Buddhism is one of the oldest religions/philosophy in the world. In fact, Buddhism is the fourth largest religion today. We are going to take a look at Ancient Buddhism and show the history, philosophy, aesthetic analysis of artwork in the ancient Buddhism era.
The history of Buddhism dates back to the year 580 BC. The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakya tribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC. When he was twenty-nine years old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. After going through a life of self-denial, discipline and meditation, he abandoned the way of self-mortification and instead sat meditating beneath a bodhi tree.
On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, the enlightened one. The Buddha wandered the plains of northeastern India for 45 years more, teaching the path or Dharma he had realized in that moment. Around him developed a community or Sangha of monks and, later, nuns, drawn from every tribe and caste, devoted to practicing this path. In approximately 486 BC, at the age of 80, the Buddha died. His last words are said to be... “Impermanent are all created things; Strive on with awareness” (Boeree, 2000).
The culture of ancient India originated from the Aryan people of central Asia around 3,000 years ago, known as the Vedic period. During the Vedic period, the Aryans defeated the native Indians, the Dravidians, and enslaved them. They also established a caste system in which the status and occupation of a person were determined by birth.
The four castes were determined as follows:
1. Brahmans (the priests) - the highest caste responsible for religious rituals, prayers, and education. They claimed that they were gods on earth.
2. Kshatriyas (royal families) - warriors to protect and govern the land. Educated by Brahmans, they were constrained to obey Brahman's instructions....