MPhil in Buddhist Studies

Gandhara art , style of Buddhist visual art that developed in what is now northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan between the 1st century bce and the 7th century ce. The style, of Greco-Roman origin, seems to have flourished largely during the Kushan dynasty and was contemporaneous with an important but dissimilar school of Kushan art at Mathura Uttar Pradesh, India. The Gandhara region had long been a crossroads of cultural influences. During the reign of the Indian emperor Ashoka 3rd century bce , the region became the scene of intensive Buddhist missionary activity. And in the 1st century ce , rulers of the Kushan empire, which included Gandhara, maintained contacts with Rome. In its interpretation of Buddhist legends , the Gandhara school incorporated many motifs and techniques from Classical Roman art, including vine scrolls, cherubs bearing garlands, tritons, and centaurs. The basic iconography, however, remained Indian.

Collecting guide: Buddhist sculpture

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From its earliest days, Buddhism has been closely intertwined with the practice of medicine, both being concerned in their own way in the alleviation and prevention of human suffering. However, while the connection between Buddhism and healthcare has long been noted, there is scarce literature on how Buddhist philosophy can guide health-care practitioners in their professional as well as personal lives. In the sutras, we find analogies that describe the Buddha as a doctor, knowledge of Dharma as the treatment, and all lay people as patients.

The occurrence of disease is closely related to one’s mental, physical and spiritual health, society, culture, and environment. It is not enough to approach medicine in a manner that simply eradicates symptoms; the psychosocial aspects of disease and its mind based causes and remedies must be a primary consideration. Holistic care involves harmonization of all these elements, and the Buddhist philosophy offers great insight for the physician.

The Buddhist medical literature lays out moral guidelines and ethics for a health-care practitioner and this has corollaries in the principles of medical ethics: nonmaleficence, benevolence, justice, and autonomy. There is emphasis on loving-kindness, compassion, empathy, and equanimity as key attributes of an ideal physician. The practice of medicine is a stressful profession with physician burnout an often neglected problem.

Mindfulness meditation, as developed in Buddhism, can help health-care professionals cope up with the stress and develop the essential attributes to improve patient care and self-care. This article outlines the spiritual and ethical values which underlie Buddhist concern for the sick and gives an overview of lessons which health-care practitioners can imbibe from Buddhism.

In Buddhist tradition, the first and primordial healer was the Buddha himself.

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This two-year degree aims to give you a comprehensive training in one of the main Buddhist canonical languages, along with in-depth explorations of Buddhist history, philosophy, and literature. You will choose to specialise in Sanskrit, Classical Tibetan, or Classical Chinese, and may select another of these languages as an optional subject. This degree can be a standalone qualification or preparation for doctoral research.

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He studied at St. He received his B. His doctoral thesis was entitled Contemporary Sinhalese Buddhism in its relation to the Pali canon. He received his M. Gombrich’s first major contribution in the field of Buddhist Studies was an anthropological study of contemporary Sinhalese Buddhism entitled Precept and Practice: Traditional Buddhism in the Rural Highlands of Ceylon This study emphasised the compatibility between the normative Buddhism advocated in canonical texts and the contemporary religious practices of Sinhalese Buddhists.

Contemporary Sinhalese religious practices often include such elements as sorcery and the worship of yakshas and Hindu gods; previous scholars of Buddhist Studies had interpreted these practices as contradictory to or corruptions of the orthodox Buddhism of the Pali Canon. Gombrich argues in Precept and Practice that, rather than being the mark of later corruptions of Theravada Buddhism, these practices can be traced to early periods in Buddhist history.

Furthermore, since the worship of deities and rituals involving sorcery are never explicitly forbidden to lay people in the Pali Canon, Gombrich argues against viewing such practices as contradictory to orthodox Buddhism. It is also in Precept and Practice that Gombrich lays out his distinction between Buddhism at the cognitive level and Buddhism at the affective level. At the cognitive level, Sinhalese Buddhists will attest to believing in such normative doctrines as anatta , while, at the same time, their actions indicate a supposed affective acceptance of, for example, a transmigrating soul.

Day of Vesak

Celebrations include:. Temples are adorned with decorations and flowers on Vesak Day. Some community groups organize acts of charity, like releasing caged animals or donating food and gifts to the poor.

The Buddhist Society is a UK registered charity with the stated aim to: [ ] publish and make The Society was created in in London as an offshoot of a Theosophical Lodge by Christmas The Buddhist Society was one of the first Buddhist organisations outside Asia and remains one of the oldest in Europe to date.

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Heruka KMC runs a full programme of meditation activities for beginners and experienced meditators. Each week, the Centre runs several online sessions including weekday meditation classes. Each session covers a specific topic which is relevant to our modern lives, helps solve our daily problems and brings lasting peace and happiness.

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Specialist Tristan Bruck advises on how to identify valuable pieces in different materials and styles from across Asia. Anthropomorphic images of the Buddha, the enlightened being who lived and taught in India sometime between the 6th and 5th centuries B. Over the following centuries, sculptural representation of Buddha and the large pantheon of Buddhist deities became an important artistic tradition in nearly every culture between Afghanistan and Japan. Today, a wide variety of examples remain from various civilizations, some more valuable than others.

Mindfulness meditation, as developed in Buddhism, can help health-care To date, Buddhist monastic communities conduct their business and resolve disagreements by a majority vote. Similarly London: Darton, Longman and Todd;

The Theosophical Society was founded by Madame H. Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in New York in In , the headquarters of the Society were established in Adyar, near Madras now Chennai in India. Theosophy was a philosophy combining mysticism and spiritualism with heavy influences from Buddhist and Hindu thought with metaphysics. The Society was fashioned as a ‘brotherhood’ promoting unity.

The Society was also concerned with preparing the world for the coming of the ‘World Teacher’ when he arrived on Earth.

Dr Andrew Skilton

The earliest followers of the historical Buddha c. The exception was during the monsoon season when monks were obliged to gather together in a single place as a community sangha. The question of when the transition from peripatetic living to sedentary monasticism took place is still debated, largely by textual historians, some of whom have drawn on published archaeological evidence to date passages in Buddhist texts which are seen as indicators of what is often referred to as the ‘domestication’ of Buddhism.

The understanding of such issues has been hampered by a lack of integration between textual and archaeological frameworks of analysis. On the one hand, nineteenth century, and largely site-based archaeological reports are the usual points of reference, and on the other, it takes time for new discoveries in the field to be absorbed into broader historical scholarship. The project builds on earlier findings from the Sanchi Survey Project regarding the history and chronology of monastery architecture, and seeks to build up a comparative framework based on material further to the west and south.

Sold for £17, on 8 November at Christie’s in London Bruck explains that Chinese works dating from the Tang dynasty or earlier.

If so, you might feel a jolt of recognition upon seeing a Buddhist thangka painting by the Nepalese Master Buddha Lama. Although Buddhist principles like mindfulness have filtered into mainstream Western culture, other key tenets might not be as well-known. According to Buddhist cosmology, life is suffering experienced within the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. His facial hair is on fire and he wears a crown of skulls.

The latter two come out of the mouth of the pig: ignorance is the primary obstacle to achieving anything, take note. The ferris wheel of samsara rebirth rotates on this hub. The slice of pie at the top represents the realm of the gods a gilded cage ; the one on the bottom is hell. People who are ruled by their cravings are reborn as hungry ghosts. Rebirth in the human realm is fortunate because it offers greater opportunities to escape samsara and achieve nirvana — the extinguishing of desire.

The more materialistic you are, the more ruled by passions, the more unpleasant your realm of existence. Ignorance is absolutely no excuse. A gilded wooden statue, thought to have been commissioned by the last king of Burma, shows the Buddha in a healing pose Credit: Trustees of the British Museum. At the entrance, a 19th-Century gilded Buddha holds a myrobalan, a fruit that is a metaphorical cure for the three poisons.

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