Documentary on Bodh Gaya

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Dhammabodhi
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Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby Dhammabodhi » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:44 pm

This is a new documentary on Bodh Gaya:

Bodh Gaya: The Seat of Enlightenment

Enjoy!

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SarathW
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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby SarathW » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:01 pm

Thank you for the video.
I did not know that Mahabodhi Temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in around 260 BCE!
Is that true?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:00 pm

SarathW wrote:Thank you for the video.
I did not know that Mahabodhi Temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in around 260 BCE!
Is that true?


Most likely yes, it is true.

It has been reported that King Ashoka built 84,000 edicts, monuments, and stupas honoring his legacy and the Buddha's teachings. If it were not 84,000 it certainly would have been at least a large number. King Ashoka spent one full week just gazing at the Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya. It is also reported that King Ashoka made several pilgrimages to Bodh Gaya. Considering this, we can say with virtual certainty that the original Maha Bodhi Temple must have been built by King Ashoka. The design and placement of the original may be very similar so that we could credit Ashoka with the establishment of the Maha Bodhi Temple at about 250 BCE.

The Bodhi Tree and Bodh Gaya area are home to the place of enlightenment, one of the four most important places to Buddhism, perhaps even the most important. Therefore, if Ashoka made a large number of stupas and monuments, certainly one of them would have been in Bodh Gaya.

The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries; the present one being from around the 5th to 10th century CE and also renovated over the centuries to its current state.

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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby Dhammabodhi » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:17 am

Hi Sarath,

As David says, it is most likely true. However, it is probably NOT the structure which was found by Alexander Cunningham in 1883- the Chinese traveller Fa-Hien's account around 400 A.D does not mention any such large structure. The temple was rebuilt in layers and redesigned by many people who had royal patronage of Buddhist kings- from Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India.

I even read somewhere that there was already a small structure present when King Ashoka visited the place (unfortunately I don't have the reference now)- and he built over it.

The present structure was built by Alexander Cunningham after he discovered the temple in a partially damaged state (part of the upper floors had collapsed to the base); and he redesigned and rebuilt it based on the architecture of several other local temples. In this process an arch-like structure which was present before in a damaged condition, near the entrance of the temple, was removed.

So you can see that the temple has had a long and complicated history. I recommend reading this blog post for a somewhat detailed account of the Mahabodhi temple's history (it also has some fabulous pictures and paintings of the temple from the 19th century, like the one below!)

Image

:anjali:
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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby SarathW » Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:51 am

Thanks.
It is a lengthy account of Bodh Gaya, but no mention of Anagarika Dharmapala who appeared to play a major part in liberating the place from Hindus.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby No_Mind » Sat Mar 04, 2017 3:18 am

SarathW wrote:Thanks.
It is a lengthy account of Bodh Gaya, but no mention of Anagarika Dharmapala who appeared to play a major part in liberating the place from Hindus.


"liberating the place from Hindus" .. you do know that Bodh Gaya is situated in middle of a Hindu majority country and that Hindus are very friendly towards Buddhists. Is that not a rather contentious comment to make on your part?

Just to clarify (since many who visit this forum are not very well informed) it has not been liberated from Hindus and never needed liberation from Hindus .. Bodh Gaya is not a sovereign state or territory in middle of India (as is Vatican in middle of Italy).

If I reply at length I will again be marked as the bad boy of this forum so will keep quiet.

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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby SarathW » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:18 am

Hi No Mind
Sorry if my comments hurt your feelings.
Please take this as a test of your practice. They all just not i, not me and not mine.
By the way I wish to know the your side of the story.
=============
The Maha Bodhi Society at Colombo was founded in 1891 but its offices were soon moved to Calcutta the following year in 1892. One of its primary aims was the restoration to Buddhist control of the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, the chief of the four ancient Buddhist holy sites.[18][19] To accomplish this, Dharmapala initiated a lawsuit against the Brahmin priests who had held control of the site for centuries.[18][19] After a protracted struggle, this was successful only after Indian independence (1947) and sixteen years after Dharmapala's own death (1933), with the partial restoration of the site to the management of the Maha Bodhi Society in 1949. It was then the temple management of Bodh Gaya was entrusted to a committee comprised in equal numbers of Hindus and Buddhists.[18][19]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anagarika_Dharmapala
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby No_Mind » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:11 am

SarathW wrote:Thanks.
It is a lengthy account of Bodh Gaya, but no mention of Anagarika Dharmapala who appeared to play a major part in liberating the place from Hindus.


SarathW wrote:Hi No Mind
Sorry if my comments hurt your feelings.
Please take this as a test of your practice. They all just not i, not me and not mine.
By the way I wish to know the your side of the story.
=============
The Maha Bodhi Society at Colombo was founded in 1891 but its offices were soon moved to Calcutta the following year in 1892. One of its primary aims was the restoration to Buddhist control of the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, the chief of the four ancient Buddhist holy sites.[18][19] To accomplish this, Dharmapala initiated a lawsuit against the Brahmin priests who had held control of the site for centuries.[18][19] After a protracted struggle, this was successful only after Indian independence (1947) and sixteen years after Dharmapala's own death (1933), with the partial restoration of the site to the management of the Maha Bodhi Society in 1949. It was then the temple management of Bodh Gaya was entrusted to a committee comprised in equal numbers of Hindus and Buddhists.[18][19]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anagarika_Dharmapala


Sarath,

"Liberating" a place is usually used in context of war (liberation of Mosul from ISIS, liberation of Kabul from Taleban etc).

The run down temple was occupied by a wandering Hindu monk and his followers in 1590. As result of a lawsuit by Buddhists the control passed to a temple management committee under the Bodh Gaya Temple Act of 1949.

And I agree that Anagarika Dharmapala should be mentioned in the documentary.

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:01 pm

The documentary was pretty good, but too much talk about Buddhism and not enough about Bodh Gaya and Maha Bodhi Temple. It would be nice to see a complete documentary about the history, lots of photos and videos of the temple itself. That blog-website is very good about the history, linked earlier.

Now there are drones which can take videos from up high at all angles. It would be nice to see a drone video production of the Maha Bodhi Temple and the entire complex with the Mucalinda Lake, etc.

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Re: Documentary on Bodh Gaya

Postby alan » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:28 am

Many people say I'm too critical of things. I've heard that before. But I think If someone were to do a parody of a documentary about Buddhism, it might look like this.


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