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Buddhist Heritage of Central Asia

Lokesh Chandra (Author)

This book breaks new ground in the perception of Central Asian history by a comparison of the archaeological evidence with Tibetan and Chinese historiographic sources as well as Sanskrit texts which have rarely been used. It narrates Indian references to Central Asian peoples in the Rigveda, Brahmanas, Puranas, Palisuttas and Buddhist Sanskrit works. It was not merely the Silk Route, but primarily the Sutra Route. Sanskrit was the mind of this Route. It lived as long as Buddhism flourished. Jade and silk were the main trading items: the influence of sericulture on iconography has been discussed. Special relations of Khotan and Kashmir, their impact on the new technology of silk production and transmission of silk production from Khotan (Serindia of Procopius) to Byzantine clarify the word Serº, serikes>silk. The defence of settled kingdoms threatened by nomadic onslaughts gave rise to military cantonments, and the emergence of guardian deities named in the ancient annals which have provided the correct nomenclature of deities shown on the panels. The heavenly mandate of the only political Sutra, the Sutra of Golden Light, has been brought out for the first time. The primacy of the ‘sons of the soil’ (bhumiputra) in the Sa.nu legend has been explained in its precise political context. Hindu deities, the Rocana of Balawaste to RoshanaDaibutsu of Nara in Japan, Buddhist remains in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other modern countries of western Central Asia provide new breakthroughs. This work resurrects the resonances of culture, defence, sericulture, political doctrine of bhumiputra (alive to this day in Malaysia), painting, philosophy across the “deep sands” and thence to its flowering in the civilizations of China, Korea and Japan.

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About the author

Lokesh Chandra

Prof. Lokesh Chandra is a renowned scholar of Tibetan, Mongolian and Sino-Japanese Buddhism. He has to his credit over 400 works and text editions. Among them are classics like his Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary, Materials for a History of Tibetan Literature, Buddhist Iconography of Tibet, and the present Dictionary of Buddhist Art in about 20 volumes. Prof. Lokesh Chandra was nominated by the President of the Republic of India to the Parliament in 1974-80 and again in 1980-86. He has been a Vice-President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research. Presently he is Director, International Academy of Indian Culture.

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Bibliographic information

Title Buddhist Heritage of Central Asia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 21.12.2020
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173056420, 9788173056420
length x+132p., (24)b/w Illustration., (12)Colour pls., (2)Line Arts., (1)Map., ind., 29cm.