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The Art of India

The Art of India

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The Art of India

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  1. The Art of India Chapter 10.1

  2. The Art of India • For centuries Hinduism and Buddhism have influenced all aspects of Indian life. • Both have their own unique style of artwork but sometimes they blend together, resulting in artworks that are both Hindu and Buddhist in style.

  3. The Indus Valley Civilization • The modern nations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh trace their cultural beginnings to the early Indian civilizations. • Historians now recognize that an ancient civilization once flourished on the banks of the Indus River in what is now northwest India.

  4. The Harappans • The Harappans or the people of the Indus River Valley, gradually developed a way of life as far advanced as that of Egypt. • They used bronze and copper technology and erected multistoried buildings made of fired bricks along streets as wide as 40 feet. • Also developed at efficient drainage system and developed a written language based on pictograms, or picture symbols. • Most Harappans raised grain and vegetables but others made livings by trading pottery, bronze and stone figures, and cotton

  5. Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro • Harappa = Discovered in 1856 • Mohenjo-Daro = Discovered in 1922 • Excavation reveal that about 4,500 years ago a civilization rose along the 400 mile route separating the two cities. • More than 70 cities, towns, and villages have been discovered; believed to be part of an organized central government. Mohenjo – Daro, India c.2500BC

  6. Harappan Art • Many Harappan clay works have been found, most of which were apparently made for trading services. • Only a few bronze and stone sculptures from Mohenjo-Daro have survived to the present day. • Artworks found hint at a fully developed artistic style and provide insight on religious beliefs of the mysterious civilization. • Artworks indicate they worshipped a great many spirits who, they believed, were found in water, trees, animals, and humans.

  7. Decline of Harappan Civilization • By about 2000 B.C. the Harappan civilization began to decline, and by 1500BC it vanished completely. • Most historians believe that invaders from the northwest, known as the Aryans, were largely responsible for bringing and end to the Indus Valley civilization

  8. The Ganges Civilization and the Rise of the Hindu Religion • The Aryans controlled India during the thousand year period commonly known as the Ganges civilization. • They were warrior–sheppards that relied on their cattle and sheep to live. • There is no evidence that suggests the Aryans were as well organized as the Harappans were. • They had no central government and were loosely organized in to tribes. • Over time the beliefs of the Harappans and the Aryan religion blended together to create the national religion of India, known as Hinduism.

  9. Hinduism • Was not founded on the teachings of a single person • Developed over a period of time from a blend of several different beliefs and practices. • Hindu’s believe there are 3 primary processes in life and in the universe: • Creation • Preservation • Destruction • The 3 main Hindu gods reflect this belief. They are: • The Creator = Brahama • The Preserver = Vishnu • The Destroyer = Shiva

  10. Hindu Gods

  11. Hinduism • In addition to these great gods, Hindus recognize and worship a multitude of other gods that include good and evil spirits, heavenly bodies like the sun, and birds and other animals • To a devout Hindu, there is no distinction between humans and animals. • Both have souls, or spirits, that pass from one to the other through reincarnation, or birth.

  12. Hinduism & Reincarnation • Reincarnation is a purification process in which the soul lives in many bodies over many lifetimes. • To move to a higher, purer state, a person must follow a ser of rules governing moral conduct. • The ultimate hope of the Hindu is escape the cycle of reincarnation. When that happens, the soul becomes one with Brahma, the great soul or Force of the World. • A Buddhist

  13. The Birth of Buddhism • By 500BC northern India was little more than an on again, off again battlefield for a number of feuding kingdoms. • During this trouble period, another important religion – Buddhism- emerged. • The founder of this religion was a prince, Siddhartha Gautama, whose holiness and love for all creatures earned him widespread fame throughout India. • In time he was called the Buddha, which means “the enlightened one.”

  14. The Beliefs of Buddhism • Buddha did not claim to be of divine origin, nor did he claim to receive inspiration from the gods. • He practiced meditation, the act of focusing thoughts on a single object or idea. • He did not pray to a higher being. • After his death in 483 B.C., temples were built in his honor. • His beliefs spread throughout Asia.

