Sarnath

Sarnath is a place located 10 kilometres north-east of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Varuna rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna.

Singhpur, a village approximately one kilometre away from the site, was the birthplace of Shreyansanath, the Eleventh Tirthankara of Jainism. A temple dedicated to him, is an important pilgrimage site.

Also referred to as Isipatana, this city is mentioned by the Buddha as one of the four places of pilgrimage to which his devout followers should visit.[1] It was also the site of the Buddha's Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which was his first teaching after attaining enlightenment, in which he taught the four noble truths and the teachings associated with it.

Sarnath
Historical City
The Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath
The Dhamekh Stupa, Sarnath
Sarnath is located in India
Sarnath
Sarnath
Sarnath is located in Uttar Pradesh
Sarnath
Sarnath
Coordinates: 25°22′52″N 83°01′17″E / 25.3811°N 83.0214°ECoordinates: 25°22′52″N 83°01′17″E / 25.3811°N 83.0214°E
Country India
StateUttar Pradesh
DistrictVaranasi
Languages
 • OfficialHindi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)

Origin of names

Sarnath has been variously known as Mrigadava, Migadāya, Rishipattana and Isipatana throughout its long history. Mrigadava means "deer-park". "Isipatana" is the name used in the Pali Canon, and means the place where holy men (Pali: isi, Sanskrit: rishi) landed.[2]

The legend says that when the Buddha-to-be was born, some devas came down to announce it to 500 rishis. Another explanation for the name is that Isipatana was so called because, sages, on their way through the air (from the Himalayas), alight here or start from here on their aerial flight. Pacceka Buddhas, having spent seven days in contemplation in the Gandhamādana, bathe in the Anotatta Lake and come to the habitations of men through the air, in search of alms. They descend to earth at Isipatana.[3] Sometimes the Pacceka Buddhas come to Isipatana from Nandamūlaka-pabbhāra.[4]

Xuanzang quotes the Nigrodhamiga Jātaka (J.i.145ff) to account for the origin of the Migadāya. According to him the Deer Park was a forest given by the king of Benares of the Jātaka, where deer might wander unmolested. The Migadāya was so-called because deer were allowed to roam about there unmolested.

Sarnath derives from the Sanskrit Sāranganātha,[5] which means "Lord of the Deer", and relates to another old Buddhist story in which the Bodhisattva is a deer and offers his life to a king instead of the doe the latter is planning to kill. The king is so moved that he creates the park as a sanctuary for deer. The park is active in modern times.

History

Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India
Map of Sarnath in relation to other Eight Great Places Buddhist pilgrimage sites and notable nearby cities

Gautama Buddha at Isipatana

Before Gautama (the Buddha-to-be) attained enlightenment, he gave up his austere penances and his friends, the Pañcavaggiya monks.[6] Seven weeks after his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya, Buddha left Uruvela and travelled to Isipatana to rejoin them because, using his spiritual powers, he had seen that his five former companions would be able to understand Dharma quickly. While traveling to Sarnath, Gautama Buddha had no money to pay the ferryman to cross the Ganges, so he crossed it through the air. Later when King Bimbisāra heard of this, he abolished the toll for ascetics. Gautama Buddha found his five former companions and enlightened them with the teachings of the Dharma. At that time, the Sangha, the community of the enlightened ones, was founded. The sermon, Buddha gave to the five monks, was his first sermon, called the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. It was given on the full-moon day of Asalha Puja.[7] Buddha subsequently also spent his first rainy season at Sarnath[8] at the Mulagandhakuti. By then, the Sangha had grown to 60 in number (after Yasa and his friends had become monks), and so Buddha sent them out in all directions to travel alone and teach the Dharma. All 60 monks were Arhats.

Several other incidents connected with the Buddha, besides the preaching of the first sermon, are mentioned as having taken place in Isipatana. It was here when one day, at dawn, Yasa came to the Buddha and became an Arhat.[9] It was at Isipatana, too, that the rule was passed, prohibiting the use of sandals made of talipot leaves.[10] On another occasion when the Buddha was staying at Isipatana, having gone there from Rājagaha, he instituted rules forbidding the use of certain kinds of flesh, including human flesh.[11] Twice, while the Buddha was at Isipatana, Māra visited him but had to go away discomfited.[12]

Gautama Buddha first sermon in Sarnath
Gandhara Greco-Buddhist sculpture of Gautama Buddha delivering his first sermon in the deer park at Sarnath. He preached the Four Noble Truths, the middle path and the Eightfold Path. In the statue, he is seated in Padmasana with his right hand turning the Dharmachakra, resting on a Triratna symbol, flanked on either side by a deer. He is surrounded by five Bhikkhus with shaven heads. In the background, Vajrapani and other attendants, including probably princes, are seen. Statue on display at the Prince of Wales museum.

