The Indian Buddhist Iconography [Photo gallery]
The study of the Buddhist branch of Indian iconography is one of the most interesting and fascinating of all studies. In Buddhist iconography the whole world is interested because Buddhism is not confined within the limits of India like Hinduism or Jainism, but travelled far and wide beyond the Himalayas to Tibet, China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia on one side, and to Indo-China, Siam, Indonesia, Burma and Ceylon on the other. In the time of the great Achaemenid Emperor Darius, Lord Buddha laid the foundation of a religion which was destined to be the religion of one third of the population of the globe.
The fountain head of inspiration relating to Buddhist iconography was furnished by the ancient Sanskrit manuscripts of India, and the ideas and directions contained therein travelled to different countries, notably Tibet and China, where they were coloured by the art and culture characteristics of the respective peoples. We have now reached a stage where it is no longer possible to isolate Buddhist iconography of India from its developments in Tibet and China which were profoundly influenced by the Buddhist Tantras of India, And the chief need of the subject is the publication of a great volume of original and unpublished manuscript material that lies hidden in the archives of MSS Libraries throughout the world. When this huge material is published then alone the study of Buddhist iconography can be said to be complete.
Gallery: 357 images
Click each photos to see detailled description, exif-information and high-resolution: