessness in the way of gaining Enlightenment and the transmission of the teachings. Thus, four lions, who are looking at the four corners of the world, becoming a symbol of the spread of teachings throughout the world. Ashoka lions are full of dignity and nobility, they cease to be the image of a predator, rising to a generalized image of spiritual power.
Animals represented on the abacus, were symbols of the cardinal points of India: The Lion - the north, the horse - the south and the bull - and an elephant west - east. Mythological significance of these animals is that the horse is connected with the sun god Surya (god rides a chariot or horse disguise itself is what is sung in many of the most ancient hymns of the sacred books of India - Rigveda), the bull is the god of pre-Aryan land (and then his features become by Shiva), the elephant stable association with Indra, Thunderer. Thus, the four beasts are on the abacus of ancient pre-Aryan symbol of the unity of beliefs, the Vedic and Hindu mythology and Buddhism - the idea is hardly ancient sculptors have invested in their creation, but it suddenly appears in the memorial of Indian culture.
Between each pair of animals is an image of Wheel of the Law. Wheel with a thousand spokes means a thousand Buddhas, which should come within our kalpa (world time). The wheel with eight spokes (the most common variant) - dissemination exercises on eight corners of the earth, that is, the whole world. Wheels on the abacus with 24 spokes, perhaps it should symbolize the Buddha (in rannebuddiyskom art anthropomorphic images of the Enlightened One was not, it replaced the figure of the Wheel of Law, the throne, the stupa, the Bodhi tree).
The lower part forms an inverted lotus capitals. This flower is extremely important in Buddhism, becoming a symbol of high spirituality, and later - the insight is not achieved by logical effort and enlightenment.
The most monumental monument rannebuddiyskogo art was the stupa. Stupa (Tibetan "chorten," Mong. "Suburgan") - is a memorial building that symbolizes the enlightened consciousness of a Buddha. In the early centuries of Buddhism, when there was a ban on images of the Buddha in human form, on the reliefs of the Enlightened meant a stupa.
In its origin dates back to ancient stupa burial facilities, to the earthen hill, fenced. Therefore, the stupa, no matter what size they are, will never have the internal space. According to legend, the first eight stupas were erected after the death of the Buddha's disciples and the teachers in them was buried divided into eight parts ashes of the Enlightened. And now the stupa erected on the site of cremation high lamas, or spiritual teachers.
The structure of the stupa represents the symbolic structure of the universe: the early Buddhist stupas square base means the land, the dome-hemisphere - the heavens and the nirvana of the Buddha, the spire - is the embodiment of the image of the world axis, that is the supreme law, which rests on the existence, as well as a link between earthly world and the extraordinary. Umbrellas on the steeple symbolizes the highest spiritual realms. Indian mortar fitted with a gallery in which the pious pilgrims bypass the mortar, making a ritual so pradakshiny (worship of the shrine).
Here, we describe and later stupas, erected in the north Indian subcontinent, and later - in Tibet and Central Asia. These mortars are generally very small in size (half to two human growth). They consist of five elements: a square base of the cone of the spire, the image of the moon and sun, as well as the tongue of flame. As in India, means the land base, tapering reliquary - the water, the spire of the ten or thirteen steps of enlightenment - the air, sun and moon on top of it - space, flame above them - shunyu-Void.
Bypassing the stupa at all times considered one of the most pious, who regularly perform all Buddhists. The most famous stupas and to this day, many pilgrims come to believe that their spiritual merit increase as a result of this pilgrimage.
During the reign of King Ashoka stupa began to build in stone, several ancient stupas were lined with brick and faced with massive slabs of red sandstone.
From an artistic point of view of an ancient stupa was a deeply thought-out ensemble. Itself stupa was totally devoid of any decoration, but its gates and fences were covered with elaborately carved, which tells about the life of Buddha, visible transmitting many philosophical ideas of Buddhism. A variety of stories cutting the fence as if it was a simple pilgrim, for a meeting with the sacred, that is, with the relics that are stored inside the stupa.
Of the early stupas most famous for its reliefs of the stupa Bharhuta (stupa itself was built Ashoka, it was not preserved, carved railings and gates were built in the years 180-150 BC, now they are kept in the Indian Museum in Calcutta).
The fence of the Stupa is famous for its stone illustrations Jataka. The pious care with which the artists belonged to Bharhuta to translating the previous lives of Buddha, made them sign under the name of reliefs depicted stories, giving a modern interpretation of the scientist a unique opportunity for early Buddhist images.