Besides the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta mentioned above, several other suttas were preached by the Buddha while staying at Isipatana, among them

  • the Anattalakkhana Sutta,
  • the Saccavibhanga Sutta,
  • the Pañca Sutta (S.iii.66f),
  • the Rathakāra or Pacetana Sutta (A.i.110f),
  • the two Pāsa Suttas (S.i.105f),
  • the Samaya Sutta (A.iii.320ff),
  • the Katuviya Sutta (A.i.279f.),
  • a discourse on the Metteyyapañha of the Parāyana (A.iii.399f), and
  • the Dhammadinna Sutta (S.v.406f), preached to the distinguished layman Dhammadinna, who came to see the Buddha.

Some of the most eminent members of the Sangha seem to have resided at Isipatana from time to time; among recorded conversations at Isipatana are several between Sariputta and Mahakotthita,[13] and one between Mahākotthita and Citta-Hatthisariputta.[14] There is also a mention of a discourse in which several monks staying at Isipatana tried to help Channa in his difficulties.[15]

According to the Udapāna Jātaka, there was a very ancient well near Isipatana which, in the Buddha's time, was used by the monks living there.

Isipatana after the Buddha

According to the Mahavamsa, there was a large community of monks at Isipatana in the second century B.C. for, we are told that at the foundation ceremony of the Mahā Thūpa in Anurādhapura, twelve thousand monks were present from Isipatana led by the Elder Dhammasena.[16]

Xuanzang,[17] a Chinese Buddhist monk, who travelled to India in the seventh century, found fifteen hundred monks studying the Hīnayāna at the Isipatana.

In the enclosure of the Sanghārāma was a vihāra about two hundred feet high, strongly built, its roof surmounted by a golden figure of the mango. In the centre of the vihāra was a life-size statue of the Buddha turning the wheel of the Law and to the south-west were the remains of a stone stupa built by King Ashoka. In front of it was a stone pillar to mark the spot where the Buddha preached his first sermon. Nearby was another stupa on the site where the Pañcavaggiyas spent their time in meditation before the Buddha's arrival, and another where five hundred Pacceka Buddhas entered Nibbāna. Close to it was another building where the future Buddha Metteyya received assurance of his becoming a Buddha.

The Divy. (389-94) mentions Ashoka as intimating to Upagupta, his desire to visit the places connected with the Buddha's activities, and to erect stupas there. Thus he visited Lumbinī, Bodhimūla, Isipatana, Migadāya and Kusinagara; this is confirmed by Ashoka's lithic records, e.g. Rock Edict, viii.

Bodhisattava dedicated by Bhikshu Bala at Sarnath dated 123 CE
The Bala Boddhisattva, an important statue for dating Indian art, was dedicated in "the year 3 of Kanishka" (circa 123 CE) and was discovered at Sarnath.

Buddhism flourished in Sarnath because of kings and wealthy merchants based in Varanasi. By the third century Sarnath had become an important center for the arts, which reached its zenith during the Gupta period (4th to 6th centuries CE). In the 7th century by the time Xuanzang visited from China, he found 30 monasteries and 3000 monks living at Sarnath.

Sarnath became a major centre of the Sammatiya school of Buddhism, one of the early Buddhist schools. However, the presence of images of Heruka and Tara indicate that Vajrayana Buddhism was (at a later time) also practiced here. Also, images of Brahminist gods as Shiva and Brahma were found at the site, and there is still a Jain temple (at Chandrapuri) located very close to the Dhamekh Stupa.

At the end of the 12th century Sarnath was sacked by Turkish Muslims, and the site was subsequently plundered for building materials.

Discovery of Isipatana

Isipatana is identified with the modern Sarnath, six miles from Varanasi. Alexander Cunningham[18] found the Migadāya represented by a fine wood, covering an area of about half a mile, extending from the great tomb of Dhamekha on the north to the Chaukundi mound on the south.

Legendary characteristics of Isipatana

According to the Buddhist commentarial scriptures, all the Buddhas preach their first sermon at the Migadāya in Isipatana. It is one of the four avijahitatthānāni (unchanging spots), the others being the bodhi-pallanka, the spot at the gate of Sankassa, where the Buddha first touched the earth on his return from Tāvatimsa, and the site of the bed in the Gandhakuti in Jetavana[19]

In past ages, Isipatana sometimes retained its own name, as it did in the time of Phussa Buddha, Dhammadassī Buddha and Kassapa Buddha. Kassapa was born there. But more often Isipatana was known by different names (for these names see under those of the different Buddhas). Thus in the time of Vipassī Buddha, it was known as Khema-uyyāna. It is the custom for all Buddhas to go through the air to Isipatana to preach their first sermon. Gautama Buddha, however, walked all the way, eighteen leagues, because he knew that by so doing he would meet Upaka, the Ajivaka, to whom he could be of service.[20]

Jainism

Sridigamber Jain Temple, Singhpuri, Sarnath, Varanasi
Shri Digambar Jain Temple, Singhpuri, Sarnath, Varanasi

Sarnath is the birthplace of the 11th Tirthankara of current Tirthankara Shri Shreyansanatha Bhagwan. It is the place where 4 of the 5 kalyanak (auspicious life events) of Shri Shreyansanatha Bhagwan took place.

Shri Digambar Jain Shreyansnath Mandir, Singhpuri, Sarnath

It is the place of 4 kalyanak of Shri Shreyansnath Bhagwan. A huge ashtakod stoop (octagonal pillar), 103 feet in height is still present showing its historical establishment. It is considered to be 2200 years old. Moolnayak of this temple is a blue colored idol of Shri Shreyansnath Bhagwan, 75 cm in height, in Padmāsana. The artistic work of this temple is unmatched.

Current features of Isipatana

Emblem of the Supreme Court of India
Emblem of the Supreme Court of India: Lion Capital with Dharma-chakra

The major excavated ruins are listed below, generally in north-to-south and west-to east order.

Ancient Buddhist monasteries near Dhamekh Stupa Monument Site, Sarnath
Ancient Buddhist monasteries near Dhamekh Stupa Monument Site, Sarnath. The ruins of the original main temple are to the left.
Sarnath capital
Ashoka pillar capital of Sarnath.

Most of the ancient buildings and structures at Sarnath were damaged or destroyed by the Turks. However, amongst the ruins can be distinguished:

  • The Dharma Chakra Jina Vihar built by Kumaradevi, a wife of Gahadavala Govindachandra (c. 1114–1155 CE). An inscription mentions the building of this massive vihara. It mentions that Govindachandra had protected varanasi from the Turushkas. This was the last construction at Sarnath before it was devastated.[21]
  • The Ashoka Pillar erected here, originally surmounted by the "Lion Capital of Ashoka" (presently on display at the Sarnath Museum), was broken during Turk invasions but the base still stands at the original location. The Lion Capital now symbolizes the modern state of India. The Lion Capital served as the base of a large 32-spoke stone dharma-chakra, which was found broken into many pieces.[22] The seal of the Supreme court of India displays the Dharma Chakra as it must have originally appaered.[23]
  • The ruins of the Mulagandhakuti vihara mark the place where the Buddha spent his first rainy season. This was the main temple marked by the presence of the Ashoka Pillar at the front. The famous famous Sarnath Buddha in dharmachakra pravartana mudra was found in the vicinity.
  • The Dharmarajika Stupa is one of the few pre-Ashokan stupas remaining, although only the foundations remain. The rest of the Dharmarajika Stupa was removed to Varanasi to be used as building materials in the 18th century. At that time, relics (bone fragments) in casket, were found in the Dharmarajika Stupa. These relics were subsequently thrown in the Ganges river, but the casket is preserved.
  • The Dhamek Stupa; it is an impressive structure, 128 feet high and 93 feet in diameter.
  • The Chaukhandi Stupa commemorates the spot where the Buddha met his first disciples, dating back to the fifth century or earlier and later enhanced by the addition of an octagonal tower of Islamic origin. In recent years it is undergoing restoration.
  • Digambar Jain Mandir: while the current structire is frim the 19th century, it occupies an ancient spot.
  • The modern Mulagandhakuti Vihara is a temple built in the 1930s by the Mahabodhi Society, with beautiful wall paintings with a replica of the famous Sarnath Buddha in dharmachakra pravartana mudra.[24] Behind it is the Deer Park (where deer are still to be seen).
  • The Sarnath Archeological Museum houses the famous Ashokan lion capital, which miraculously survived its 45-foot drop to the ground (from the top of the Ashokan Pillar), and became the National Emblem of India and national symbol on the Indian flag. The museum also houses a famous and refined Buddha-image of the Buddha in Dharmachakra-posture.
  • There is also a Bodhi tree planted by Anagarika Dharmapala which was grown from a cutting of the Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya.

For Buddhists, Sarnath (or Isipatana) is one of four pilgrimage sites designated by Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Bodh Gaya, and Lumbini.

