History

  • Beautiful Photos from the Ajanta Caves Paid Member

    The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, India, are rock-cut cave monuments that were crafted in between the second century BCE and the eighth century CE containing paintings and sculptures that are true masterpieces of Buddhist art. After being abandoned sometime around the 8th or 9th century CE, the caves were long forgotten until they were rediscovered in 1819 when a man accidentally stumbled upon an entrance while trying to navigate his way through the tangled brush. Today, a piece was published on the Washington Bangla Radio website containing beautiful photographs from a recent visit to the caves. More »
  • China's oldest Buddhist temple Paid Member

    According to the Asian News Network, China's oldest temple aims to position itself as a major Buddhist hub. Built in 68 CE, the White Horse (Baima) Temple, in Luoyang, in China's Henan province, has a colorful history. The ANN reports: According to legend, the Eastern Han Emperor Yongping (reign: AD 57-75) dreamed of a golden figure with a halo, which his advisers assumed was the Buddha, in India. Emissaries were sent abroad to learn more about Buddhism and they returned years later with two Indian monks on white horses, bearing sutras and statues.... More »
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    Buddhism's crumbling past Paid Member

    Not to be an alarmist, but preserving Buddhism's past is an increasingly challenging endeavor. And while the truth of impermanence is fundamental to the Buddhist teachiings, no one said it's easy. Bamiyan was a heartbreaker, and recent news that the Chinese may blow up the ancient ruins of a newly discovered monastery in order to mine for copper raised another alarm. Now, an SOS to Unesco from Buddhist Art News: More »
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    Dennis Hunter, historical consciousness, and the speed of Buddhism's transition to the West Paid Member

    When we ask, “What shape will Buddhism take in the West?” most of us are bringing a historical consciousness to the question; we recognize that Buddhism has reinvented itself everywhere that it has gone in order to most effectively suit the unique spiritual needs of the new host culture. From this perspective Buddhism is not a fixed, static thing but more of a living organism. However, when we draw parallels between the way that Buddhism has historically established itself in new lands and its current transition to the West, we rarely account for the major differences in how information traveled in the past and how it travels now. More »
  • Right attitude Paid Member

    Shinno Yamasoba, 58, is the vice head priest at Daijyo-ji, an an 8th-century Shingon temple three hours outside Kyoto by train. In the Japan Times, he shares some monkish wisdom with Japanese TV reporter Judit Kawaguchiwho: "We'll know if the road was correct when we arrive," Yamasoba says, "That's how we Buddhists think. But since a monk's road is never straight, the trip is always fun. It really doesn't matter where I'm going." More »