Remembering Bamiyan

Remembering Bamiyan

Added over 6 years ago

Early in 2001 Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader of Afghanistan's Taliban movement, ordered the destruction of all non-Islamic shrines and statues in the shattered land over which he presided.  And so the wanton destruction of the two standing Buddhas of Bamiyan was brought about, amongst the oldest and greatest relics of Buddhist antiquity.  Article by Dr. Andrew Forbes.  

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Thangka

Thangka

Added over 6 years ago

A thangka is a classical form of Nepalese and Tibetan scroll painting, depicting important Buddhist motifs and images. Popular since medieval times, thangka paintings are usually very intricate, with images inter-woven in a stylised geometric series of overlapping grids, and fulfil many important functions to the practicing Buddhist.

Pictured is a thangka painting of a Kalachakra (time wheel), painted in Sera Monastery, Tibet. Private collection. Photo courtesy of Kosi Gramatikoff, 2005.

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Saraswati - Hindu Goddess of Knowledge, Music and the Arts

Saraswati - Hindu Goddess of Knowledge, Music and the Arts

Added over 6 years ago

Saraswati is the beloved Hindu goddess of knowledge, music and the arts.  Originating as a river goddess of the ancient Harappan Civilization, she transcended her earthly origins to become the very embodiment of culture and civilization.

Pictured here is an 18th Century Thangka from the Khan Region of Eastern Tibet depicting Saraswati.  Mineral pigments and gold on cloth.  From the Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Tārā - A Beautiful Goddess for a Not-So-Beautiful World

Tārā - A Beautiful Goddess for a Not-So-Beautiful World

Added over 7 years ago

Tārā is an important goddess or bodhisattva in both the Buddhist and Hindu faiths, representing compassion, empathy and the resolution of enlightened action.  Almost unique amongst the male-dominated plethora of Buddhist deities, Tārā has chosen to maintain female form, and thus holds a special relevance to women in the western world and 21st century feminists alike...

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China to Rebuild Quake-Damaged Monasteries In Tibet

China to Rebuild Quake-Damaged Monasteries In Tibet

Added over 7 years ago

The Chinese government has started a multi-million-dollar project to restore 87 monasteries damaged in a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that shook Yushu, Qinghai, in Tibet on April 14.  And while the international press reported on the event and loss of life as it happened, the aftermath of the earthquake and its implications for the Tibetan people and their culture have largely been ignored...

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Singing Bowls

Singing Bowls

Added over 7 years ago

Singing bowls have become very popular in the West in recent years - a combination of our fascination with Eastern spirituality and a love of alternative medicine therapies.  But what makes a singing bowl sing and can it really aid your health and well-being?

Pictured is a hand-beaten bronze singing bowl at Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto, Japan.  Picture courtesy of MichaelMaggs

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - The Kartika

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - The Kartika

Added over 7 years ago

The latest entry in our ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities...Find them all summarised here...

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - The Meaning of Om

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - The Meaning of Om

Added over 7 years ago

The latest entry in our ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities.  Find them all summarised here...

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Swastika

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Swastika

Added over 8 years ago

The latest entry in our ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities...you can find the entire Compendium here in the Articles section.

Pictured here is the left-facing swastika set into a Roman mosaic, 2nd century A.D., Tunisia.  The Romans considered the swastika to be a symbol of perpetual motion as well as a symbol of luck.

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Mandala

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Mandala

Added over 8 years ago

The latest entry in Kashgar's ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities...you can find the entire Compendium here in the Articles section.

Pictured is a simple but striking mandala made of sterling silver and worn as a pendant around the neck.  Mandalas can be constructed from many different materials including sand, stone or precious metals; set into buildings as architectural motifs or incorporated as paintings into artwork, and it is the latter that are usually the most complex and breathtaking in design...

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Bell, Viswa Vajra, Eight Auspicious Symbols, Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra and the Prayer Wheel

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Bell, Viswa Vajra, Eight Auspicious Symbols, Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra and the Prayer Wheel

Added over 8 years ago

The second entry in Kashgar's ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities...please see the entire Compendium in the Articles section

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Gau, the Phurpa and the Vajra

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism - the Gau, the Phurpa and the Vajra

Added over 8 years ago

The first entry in Kashgar's ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects and deities...please see the entire Compendium in the Articles section

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Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism

Ritual Objects of Buddhism and Hinduism

Added over 8 years ago

An ongoing compendium of eastern Asian ritual objects, symbols and principals: primarily those of the Buddhist and Hindu faiths but also encompassing aspects of some of the lesser known religions of Asia, for example Jainism and Sikhism.  This compendium is updated regularly with new entries and information.

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The Hindu God Ganesh - Who is this Elephant Headed Deity Anyway?

The Hindu God Ganesh - Who is this Elephant Headed Deity Anyway?

Added over 9 years ago

Ganesh is one of the best known and loved deities in the Hindu pantheon of gods, and indeed is the most recognized of the Hindu gods outside of India. But who is this elephant headed fellow, and why is he so popular?

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Nepal

Nepal

Added over 9 years ago

Us riding an elephant in royal Chitwan National Park

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