Modern-day pilgrimage to Sarnath

Sarnath has been developed as a place of pilgrimage, both for Buddhists from India and abroad. A number of countries in which Buddhism is a major (or the dominant) religion, such as Thailand, Japan, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, have established temples and monasteries in Sarnath in the style that is typical for the respective country. Thus, pilgrims and visitors have the opportunity to experience an overview of Buddhist architecture from various cultures.

In English literature

The plate on which Letitia Elizabeth Landon's poem Sarnat, a Boodh Monument is based shows its then run-down condition, and her words, comparing the religions of the world, pick up on the apparent weakness of Buddhism in the country of its origin at that time (1832).

Sarnath is one of the locations of Rudyard Kipling's Kim.[25] Teshoo Lama stays at the Temple of the Tirthankhars in Sarnath when not on his pilgrimages. Kim meets him there after he leaves Saint Xavier's school.

Image gallery

Dharmarajika Stupa

Dharmarajika Stupa from the pre-Ashokan Era

Brahmi pillar inscription in Sarnath

Brahmi inscriptures on the main pillar

1 Sarnath Temple Buddhism Le Mulagandhakuti Vihāra Sârnâth Varanasi India 2013

Buddha image at Sarnath

Interior of the Jain Temple dedicated to Shreyansanath, the eleventh Jain Tirthankar, Sarnath

Interior of Sri Digamber Jain Shreyansnath Mandir

Sarnath tibetan temple 1

Temple of the Tibetan community in Sarnath

A Buddhist temple at Sarnath

Mulagandhakuti Vihara, Sri Lankan Buddhist temple at Sarnath

Mauryan head from Sarnath

Mauryan head from Sarnath.

Sarnath Mauryan capital

Sarnath Mauryan capital.

Sarnath capital with elephant

Sarnath capital with an elephant.

Sarnath - Plan of Excavations

Sarnath - Plan of Excavations and constructions.

Thai Temple Sarnath Varanasi

View of Lord Buddha at Thai Temple Sarnath Varanasi.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ (D.ii.141)
  2. ^ Sen, Dr. A. (2008). Buddhist remains in India. Calcutta: Maha Bodhi Book Agency. pp. 30–34. ISBN 81-87032-78-2.
  3. ^ MA.i.387; AA.i.347 adds that sages also held the uposatha at Isipatana
  4. ^ (MA.ii.1019; PsA.437-8)
  5. ^ Schuman, Hans Wolfgang (2004). The Historical Buddha: The Times, Life, and Teachings of the Founder of Buddhism. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 67.
  6. ^ J.i.68
  7. ^ Vin.i.10f.; on this occasion 80 kotis of Brahmas and innumerable gods attained the comprehension of the Truth (Mil.30); (130 kotis says Mil.350). The Lal. (528) gives details of the stages of this journey.
  8. ^ BuA., p.3
  9. ^ Vin.i.15f
  10. ^ Vin.i.189
  11. ^ Vin.i.216ff.; the rule regarding human flesh was necessary because Suppiyā made broth out of her own flesh for a sick monk.
  12. ^ S.i.105f
  13. ^ S.ii.112f;iii.167f;iv.162f; 384ff
  14. ^ (A.iii.392f)
  15. ^ S.iii.132f
  16. ^ Mhv.xxix.31)
  17. ^ Beal: Records of the Western World, ii.45ff
  18. ^ Arch. Reports, i. p. 107
  19. ^ (BuA.247; DA.ii.424).
  20. ^ DA.ii.471)
  21. ^ The word Jina in the name of this vihara means Buddha, not a jain Tirthankara.
  22. ^ Reverence, Resistance and Politics of Seeing the Indian National Flag, Sadan Jha, Cambridge University Press, 2016, p.117, footnote 59
  23. ^ 32 Spokes Of Wisdom Our national symbol, the Ashoka pillar, has an upper chakra missing. An MP pointed it out to Nehru, but was ignored, DOLA MITRA, Outlook India, 18 JANUARY 2016
  24. ^ Nakamura, Hajime (2000). Gotama Buddha. Kosei. p. 267. ISBN 4-333-01893-5.
  25. ^ Kipling, Rudyard (1901). Kim. London: MacMillan & Co. p. 266. ISBN 9781974908677.

