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Buddhist Art Dharmachakra – Eight-Spoke Wheel Purity Mauryan Art • The rule of the Mauryan empire marked a period of promotion in the Field of art and architecture. They included, Stupas:• They are solid domes built of bricks and stones . They are said to contain the relics of Buddha. The word "pagoda" derives from the Sanskrit word bhagavat (cf. the book Bhagavatgita) "holy". Very Old Stupa in Modern Pakistan Pagoda in Burma Chinese Pagoda Bhumisparsa Mudra Touching the earth as Gautama did, to invoke the earth as witness to the truth of his words. Dharmachakra Mudra The gesture of teaching usually interpreted as turning the Wheel of Law. The hands are held level with the heart, the thumbs and index fingers form circles Jnana Mudra Teaching. The hand is held at chest level and the thumb and index finger again form the Wheel of Law. Varada Mudra Fulfillment of all wishes; the gesture of charity. Vitarka Mudra Intellectual argument, discussion. The circle formed by the thumb and index finger is the sign of the Wheel of Law. Dhyana Mudra The gesture of absolute balance, of meditation. The hands are relaxed in the lap, and the tips of the thumbs and fingers touch each other. When depicted with a begging bowl this is a sign of the head of an order. Abhaya Mudra Gesture of reassurance, blessing, and protection. "Do not fear." The Fasting Buddha from modern day Afghanistan. Ashoka (Asoka) Ashoka was no revolutionary. Rather than India changing politically, Buddhism was changing. In the years to come, Ashoka mixed his Buddhism with material concerns that served the Buddha's original desire to see suffering among people mitigated: Ashoka had wells dug, irrigation canals and roads constructed. He had rest houses built along roads, hospitals built, public gardens planted and medicinal herbs grown. But Ashoka maintained his army, and he maintained the secret police and network of spies that he had inherited as a part of his extensive and powerful bureaucracy. He kept his hold over Kalinga, and he did not allow the thousands of people abducted from Kalinga to return there. He announced his intention to "look kindly" upon all his subjects, as was common among kings, and he offered the people of Kalinga a victor's conciliation, erecting a monument in Kalinga which read: All men are my children, and I, the king, forgive what can be forgiven. Range of Buddhist missionary work under Ashoka. Buddhist statue from the Mauryan period. Note the relief on the base of the pedestal. The Buddha’s first sermon was preached in “Deer Park” in Varanasi – hence the deer in the scene. Siddhartha’s first five disciples are shown giving reverence to a wheel – a symbol of the Buddha’s teachings. Buddha’s head done in the Greek style Buddha wearing a Greek toga. Heracles protecting the Buddha Carving of the Buddha on the capital of a Greek Corinthian column.