Buddhism in Central Asia

Front Cover
Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1987 - Religion - 352 pages

Buddhism in Central Asia is a saga of peaceful pursuit by Buddhist scholars from Kashmir and Kabul to propagate the message of the Buddha. This vast region between the Tien-Shan and the Kunlun ranges was the centre of activities of these Buddhist savants. Here people of different races and professions, speaking many languages, were finally blended into a cosmopolitan culture. This created an intellectual climate of high order. In this context, the famous silk trade route was helpful in adding to the material prosperity of the people in this region. The present study, therefore, is not one of Buddhism in isolation. It equally provides an account of the political forces confronting each other during the course of history of this region for well over a thousand years. For centuries the drifting desert sand of Central Asia enveloped this civilization and the religion connected with it. The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century explorers and archaeologists successfully uncovered it at different centres along the old Silk Route. This has been helpful for a comprehensive study of Buddhism with its literature and art. The finds of hundreds of inscriptions have added to the cultural dimensions of the study.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
EARLY HISTORY OF CENTRAL ASIA
30
317
32
BUDDHISM AND BUDDHIST SAVANTS
86
Buddhism and the Southern States
104
Buddhism and Buddhist Scholars in the Northern States 114
114
Later Buddhist Savants
125
Manichaeism Nestorian Christianity and Buddhism
136
Buddha with Six Monks
Bodhisattva Seated on a Throne with a Devotee
Two Girl Worshippers
Hariti
Bust of Buddha
Worshipper or Indra
The Trimurti Divinity with a Small Seated Buddha
Cowherd Listening to the Sermon

Tibetan Buddhism
147
Buddhism in Mongolia and Tibet
157
LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
174
MATERIAL CULTURE
225
THE ART OF CENTRAL ASIA
255
THE SUMMINGUP
317
BOOKS
339
PAPERS 339
341
INDEX
347
PLATES after p 352
352
Head of Mahākaśyapa
Group of Swimmers
Goddess and Celestial Musicians
Buddha and Praying Monk
Worshipping Bodhisattva
Buddha under a Canopy
An Uighurian Prince
Bodhisattva
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