References

  • Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni: Guide to the Buddhist Ruins of Sarnath with a Plan of Excavations and Five Photographic Plates. Archaeological Survey of India, Delhi 1922
    • Reprint: Antiquarian Book House, Delhi/Varanasi, 1982-1983
  • Satyarth Nayak: The emperor's riddles 2014

External links

Edicts of Ashoka
(Ruled 269-232 BCE)
Regnal years
of Ashoka
Type of Edict
(and location of the inscriptions)
Geographical location
Year 8 End of the Kalinga war and conversion to the "Dharma"
Year 10[1] Minor Rock Edicts Related events:
Visit to the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya
Construction of the Mahabodhi Temple and Diamond throne in Bodh Gaya
Predication throughout India.
Dissenssions in the Sangha
Third Buddhist Council
In Indian language: Sohgaura inscription
Erection of the Pillars of Ashoka
Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription
(in Greek and Aramaic, Kandahar)
Minor Rock Edicts in Aramaic:
Laghman Inscription, Taxila inscription
Year 11 and later Minor Rock Edicts (n°1, n°2 and n°3)
(Panguraria, Maski, Palkigundu and Gavimath, Bahapur/Srinivaspuri, Bairat, Ahraura, Gujarra, Sasaram, Rajula Mandagiri, Yerragudi, Udegolam, Nittur, Brahmagiri, Siddapur, Jatinga-Rameshwara)
Year 12 and later[1] Barabar Caves inscriptions Major Rock Edicts
Minor Pillar Edicts Major Rock Edicts in Greek: Edicts n°12-13 (Kandahar)

Major Rock Edicts in Indian language:
Edicts No.1 ~ No.14
(in Kharoshthi script: Shahbazgarhi, Mansehra Edicts
(in Brahmi script: Kalsi, Girnar, Sopara, Sannati, Yerragudi, Delhi Edicts)
Major Rock Edicts 1-10, 14, Separate Edicts 1&2:
(Dhauli, Jaugada)
Schism Edict, Queen's Edict
(Sarnath Sanchi Allahabad)
Rummindei Edict, Nigali Sagar Edict
Year 26, 27
and later[1]
Major Pillar Edicts
In Indian language:
Major Pillar Edicts No.1 ~ No.7
(Allahabad pillar Delhi pillar Topra Kalan Rampurva Lauria Nandangarh Lauriya-Araraj Amaravati)

Derived inscriptions in Aramaic, on rock:
Kandahar, Edict No.7[2][3] and Pul-i-Darunteh, Edict No.5 or No.7[4]

  1. ^ a b c Yailenko,Les maximes delphiques d'Aï Khanoum et la formation de la doctrine du dhamma d'Asoka, 1990, pp.243.
  2. ^ Inscriptions of Asoka de D.C. Sircar p.30
  3. ^ Handbuch der Orientalistik de Kurt A. Behrendt p.39
  4. ^ Handbuch der Orientalistik de Kurt A. Behrendt p.39
Architecture of Uttar Pradesh

The Architecture of Uttar Pradesh is renowned for its variety of various religious monuments.

Ashoka

Ashoka (English: ; IAST: Aśoka, Brāhmi: 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓, Asoka), sometimes Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE. The grandson of the founder of the Maurya Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka promoted the spread of Buddhism across ancient Asia. Considered by many to be one of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka expanded Chandragupta's empire to reign over a realm stretching from present-day Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east. It covered the entire Indian subcontinent except for parts of present-day Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The empire's capital was Pataliputra (in Magadha, present-day Patna), with provincial capitals at Taxila and Ujjain.

Ashoka waged a destructive war against the state of Kalinga (modern Odisha), which he conquered in about 260 BCE. In about 263 BCE, he converted to Buddhism after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga War, which he had waged out of a desire for conquest and which reportedly directly resulted in more than 100,000 deaths and 150,000 deportations. He is remembered for the Ashoka pillars and edicts, for sending Buddhist monks to Sri Lanka and Central Asia, and for establishing monuments marking several significant sites in the life of Gautama Buddha.Beyond the Edicts of Ashoka, biographical information about him relies on legends written centuries later, such as the 2nd-century CE Ashokavadana ("Narrative of Ashoka", a part of the Divyavadana), and in the Sri Lankan text Mahavamsa ("Great Chronicle"). The emblem of the modern Republic of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka. His Sanskrit name "Aśoka" means "painless, without sorrow" (the a privativum and śoka, "pain, distress"). In his edicts, he is referred to as Devānāmpriya (Pali Devānaṃpiya or "the Beloved of the Gods"), and Priyadarśin (Pali Piyadasī or "He who regards everyone with affection"). His fondness for his name's connection to the Saraca asoca tree, or "Ashoka tree", is also referenced in the Ashokavadana. In The Outline of History, H.G. Wells wrote, "Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Ashoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star."