On the fence posts we see many stupas image Yakshin-vrikshak (from the Sanskrit "vrksa" tree). These charming, graceful girl standing under a tree, holding on to a branch bowed low and sometimes clasping the trunk of his foot. This image of an ancient Buddhist and a half to two millennia, this kind of image can be seen on the pre-Aryan civilization in the seals of the Indus Valley. This is an image of the Mother Goddess, Mistress of life and death. Because this image is pre-Aryan, he remained at the members of the lower, non-Aryan castes, which were accessed by Buddhism. Interestingly, this iconographic image came into Buddhist mythology in connection with the birth of the Buddha - giving birth to a wonderful son, Queen Maya is hearth with wood and keeps for its branch.
Reliefs on the fence and gate large stupa at Sanchi, we see various scenes of Enlightened Youth, early Buddhist artists with exceptional zeal, reproduced them in plastic forms. Masters, decorated stupas Bharhuta and Sanchi, rejected the image of Buddha in human form. In these reliefs Enlightened always represented symbols and anthropomorphic ever. Thus, the Great Exodus always denoted a horse without a rider coming out of the gate. Great Sermon symbolized the Wheel of the Law, and parinirvana - stupa.
Gates (Torah) Great Stupa at Sanchi should be allocated separately. In their construction took several decades (Gates put in the I century BC), work on them a few groups of artists. Four gates oriented to the light, their pillars and cross beams are completely covered with relief sculpture and is also present. The richness and subtlety syuzhetiki finishing Great Stupa of reliefs can speak of them as encyclopedia of Indian life abroad eras. Animals, plants, fantastic beings, demigods and people from the king to the sender - they all form a complex and dynamic picture, which tells about the life of Buddha and the fate of his teachings. Touching scene in which his admiration for the teachings reflect animals: elephants bring flowers mortar, forest animals bow to the Bodhi tree. On the other beams, we see a very well-designed stories Jataka, as, for example, shows the north gate of the Jataka Vishvantare Tsarevich, who was so generous that no one could deny the request, so he had to lose their kingdom and their children, however, the gods , astonished his detachment to everything than it has, then returned it all lost. Episodes of this jatakas one after the other located on the outer and inner side of the beam.
Although in early Buddhist art is not an anthropomorphic image of the Buddha, there is a legend, attributable to the late period of the miraculous origin of the image of Sakyamuni. The king of Magadha Bimbisara, receiving rich gifts from Rudrayany king Roruki, decided to send the last image of the Enlightened One. Artists, who was made an order, find that they are unable to capture the divine face and body of the Buddha. Seeing their difficulty, Bright told that was brought linen, and on its surface reflected his shadow, which was then circled and painted by artists. We almost can not help recalling a similar story of the miraculous origin of the image of Christ.
The reason for the refusal of the anthropomorphic image of the Enlightened One is that the masters had to find a means of artistic expression of high spirit of the Buddha. Enlightened can not be portrayed as ordinary people, and has not yet been worked out properly Buddhist iconography, had to resort to symbolism.
Buddhist monasteries were a cave, with more or less architectural ornaments. Curiously, obtesyvaya rock Indian master gave her the usual form of his wooden buildings (as well as a stone wall mortar simulates wood or cane). Masters, placing an entry in a cave monastery, carefully grind out the ends of the beams do not exist and skate over the "wooden" arch entrance. Similarly, in the interior of the temple played curved roof beams of wooden houses. Cave temples, created in the first century AD, the imagination: from the wild rock suddenly appear complicated finishing tiered facade, with windows through which light penetrates the temple, with carvings and ornamental friezes.
Cave religious buildings - the temples and monasteries. Architecture of the monastery (vihara) is not very interesting - a few rooms of rectangular shape with a flat roof. But the temple (Chaitya) impressive organization of space and complexity of decoration. Cave temples, despite his height, were built without the use of forests, since the work went down, sculptors and architects descended from the top of the cave inside the rock. Temple in terms of extended a short distance from the wall are two rows of columns, so that it begins to resemble a three-nave European cathedral. At the far end of the hall stands a stupa, usually carved from solid stone wall behind her smoothly rounded. Here the ritual round the stupa - pradakshina. As already mentioned, the thread ceiling mimics the curved wooden roof beams, with their ends hanging in the air without touching the strings. The facade of the church or imitates the wooden carvings, or even a tree lined. Chatya illuminated by a large semicircular "solar window" on the facade. In the temple are three entrances: the central - for special occasions and the two sides - the monks and pilgrims. In front of them arranged in pools, where the ritual of ablution. On the facades Chaiten attention is drawn to images of couples - likely contributors. They are powerful figures, athletic men and curvy women are directly related to all-India sculptural tradition, going from pre-Aryan antiquity.
In the first century AD, the Buddhist art of India is changing radically: there is an anthropomorphic Buddha image, which becomes the main subject of the image. At this time there are three art centers: Gandhara, Mathura and Amaravati.
The Art of Gandhara, its origin must conquests of Alexander of Macedon (327 BC), through which Hellenistic culture stretched far to the east and created a wonderful fusion of Greek and Indian art, where the forms were borrowed, and the content - a Buddhist. Masters of Gandhara Sculpture mastered the technique of the human body and spiritualized person; treatment of wrinkles robes, hair curls, and other minor details - the Greek.
At this time there are major changes both in Buddhism and in the worldview of non-Buddhist India.
The rise and death of Buddhist Universities
Monastic universities of India - Nalanda, Vikramashila, Odantapuri - were not only the largest centers of Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice, but in the whole culture of his time. And while the bulk conductivity in these monasteries, universities, work has been associated with Buddhism, this did not prevent scientists and monks translated secular texts as well as monuments of Hindu religion: so, there are Tibetan and Mongolian text of great Indian poem "Ramayana", as well as the most mystically meaningful song "Mahabharata" - "Bhagavatgity." On the propagation of Indian culture in much of Asia YN Roerich wrote: "In large parts of Indian culture has had a huge impact on local cultures and, in fact, these regions have become part of the cultural heritage of India ... For about twelve hundred years the influence of Indian art and philosophy to dominate Central Asia. Now we know that this influence was mainly Buddhist. Because of its universal orientation, Buddhism was able to overcome national boundaries. According to Buddhist channels in Central Asia became known Indian secular sciences: astronomy, medicine, drama and poetry and grammar, they were perceived by people living on the steppes of southern Russia to the Pacific Ocean ... The spread of Sanskrit in the alien environment it was in itself an amazing event in cultural history of the region. This showed that the language carries a high culture and civilization, could, despite its grammatical complexity, become a lingua franca (language of culture) for a large region, inhabited by different peoples. "
Truly, the heart of this vast body was "Maha Vihara," Buddhist universities, where students flocked from all over Asia. About their role in the dissemination of Buddhism itself is the fact that four and a half thousand texts included in the Tibetan canon, about four thousand - is Sanskrit and in particular, translations of Pandits of Nalanda, Vikramashily and Odantapuri. These universities have worked themselves interpreters, Indians and Tibetans in origin. After the death of universities under the onslaught of "la-lo," a Sanskrit canon of Muslims had been lost and it is currently being reconstructed by the Tibetan and Chinese translations.
In VI-VII centuries, when India began to flourish Tantric, Buddhist centers and universities began to practice (and theory) of tantra. A few centuries when Tibet became a Buddhist country, the monasteries were literally filled with Tibetans. This is how the process YN Roerich: "In Nepal, the Tibetans used to do a lengthy stop to them it was easier to adapt to more hot and humid climate, before descending into the valleys of India. Lives of Tibetan teachers such stories abound. Here in Nepal, the Tibetans have studied Sanskrit grammar basics, and this enabled them to continue their education in the great centers of Buddhist study - Nalanda, Vikramashile (based Dharmapala, 770-815) and Odantapuri (Gopala-based). Less than two centuries of Indian and Nepalese Buddhist scholars and their Tibetan colleagues allowed a truly exceptional and unique challenge - the creation of a literary language, capable of transmitting deep and abstruse ideas Sanskrit originals. This transformation was achieved at the cost of enormous intellectual effort ... "
In each of these monasteries was the so-called "Tibet House", that is, faculty have worked together with the Indians and Tibetans, as being engaged in the translation from Sanskrit and Indian acquaintance with Tibetan culture. Indo-Tibetan contacts were not only extensive, they were never one-sided, it was a deep interest in the counter.
