How do the philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism impact the art of India?
Indian’s two greatest religions arose from a mix of Dravidian and Aryan cultural practices. Hinduism and Buddhism are diverse and contrasting religions. Hinduism incorporates practices of the Aryan who believed in pantheon of gods indicating immense forces of nature. This is evidenced in the Vedas scriptural writings, which comprises of hymns and rituals from conception until one dies. Buddhism meant to counter Hinduism and was founded I 6th century B.C.E by Siddhartha Gautama and disregards panoply of gods as in Hinduism. Both religions’ philosophies are attributed to the diverse culture of India and most importantly, in artistic and literary practices. For instance, the initial Indian literature has four Vedas initially transmitted, orally through generations until their recordings by the Aryans. Vedas was written in Sanskrit language mostly utilized as a literary and bureaucratic language in some places in India. However, Sanskrit declined steadily as a spoken language and was substituted by Prakrit a simpler language in Northern India. Early writings could have been done on palm leaves bound together to form a book and involved Ramayana and Mahabharata, Indian’s vast historical epics mostly rehearsed in religious ceremonies and most importantly, depicts marital pursuits of Aryan leaders. Mahabharata has moral guidelines and traditions of Hindu gods while Ramayana emphasize on pursuits of Rama, an ideal Aryan leader who depict the importance moral uprightness, role of a woman, enthralling adventure as well as poetic expressions towards nature.
In India, such an escapade is popular in TV shows which are highly regarded by all Indians.
Moreover, Hinduism and Buddhism have influenced the architecture and sculptural depictions in India. After Buddhism was nationally recognized as a religion, the buildings in India were modified from wood into use of stones. Through Emperor Ashoka, artisan’s especially stone carvers came to India, began searching for jobs and were used by emperor Ashoka to extend Buddhist ideologies in India. As a result, religious structures including ‘The pillar, the stupa, and the rock chamber’ were incorporated in architectural designs. Ashoka required that stone columns to be put up by roadside to honor the actions of Buddha’s life and depict pilgrim course to holy sites. For instance, “Weighing up to 50 tons each and rising as high as 32 feet, these polished sandstone pillars were topped with a carved capital, usually depicting lions uttering the Buddha’s message. Ten remain standing today” (Duiker & Spielvogel, 2011). Ashoka commanded eighty four thousand stupas to be constructed as a burial mound in India to safeguard Buddha’s relic and endorse Buddha’s message and these were later used for worship. Rock chamber were rectangular had rooms which housed monks and religious ceremonies. These religious architecture and sculptural pieces of art were decorated with animals, human and statutes deities to signify nature’s diversity. They were marked by sensuousness and excitement in expressing fulfillment, delights and salvation for all Indians.
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