Bodh Gaya

Bodh Gaya is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. It is famous as it is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment (Pali: bodhi) under what became known as the Bodhi Tree. Since antiquity, Bodh Gaya has remained the object of pilgrimage and veneration for both Hindus and Buddhists.For Buddhists, Bodh Gaya is the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha, the other three being Kushinagar, Lumbini, and Sarnath. In 2002, Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Buddhist pilgrimage sites

The most important places of pilgrimage in Buddhism are located in the Gangetic plains of Northern India and Southern Nepal, in the area between New Delhi and Rajgir. This is the area where Gautama Buddha lived and taught, and the main sites connected to his life are now important places of pilgrimage for both Buddhists and Hindus. However, many countries that are or were predominantly Buddhist have shrines and places which can be visited as a pilgrimage.

Govind Chandra Pande

Govind Chandra Pande (30 July 1923 – 22 May 2011) was a well-known Indian historian of the Vedic and the Buddhist periods. He served a professor of ancient history and vice-chancellor at Jaipur and Allahabad universities. He was also the chairman of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla for several years, the Chairman of Allahabad Museum Society and the Chairman of Central Tibetan Society, Sarnath Varanasi.

Other positions he held include Member, Board of Governors, Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath (till 1996); Member, Executive Council, BHU (1982–85); ICHR (1987–93); ICPR (1988–91); Member, Societe Asiatique De Paris, Indian Historical Records Commission, Indian Advisory Board of Archaeology, Editorial Board of the U .P. Gaztters, the Council of Shastri, Indo-Canadian Institute, the Council of the American Institute of Indian Studies.

He started his professional career as a lecturer in Allahabad University in 1947. He was Reader in the Department of Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology till 1957 and was promoted as Dean, Faculty of Arts. Pande rejoined the Allahabad University in 1978 as Vice-Chancellor after a gap of 20 years and held the office till his retirement in 1984. During 1984-88 he was Visiting Gaekwad Professor at BHU. He was the first National Fellow of ICHR from 1985–86 and was the President cum Chairman, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. He was the Chairman of the Allahabad Museum Society and the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, and Editorial Fellow, Project in Indian History of Science, and Philosophy and Culture.

He edited several volumes of ancient history in Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture.

His last major work was a translation and commentary for the Rigveda in Hindi that was published by Lokbharti Booksellers and Distributors, Allahabad (now Prayagraj). The first volume was launched in 2008 at a ceremony at India International Center in New Delhi by Dinesh Chandra Grover, proprietor of Lokbharti, along with member of parliament, Murli Manohar Joshi and Triloki Nath Chaturvedi (then Governor of Karnataka).

Lion Capital of Ashoka

The Lion Capital of Ashoka is a sculpture of four Asiatic lions standing back to back, on an elaborate base that includes other animals. A graphic representation of it was adopted as the official Emblem of India in 1950. It was originally placed on the top of the Ashoka pillar at the important Buddhist site of Sarnath by the Emperor Ashoka, in about 250 BCE. The pillar, sometimes called the Aśoka Column, is still in its original location, but the Lion Capital is now in the Sarnath Museum, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Standing 2.15 metres (7 feet) high including the base, it is more elaborate than the other very similar surviving capitals of the pillars of Ashoka bearing the Edicts of Ashoka that were placed throughout India several of which feature single animals at the top; one other damaged group of four lions survives, at Sanchi.The capital is carved out of a single block of polished sandstone, and was always a separate piece from the column itself. It features four Asiatic Lions standing back to back. They are mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by intervening spoked chariot-wheels. The whole sits upon a bell-shaped lotus. The capital was originally crowned by a 'Wheel of Dharma' (Dharmachakra popularly known in India as the "Ashoka Chakra"), with 24 spokes, of which a few fragments were found on the site. A 13th-century replica of the Sarnath pillar and capital in Wat Umong near Chiang Mai, Thailand built by King Mangrai, preserves its crowning Ashoka Chakra or Dharmachakra. The wheel on the capital, below the lions, is the model for the one in the flag of India.

List of Indian state animals

India, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is made up of 29 states and 7 union territories. All Indian states have their own government and theUnion territories come under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. As most of the other countries India too has a national emblem—the Lion Capital of Sarnath.

Apart from India's national emblem, each of its States and Union Territories have their own state seals and symbols which include state animals, birds, trees, flowers etc. A list of state animals of India is given below. See Symbols of Indian states and territories for a complete list of all State characters and seals.

List of Indian state birds

India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is made up of 29 states and 7 union territories. All Indian states have their own government and union territories come under the jurisdiction of the central government. As with most of the other countries India, has a national emblem—the Lion Capital of Sarnath.