  15. Buddhism • Fundamental to Buddhist belief is reincarnation. • Like Hinduism, Buddhism holds that after death, a soul returns to life in another form. • The two religions differ on the rules that one must follow to complete the cycle of reincarnation successfully. • Buddhist believe that when completion is achieved, the spirit experiences nirvana, a blissful state free of all desires.

  16. Buddhist Architecture • The importance attached to meditation moved many of Buddha’s followers to withdraw from society and live in monasteries, viharas. • At first these monasteries were simple wooden structures or natural caves. • Later more elaborate chambers and meeting halls were carved out of the rock in hillsides and cliffs. Vihara at Paharpu

  17. Lomas Rishi Cave • One of these chambers was the Lomas Rishi Cave in northeastern India. • An early Buddhist Temple • The exterior of the cave is carved to look like the wooden constructions of that time. • This practice continued in monasteries for a thousand years.

  18. The Great Stupa • Stupa – a small round burial shrine erected over a grave site to hold relics of the Buddha. • The Great Stupa in Sanchi, India is the most impressive. • Shrines such as these offered opportunities for the faithful to engage in private meditation, an important element in the Buddhist religion.

  19. The Great Stupa • Showed devotion by walking the pathway around the base of the dome. Symbolized the the path of life that circled the world. • While slowly walking they contemplated the holy relic within the shrine, believers were transported from the real world and its distractions to the comfort of the spiritual world. • In this way they approached the enlightened state sought as a means of moving ever closer to nirvana.

  20. Symbolism in Buddhist Art • The complex carvings and sculptures that adorned the shrines were intended to remind worshipers of Buddha’s teaching and aid them in meditation. • The figure of Buddha never appears in the shrines. • His presence is implied by such symbols as an empty throne, a tree under which he meditated, and his footprints. • A person who had reached nirvana could not be represented by any type of illustration, so symbols were used to inspire meditation and teachings. • The wheel is a reoccurring symbol that stands for the circle of life, maturity, and death associated with each reincarnation, all leading to nirvana

  21. Chaitya Hall at Karli • The Stupa at Sanchi is recognized as the greatest of the early Buddhist shrines, where as the cave at Karli is thought to be the finest of cave temples. • An elaborate exterior was carved to look exactly like a wooden structure. • Inside a hall nearly 45 ft. high and 125 ft. along was carved in to the stone cliff.

  22. Chaitya Hall at Karli • A large window above the main entrance allows light in to the space. • Buddhists would meditate while walking the pathway created by the columns around the stupa at the far end. • Walking toward the sunlit stupa worshippers would experience the sensation of moving away from earthly troubles and closer and closer to enlightenment.

  23. Buddhist Sculpture • Early Buddhist sculptures depict various events in the life of the Buddha. • This artwork found in a stupa shows the Buddha being visited by the king. • Buddha is only represented by a symbol, in this case the wheel placed on an empty throne. • The wheel symbolizes the circle of life, maturity, and death associated with each reincarnation, all leading to Nirvana. • After a number of reforms in Buddhist religion, as a consequence artists began representing Buddha in human form.

  24. The Revival of Hinduism • Although Buddhism was for many centuries the leading religion in India, Hinduism was never completely forgotten. • Hinduism experienced a revival around fifth century AD. • This revival may have been due to the fact that Hinduism offered more varied avenues to spiritual perfection.

  25. Vishnu Temple in Deogarh • Like all Hindu temples, this building was never intended to hold a large number of people. • Primary purpose was to serve as a residence for the God Vishnu. • The sanctuary was lined with thick walls and heavy ceiling that protected a statue or relic. • Meant to be appreciated from the outside.

  26. Symbolism in Hindu Sculpture • The multiple arms serve a dual purpose. They not only emphasize the god’s graceful movements but also permit him to hold several symbolic objects. • In his hand he grasps a drum symbolizing creation • In other hand he holds a flame which symbolizes destruction • He raises a hand to protect the faithful • One hand points to his upraised left foot which symbolizes escape from ignorance represented by the figure beneath his right foot. • Performing a dance that symbolizes the destruction of the universe, which is then reborn The Hindu God, Shiva Nataraja

  27. Quiz Review & Vocab • Meditation –the act of focusing thoughts on a single object or idea. • Stupa -a small round burial shrine erected over a grave site to hold relics of the Buddha.