buddhist history and art

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PDFPDF Doc. (3,849 KB) A Guide to Japanese Buddhism — Japan Buddhist Federation.

This Guide to Japanese Buddhism, compiled by the Japan Buddhist Federation, includes a brief history of Buddhism in Japan; Buddhism in contemporary Japan, Buddhist culture, temples and rites of passage in traditional Japanese life; major Japanese Buddhist festivals and a useful bibliography on Buddhism, with a listing of Buddhist Universities, Societies and Institutes. Overall this is a comprehensive and well researched study on Japanese Buddhism.

PDFPDF Doc. (723 KB) Buddhism in Sri Lanka – A Short History — H.R. Perera.

This book deals with Buddhism in Sri Lanka from the time of its introduction in 250 B.C. in the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa, up to Buddhism in Sri Lanka in the first half of the twentieth century, and the Buddha Jayanti, that is when the 2500th Buddha Jayanti (anniversary) was celebrated and after.

PDFPDF Doc. (1,245 KB) Buddhist Ceremonies and Ritual of Sri Lanka — A.G.S. Kariyawasam. 

The purpose of the present study is to highlight this often neglected face of popular Buddhism. Though the study focuses on Buddhism as practiced in Sri Lanka, the same basic round of rituals and ceremonies, with minor variations, can be found in the other countries following Theravada Buddhism, such as Burma and Thailand. I also hope that this survey will demonstrate that the expression of Buddhist piety in devotional forms is a necessity if Buddhism is to survive at the popular level as a vital and vibrant force in the daily life of its adherents.

PDFPDF Doc. (2,999 KB) MASK: Anthropology on the Sinhalese Belief System — Dr. David Blundell.

In his research — and in this book which reflects it — Dr. David Blundell has gone a step further than other sociocultural anthropologists in the quest for understanding and rendering the Sinhalese belief system. His innovative approach is based on sharing the investigative process with those who are usually considered to be objects of the research. The three parts of the Sinhalese belief system — Theravada Buddhism, cult of deities, and exorcism — are concretely approached through the life histories of three men. Each plays a key role in one of the three subsystems: headmonk of a village temple, chief official of a shrine, and exorcist.

PDFPDF Doc. (650 KB) Buddhism in Myanmar – A Short History — Roger Bischoff. 

This book traces the earliest contact with Buddhism in Mayanmar (Burma); the Mon and Pyu Kingdoms. Theravada Buddhism comes to Pagan. Pagan: its flowering and decline. The Shan rule. The Mayanmar build an Empire. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

PDFPDF Doc. (431 KB) Buddhism in Thailand — Karuna Kusalasaya. 

This is a history of Buddhism in Thailand – the Land of Yellow Robes. Its past and present. The Bhikkhu Sangha or the Order of monks: the two Sects or Nikayas. Wats (Temples) and Monks. The Laity. Buddhist organisations and the revival of Buddhism in Thailand.

PDFPDF Doc. (1,499 KB) Buddhism in Thailand — Published by The World Buddhist University.

This work presents facts and figures about the current condition of Buddhism in Thailand, historical background sketches of the establishment and growth of the Buddhist community in Thailand and information on Buddhist education in Thailand. (9-10 December, 2002)

PDFPDF Doc. (1,581 KB) King Asoka and Buddhism — Anuradha Seneviratna.

King Asoka, the third monarch of the Mauryan dynasty in the third century B.C., was the first ruler of a unified India and one of the greatest political figures of all time. After he embraced the teachings of the Buddha, he transformed his polity from one of military conquest to one of Dharmavijaya — victory by righteousness and truth. By providing royal patronage for the propagation of Buddhism both within and beyond his empire, he helped promote the metamorphosis of Buddhism into a world religion that spread peacefully across the face of Asia. This collection of essays by leading Indological scholars draws upon both the inscriptions and the literary traditions to explore the relationship between King Asoka and the religion he embraced. In highlighting the ways in which Asoka tapped the ethical and spiritual potentials of rulership.

PDFPDF Doc. (2,671 KB) Biographies of Sachen Kunga Nyingpo & H.H. The 41st Sakya Trizin

This book on the biographies of the Great Sachen Kunga Nyingpo and the current lineage holder of the Sakya sect in Tibetan Buddhism, His Holiness the 41st Sakya Trizin, has been compiled by Ratna Vajra Sakya, Dolma Lhama and Lama Jampa Losel. It includes photographic material of the His Holiness Sakya Trizin.

PDFPDF Doc. (1,579 KB) Charisma in Buddhism — Ven. Piyasilo.