Apart from India's national emblem, each of its states and union territories have their own seals and symbols which include animals, birds, trees, flowers, etc. A list of state birds of India is given below. See Symbols of Indian states and territories for a complete list of all state characters and seals.

List of Indian state flowers

India, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is made up of 29 states and 7 union territories. All Indian states have their own government and Union territories come under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. As most of the other countries India too has a national emblem—the Lion Capital of Sarnath.

Apar flowers etc. A list of state flowers of India is given below. See Symbols of Indian states and territories for a complete list of all State characters and seals.

List of Indian state trees

India, officially the Republic of India is a country in South Asia. It is made up of 29 states and 7 union territories. All Indian states have their own government and the Union territories come under the jurisdiction of the Central Government. As most of the other countries India too has a national emblem—the Lion Capital of Sarnath.

Apart from India's national emblem, each of its States and Union Territories have their own state seals and symbols which include state animals, birds, trees, flowers etc. A list of state trees of India is given below. See Symbols of Indian states and territories for a complete list of all State characters and seals.

Lost city (fiction)

In the popular imagination lost cities are real, prosperous, well-populated areas of human habitation that have fallen into terminal decline and been lost to history. Most real lost cities are of ancient origins, and have been studied extensively by archaeologists. Abandoned urban sites of relatively recent origin are generally referred to as ghost towns.

Fictional lost cities have been created by many authors as the setting for stories and myths throughout the ages. These include:

Atlantis – An island and city described by Plato

Brigadoon – from the musical of the same name

Camelot – the seat of King Arthur

Charn – from The Chronicles of Narnia

El Dorado – the noted city of gold

Kitezh (Russian: Ки́теж) - is a legendary city beneath the waters of Lake Svetloyar

Kutchemes – from the Conan the Barbarian stories

Lemuria – a supposed Indian-Pacific land

Númenor – from The Lord of the Rings

Opar – from the Tarzan novels

Perrioe (fictional city in the Kara Kum desert) - from the Officer of the Crown novels

Python – from the Conan the Barbarian stories

R'lyeh – sunken city referenced in many of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, where the godlike being Cthulhu is buried

Sarnath – city described in H.P. Lovecraft's short story "The Doom that Came to Sarnath"

Skull Island – from the King Kong movies

Valyria - from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire universe

Xak Tsaroth – from the Dragonlance novels

Xuchotl – from the Conan the Barbarian stories

Xuthal – from the Conan the Barbarian stories

Ys – legendary submerged city off the coast of Brittany

Maha Bodhi Society

The Maha Bodhi Society is a South Asian Buddhist society founded by the Sri Lankan Buddhist leader Anagarika Dharmapala and the British journalist and poet Sir Edwin Arnold. The organization's self-stated initial efforts were for the resuscitation of Buddhism in India, and restoring the ancient Buddhist shrines at Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinara.Although some Indians had remained culturally Buddhist for centuries after the decline of Buddhist philosophy, they did not self-identify as "Buddhist". The Maha Bodhi Society renewed interest in Buddhism, and spawned the Ladakh Buddhist Association, All Assam Buddhist Association, and Himalayan Buddhist Society, as well as laying the grounds for the Dalit Buddhist movement.

Pillars of Ashoka

The pillars of Ashoka are a series of columns dispersed throughout the Indian subcontinent, erected or at least inscribed with edicts by the Mauryan king Ashoka during his reign from c.  268 to 232 BC. Ashoka used the expression Dhaṃma thaṃbhā (Dharma stambha), i.e. "pillars of the Dharma" to describe his own pillars. These pillars constitute important monuments of the architecture of India, most of them exhibiting the characteristic Mauryan polish. Of the pillars erected by Ashoka, twenty still survive including those with inscriptions of his edicts. Only a few with animal capitals survive of which seven complete specimens are known. Two pillars were relocated by Firuz Shah Tughlaq to Delhi. Several pillars were relocated later by Mughal Empire rulers, the animal capitals being removed. Averaging between 12 and 15 m (40 and 50 ft) in height, and weighing up to 50 tons each, the pillars were dragged, sometimes hundreds of miles, to where they were erected.The pillars of Ashoka are among the earliest known stone sculptural remains from India. Only another pillar fragment, the Pataliputra capital, is possibly from a slightly earlier date. It is thought that before the 3rd century BC, wood rather than stone was used as the main material for India architectural constructions, and that stone may have been adopted following interaction with the Persians and the Greeks. A graphic representation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka from the column there was adopted as the official Emblem of India in 1950.All the pillars of Ashoka were built at Buddhist monasteries, many important sites from the life of the Buddha and places of pilgrimage. Some of the columns carry inscriptions addressed to the monks and nuns. Some were erected to commemorate visits by Ashoka.

