History of Mahayana Buddhism It's Art Architecture and Literature in Southeast Asia

History of Mahayana Buddhism It's Art Architecture and Literature in Southeast Asia

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Buddhism is vast field spanning a wide variety of concerns. For twenty five centuries Buddhism has inspired the greatest achievements of Asian thought and culture, and today the impact of its message is beginning to be felt in the western world as well. The greatness of the religion lies in the method of its spread. In the entire world religions, Buddhism is the only religion which made its way without persecution, censorship or inquisition. As H.G. Wells, the great Historian stated “Buddhism has done more for the advance of world civilization and true culture than any other influence in the chronicles of mankind”. Buddhism is not confined to any particular race, nation or country it is universal. Similarly the torch of Dhamma spread to the lands of gold and islands of gold (Suvarnabumi and Suvanadvipa). Andhradesa had been the strong hold of Buddhism from early times and the Andhakas as the Andhra Buddhists were known to Pali literature had been in the forefront of all the later developments in Buddhism. The Mahayana schools of Andhra, and the Andhra Mahayanists who settled at Srilanka have chosen the Southeast Asian countries where there were already commercial colonies set up by Andhra merchants. Nalinaksha Dutt rightly observes that to South India particularly Andhra goes the credit of being the birth place not only of Mahayana but also its earliest exponents Acharya Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. Buddhism is perhaps the earliest of the missionary religions; it adopted itself to the local condition and absorbed the local systems into itself without any prejudice to its fundamental tenets. That is one of the reason for the rise of different schools and sects not only in India but also Southeast Asian countries. The absorption of the local primitive beliefs and rituals led to the rise of peculiar or even strange principles in each of the countries and in no two countries Buddhist practices look alike. With the rise of worship the Mahayana pantheon like Avalokiteswara, Amitaba, Vajrapani, Manjusri, Prajnaparamita, Tara, Trailokyanatha, Lokanada, Lokeswara huge temples were constructed to these gods all over Southeast Asia. Theravada and Mahayana coexisted in these countries from early centuries but from about the 12 th century A.D Theravada became predominant.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Professor Sitaramamma Jagarlamudi born on 5 th August 1958 in Andhrapradesh. Completed her Post Graduation from Acharya Nagarjuna University in Ancient Indian History and Archeology in 1980. Later joined in the Centre for Mahayana Buddhist Studies for her PhD and selected for the U.G.C N.E.T fellowship. In 1988 she joined as an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Mahayana Buddhist Studies. In 1998 promoted as the Associate Professor and from 2006 onwards serving as the Professor in the Centre for Mahayana Buddhist Studies in different capacities as Head, Chair person Board of Studies. Published more than 60 Research Articles in the National Journals and 25 International publications. Guided 15 PhD Scholars. Participated in various National and International Conferences and presented Research papers. Published one book on The History of Mahayana in Andhradesa.
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Buddhism is vast field spanning a wide variety of concerns. For twenty five centuries Buddhism has inspired the greatest achievements of Asian thought and culture, and today the impact of its message is beginning to be felt in the western world as well. The greatness of the religion lies in the method of its spread. In the entire world religions, Buddhism is the only religion which made its way without persecution, censorship or inquisition. As H.G. Wells, the great Historian stated “Buddhism has done more for the advance of world civilization and true culture than any other influence in the chronicles of mankind”. Buddhism is not confined to any particular race, nation or country it is universal. Similarly the torch of Dhamma spread to the lands of gold and islands of gold (Suvarnabumi and Suvanadvipa). Andhradesa had been the strong hold of Buddhism from early times and the Andhakas as the Andhra Buddhists were known to Pali literature had been in the forefront of all the later developments in Buddhism. The Mahayana schools of Andhra, and the Andhra Mahayanists who settled at Srilanka have chosen the Southeast Asian countries where there were already commercial colonies set up by Andhra merchants. Nalinaksha Dutt rightly observes that to South India particularly Andhra goes the credit of being the birth place not only of Mahayana but also its earliest exponents Acharya Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. Buddhism is perhaps the earliest of the missionary religions; it adopted itself to the local condition and absorbed the local systems into itself without any prejudice to its fundamental tenets. That is one of the reason for the rise of different schools and sects not only in India but also Southeast Asian countries. The absorption of the local primitive beliefs and rituals led to the rise of peculiar or even strange principles in each of the countries and in no two countries Buddhist practices look alike. With the rise of worship the Mahayana pantheon like Avalokiteswara, Amitaba, Vajrapani, Manjusri, Prajnaparamita, Tara, Trailokyanatha, Lokanada, Lokeswara huge temples were constructed to these gods all over Southeast Asia. Theravada and Mahayana coexisted in these countries from early centuries but from about the 12 th century A.D Theravada became predominant.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Professor Sitaramamma Jagarlamudi born on 5 th August 1958 in Andhrapradesh. Completed her Post Graduation from Acharya Nagarjuna University in Ancient Indian History and Archeology in 1980. Later joined in the Centre for Mahayana Buddhist Studies for her PhD and selected for the U.G.C N.E.T fellowship. In 1988 she joined as an Assistant Professor in the Centre for Mahayana Buddhist Studies. In 1998 promoted as the Associate Professor and from 2006 onwards serving as the Professor in the Centre for Mahayana Buddhist Studies in different capacities as Head, Chair person Board of Studies. Published more than 60 Research Articles in the National Journals and 25 International publications. Guided 15 PhD Scholars. Participated in various National and International Conferences and presented Research papers. Published one book on The History of Mahayana in Andhradesa.

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