A sociological and doctrinal study of charisma, this book discusses three past Buddhist workers — Father Sumangalo, Ananda Mangala Maha nayaka Thera, Dr. Wong Phui Weng — and a living master, the charismatic Ajahn Yantra Amaro of Thailand. Among other topics discussed are: • Types of charisma • Genius, leadership and charisma • The Buddha as a charismatic leader • The Sangha and the routinization of charisma
• Exploiting charisma • The disadvantages of charisma • Buddhist Suttas relating to charisma [being a preprint of Buddhism, Society and History: towards a postmodern perspective]

PDFPDF Doc. (2,131 KB) Honour Thy Fathers — Terry Shine. (updated)

This book is intended primarily as a tribute to the late Venerable Kapilavaddho Bhikkhu (William August Purfurst, known later as Richard Randall) for whom the English Sangha Trust was formed. He stands out as a man who started and developed the founding of the first English Theravada Sangha in the Western world. For the sake of context it includes a very brief history of the development of Theravada Buddhism in the UK. Only the major steps of this development have been recorded here, though many other groups have contributed to the spreading of Buddhism in the UK.

PDFPDF Doc. (4,607 KB) Acariya Mun Bhuridatta – A Spiritual Biography — with Photographs.

A Spiritual Biography by Acariya Maha Boowa Nanasampanno. Translated from the Thai by Bhikkhu Dick Sãlaratano. Ãcariya Mun Bhýridatta Thera was a vipassanã meditation master of the highest caliber of this present age. He taught the profound nature of Dhamma with such authority and persuasion that he left no doubts among his students about the exalted level of his spiritual attainment. His devoted followers consist of numerous monks and laity from virtually every region of Thailand. His story is truly a magnificent one throughout: from his early years in lay life through his long endeavor as a Buddhist monk to the day he finally passed away.

PDFPDF Doc. (607 KB) Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms — Fa-Hien.

Fa-Hien was a Chinese monk of the Eastern dynasty (4th-5th Century). In 399 he left China for India, finally arriving there after six years of hard travel. After studying Sanskrit and obtaining many Sanskrit texts of the Tripitaka (Buddhist canon), he returned to China by sea in 414. This text is an Account by Fa-Hien of his travels in India and Ceylon (A.D. 399-414) in Search of the Buddhist Books of Discipline. Translated and annotated with a Corean recension of the Chinese text by James Legge.

PDFPDF Doc. (1,764 KB) Text Only The Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism — Min Bahadur Shakya.

Nepal has a time-honoured tradition of art and culture embedded with Buddhism. In fact, the artistic tradition of Nepalese people is instrumental in elevating the status of Nepal in the world. In the past Nepalese artists produced many excellent images and were sent to Tibet, China, Japan and Mongolia. The purpose of this monograph is to provide some facts, materials and information on Buddhist Iconography gathered through extensive study of canonical texts relating to Vajrayana Buddhism prevailing in Nepal and some from Tibet albeit in a humble way. The readers are specifically sculptors, artists, painters and students of Buddhism interested in Buddhist Iconography and the general public. This monograph describes important deities and images especially relevant in Nepalese context along with their functions, utility, virtues and wisdom in the path to enlightenment.

PDFPDF Doc. (5,520 KB) The Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism — Min Bahadur Shakya.

The illustrated version of “The Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism”.

PDFPDF Doc. (3,584 KB) Buddhist Arts in Thailand — Ms Charuwan Chareonla.

This is a study of the development of Art and Architecture in Thailand with Buddhism. The Culture of Thailand has two important sources of origin — indigenous and foreign. The indigenous source comes directly from the ideas and inspiration of the people while the foreign sources came through its cultural contact with other great civilized nations such as India and China. In the field of art, it mainly deals with religions such as Buddhism and the cultural and artistic relationship with India, and other countries. Thai art served religion, which formed the national ideal and conception of life.

PDFPDF Doc. (9,976 KB) Thai-Cambodian Culture – Relationship through Arts — Ms Charuwan Chareonla.

Thailand and Cambodia are very close neighbours with common borders and cultural relations. The Thai people received and adopted some arts and culture from ancient Cambodia. The pre-Thai scripts and spoken words were adopted from Khmer native language. The development of Cambodian arts can be seen in the Thai art of the Lopburi period (11th to 15th century A.D.) It was occupied by the Khmers and as such the art of this period is known locally as Khmer art which deals with Mahayana elements, as in the Sri-Vijaya school of art. This school of Buddhist art marks the last stage of the growth of Buddhist art in Thailand before the rise of the Thai people to power in the land which is now called Thailand.

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