Shreyansanatha

Shreyansanath was the eleventh Jain Tirthankara of the present age (Avasarpini). According to Jain beliefs, he became a Siddha - a liberated soul which has destroyed all of its karma. Shreyansanatha was born to King Vishnu and Queen Vishnu Devi at Simhapuri, near Sarnath in the Ikshvaku dynasty. His birth date was the twelfth day of the Falgun Krishna month of the Indian calendar.

State Emblem of India

The State Emblem of India, as the national emblem of India is called, is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, preserved in the Sarnath Museum near Varanasi, India. A representation of Lion Capital of Ashoka was initially adopted as the emblem of the Dominion of India in December 1947. The current version of the emblem was officially adopted on 26 January 1950, the day that India became a republic.

The Doom that Came to Sarnath

"The Doom that Came to Sarnath" (1920) is a fantasy short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. It is written in a mythic/fantasy style and is associated with his Dream Cycle. It was first published in The Scot, a Scottish amateur fiction magazine, in June 1920.

The Doom That Came to Sarnath and Other Stories is also the title for a collection of short stories by Lovecraft, first published in February 1971.

Tourism in Uttar Pradesh

Situated in the northern part of India, bordering with the capital of India New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh is one of the most popular and an established tourist destination for both Indians and non-Indians alike in India. The most populous state of India, Uttar Pradesh contains a large number of historical monuments and places of religious significance. Geographically, Uttar Pradesh is very diverse, with Himalayan foothills in the extreme north and the Gangetic Plain in the centre. It is also home of India's most visited sites, the Taj Mahal, and Hinduism's holiest city, Varanasi. Kathak, one of the eight forms of Indian classical dances, originated from Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh is at the heart of India, hence it is also known as The Heartland of India. Cuisine of Uttar Pradesh like Awadhi cuisine, Mughlai cuisine, Kumauni cuisine are very famous not only in India but also many places abroad.

Uttar Pradesh is known for its rich culture and tradition. It is home to Ayodhya and Mathura birthplace of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna respectively. Uttar Pradesh attracts a large number of both national and international tourists. Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in Agra is also located in Uttar Pradesh.

There are different places one can visit in Uttar Pradesh. Agra, Jhansi, Lucknow and Meerut are historical cities famous for their monuments. Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Varanasi, Ayodhya and Allahabad are holy cities for Hindus and Kushinar and Sarnath are important Buddhist places among the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha. Noida is the most developed urban city of Uttar Pradesh.

To boost the tourism in the state from within the country and other parts of the world, the Government of Uttar Pradesh established a 'Uttar Pradesh Heritage Arc' covering the cities of Agra, Lucknow and Varanasi.

Vanaspara

Vanaspara (ruled circa 130 CE) was an Indo-Scythian Northern Satrap (kshtrapa). He is mentioned as a "Satrap" of Kushan ruler Kanishka I on an inscription discovered in Sarnath, and dated to the 3rd year of Kanishka (c. 130 CE), in which Kanishka mentions he was, together with "Great Satrap" Kharapallana, governor of the eastern parts of his Empire.The inscription was discovered on an early statue of a Boddhisattva, the Sarnath Bala Boddhisattva, now in the Sarnath Museum .

Varanasi Metro

The Varanasi Metro was a rapid transit proposed for the city of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. The proposed system consisted of 2 corridors span from BHEL (Tarna, Shivpur) to Banaras Hindu University (19.35 km) and Benia Bagh to Sarnath (9.885 km). The feasibility study of the project was done by RITES and was completed in June 2015.

The most feasible cities of having metro rails are Kanpur, Lucknow and Noida because these cities have the strong number of daily commuters which includes the public from other parts of the state and within the city itself. No other towns of the state are having the metro culture like Kanpur, Lucknow and Noida. Government is in much doubt to construct metro in these small towns of UP. The huge fund is needed for these projects and government is thinking repeatedly as the money must not go in waste. Lucknow metro rail corporation has got the responsibility to implement the work here. The suggestions are not to construct metro in towns like Meerut, Agra, Varanasi, Faizabad, Allahabad, Moradabad, Bareilly, Kannauj, Shikohabad, and Gorakhpur etc. However, the government should think to connect these towns to nearby big cities via rapid transport will be a good and feasible idea. Metro Rail was likely to be completed around 2023, except the Varanasi Metro Rail Project was rejected due to lack of funds in June 2018. There would have been 26 stations including 20 underground and six elevated in the two corridors which would have included total length of 29.235 km consisting of 23.467 km underground, while 5.768 km would have been elevated.

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