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The Origin of the Buddha Image

Title:The Origin of the Buddha Image
Author:Krishan, Y.
Enumeration:Vol. 15 Issue no. 2; March 1962, p. 15-16
Abstract:The aniconic representations of the Buddha in Bharhut and Sanchi were contemporaneous with the Buddha's human representation in Gandhara; therefore, the absence of Buddha in his corporal form in the former was deliberate. After analysing the possible reasons for this absence of the Buddha image in Bharhut, Sanchi, and the early phase of Amaravati, the writer concludes that this may not be ascribed to the beliefs of either the Theravadins -- who were against the iconic representation of the Buddha --; or the Mahasanghikas -- who regarded the Buddha as transcendental. Rather, it is best explained by the pseudo-unanthropomorphic character of early Buddha art, and the reluctance of the authors of Bharhut, Sanchi, and early Amaravati art to radically break away from the contemporary vedic tradition of impersonal nature worship.

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