Buddhist Architecture by Le Huu Phuoc

By Le Huu Phuoc

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Extra resources for Buddhist Architecture

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David Snellgrove lucidly summed up the complex Vajrayana philosophy pertaining to the attainment of enlightenment, which radically differs from the rigorous self-discipline of the Theravada and the compassionate selfless sacrifice of the Mahayana {KlimburgSalter and Others 1982: 70}: “The essence of Tantric practice may be described as the visualization of a certain “chosen divinity,” [often identified with a certain mandala] believed to be the very essence of Buddhahood, and the deliberate identification of oneself with this divinity.

It was not until Emperor Asoka’s reign (r. 6], were constructed with full imperial finance. The majority was dedicated to Buddhism as Asoka himself was not only the third and most powerful emperor of the Maurya Dynasty (323-184 BCE) but also the greatest Buddhist monarch ever. Due to his generous patronage of Buddhism, Buddhist arts and architecture flourished throughout India and gradually began to spread throughout Asia and they remained the dominant and influential force in India for more than a millennium.

The rules of Chandragupta, Bindusara, and Asoka also brought their empire into contact with Persia, Near East, and North Africa, which were then under the colonial rules of the Greek kings. Diplomatic emissaries, possibly accompanied with cultural and artistic exchanges, between India and its western neighbors were well-documented by contemporary Indian and Greek historians. Megasthenes, Seleucus’s Greek ambassador to Chandragupta’s court at Pataliputra, described in details in his book ‘Indika’ about Chandragupta’s opulent court life and his vast empire.

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