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How did Siddharth
Siddhartha was the son of the chief of the Sakya clan. He was kept away from the harsh realities of life and was brought up inside the palace. His first journey into the outside world was traumatic and full of grief. His life was changed when he witnessed an old man, a sick man, and a corpse. He became anguished and realized that death and destruction of the human body are inevitable. He thus decided to explore the path of truth and set out in search for that. He gave up his palace and all worldly and materialistic pleasures. He adopted extreme methods such as bodily mortification. When he finally attained enlightenment, he came to be known as
the Buddha or the Enlightened One and taught dhamma or the path of righteous living.
According to the Buddhist Philosophy mentioned in Sutta Pitaka:
• The world is transient (anicca) and constantly changing.
• The world is soulless (anatta). There is nothing permanent and eternal in it.
• Sorrow (dukh) is intrinsic to human existence.
• Only when the person follows the path of moderation between severe penance and self-indulgence, he could rise above worldly troubles.
• Existence or non-existence of God is irrelevant to Buddhism. The world is the creation of humans.
• Humanity and ethical values are considered above everything.
• Buddha emphasized individuality and righteous action as the means to escape from the cycle of rebirth and attain self-realization and Nibbana, i.e, the extinguishing of ego and desire. This would thus end the cycle of suffering.
The sculpture of Sanchi Stupa depicts the following scenes:
• Vessantara Jataka: the sculpture at Sanchi depicts a generous prince who gave away everything to a Brahmana and went to live in the forest with his wife and children.
• Buddhist sculpture has been depicted in various forms and through various symbols. The empty seat indicates meditating Buddha. The stupa represented the μαηαπαρινιββανα and the symbolοφτηεωηεελστοοδφορτηεφιρστσερμονοφτηεΒυδδηα,δελιϖερεδατΣαρνατη.
• Other sculptures integrated into the decoration of stupa includes the image of shalabhanjika which was regarded as an auspicious symbol. Others include depictions of animals such as elephants, horses, monkeys, and cattle. They were carved to create lively scenes to draw viewers as well as for as symbols of human attributes. For example, Elephants were depicted to signify strength and wisdom.
• Another motif of a woman has been identified as Maya, the mother of Buddha or the goddess of good fortune Gajalakshami.
• The motif of the serpent has also been found on several pillars, which is regarded as the centre of tree and serpent worship.
Thus, the sculpture of Sanchi stupa has been beautified in several ways.
Stupas were sacred places that were associated with Buddhism. They contain relics of Buddha such as his bodily remains or objects used by him. Thus, they were an emblem of both the Buddha and Buddhism. The stupa at Sanchi survived because:
• Sanchi stupa was discovered in 1818 which was much late than when Amravati stupa was discovered. By that time scholars have become aware of its value and the importance to preserve things where they had been found.
• When Sanchi stupa was discovered, three of its four gateways remained intact and the fourth was lying on the spot where it had fallen. The mound was also in good condition. Thus, no such harm was done to the unique piece of architecture.
• As in the case of Amravati stupa, the gateways of Sanchi stupa were not taken into the museums of London. They were well preserved and were of great importance.
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