The most significant was the Maha Vihara, Nalanda (founded in 425 year), the academic center of Mahayana Buddhism. With him were somehow related, Nagarjuna, Asanga, Shantarakshita, Kamalashila, Padmasambhava and Atisha, just arrived here in the year 640 Thonmi Sambhota, founder of the Tibetan alphabet. After a half century after the great Hindu monastery was destroyed by Muslims in Tibet, the monastery was built with the same name, and just became a center of education and practice of monks from various countries. At Nalanda, the emphasis was on studying these areas of Mahayana Madhyamika and Yogacara as - based on them has grown and developed the esoteric Vajrayana Buddhism. Incidentally, the very emergence of these major philosophical doctrines associated with Nalanda - so prominent philosopher Asanga yogAcAra school where he taught for twelve years.
Inextricable link with Nalanda Madhyamika and Vajrayana is reflected in the legend that when the fire died in the library complex Nalanda - Dharmagandzha, the two books miraculously shed water, and they survived. These were the basic texts of Buddhism in both directions - "Prajnaparamita" and "Guhyasamaja."
Communication Vihara Maha-Vikramashily with Tibetan Buddhism was even greater. The heyday of the monastery comes at the end of the tenth century, when the commission of special-Deuteronomy Pandits (top professors) took the decision on admission to the studies of students coming from different countries. Keeper of the Eastern Gate (responsible for the admission of students from the east) was a disciple of the great Ratnakarashanti Dzhetari, author of a hundred treatises on Tantra, whose influence on Tibetan Buddhism is very noticeable, in particular as regards the doctrine of Mahamudra. Ratnakarashanti himself was the author of thirty works in Sanskrit, the most famous of which is the practice of threatening yidam Vajrabhairava, all these works were translated into Tibetan and widely studied in the Land of Snows. Custodian of the South Gate was Vagishvarakirti, supporter and practitioner of Tara Chakrasamvara, his treatise on how to overcome death is preserved thanks to the Tibetan translation. Western Gate "guarded" Maha Pandita ("great scholar") Prazhdnakaramati, partisan practices of Manjushri, the author of the famous text "Abhisamaya-lankara" and Bodhicharya-avatar ". Greatest with all the maha-pandita Naropa was the Guardian of the Northern Gateway, the name of the Tibetan Kagyu school is one of the first places. Among the pundits had a lot of adepts of tantra, they were translated into Tibetan Sanskrit treatises (which are now known to us only because of the Tibetan version), and by the end of life left in Tibet. The first rector was the founder of the school Vikramashily mantra vadzhrachara Buddhadzhchyanapada, the fourth Rector - famous Dipankara Shridzhyana (Atisha), whose influence on Tibetan Buddhism can not be overstated. Moreover, because of Atisha served as a starting point for work Tsonkhapy and created last school gelukpa now spread from northern India to Mongolia and Buryatia in the east and the Russian Plain in the west, we must admit that the writings were the basis of Atisha Buddhist order, which is now stretched across much of Eurasia. By Atisha in Tibet mission, we'll be back. After Atisha's rector, the rector was Vikramashily Shribhadra Shakya, author of works on the Kalachakra, who did much to spread the cult of Tara in Tibet.
Vihara Maha-Odantapuri located near Nalanda and was primarily tantristskim centers. In particular, the practice there was a meditation on the cemetery, which was a master of Tantrikas Narada. Following the model was built Odantapuri first Tibetan monastery - Samye.
Some scientists believe that in all these universities Tantric practice, it is meditation, which allows to reach high levels rapidly consciousness prevailed over the purely Buddhist disciplines. In other words, these monasteries were more tantric rather than Buddhist. An indirect confirmation of this can serve as a one-time warnings Tsonkhapy, which is the fourth volume of his major work "Lamrim Chenpo" warns that without proper Buddhist meditative practice aspirations will not allow the release from samsara, and gives examples of Indian Tantrikas.
At the end of XII - early XIII century, northern India collapsed Muslim hordes. In Tibetan texts referred to as "la-lo." On the enormity of the devastation produced then demonstrates, in particular, namtar (life) Dharmasvamina Chag-Lotsawa, Tibetan, who with great difficulty reached Nalanda in the midst of war. This text was translated from Tibetan JN Roerich and below we suggest the reader read it in decline. Since this text provides excellent examples of how life was held Buddhist pilgrim, what hardships he faced on a daily basis, we will not be limited only fragments related Dharmasvamina stay in India, and will review, at least reducing, the whole monument of Tibetan literature beginning XIV century.
Opening speeches against religion
The emergence of Judaism
Jainism and Sikhism