The Oldest Buddhas in the World
Buddhism is a no theistic religion
which was founded by “the enlightened one” Gautama Buddha 2500 years ago. Buddhism consists of various practices, tradition and beliefs which are largely based on the teachings of Lord Buddha. There are lots of statues that were built and constructed with respect to the Lord Buddha and Buddhism. There are uncountable Buddha statues in the world in the present. We can find Buddha statues from the ancient times. In recent news, the archeologists have unearthed the remains of “the earliest ever Buddhist shrine” in Lumbini. And there are some Buddha statues that were constructed in recent years.
Here is a list of some of the oldest Buddha statues and shrines:
- Buddhist Shrine (550 B.C.)
The long identified birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Lumbini has once again shocked the world. The recent discovery was made by the archeologists in Lumbini have the found the remains the so called the earliest ever Buddhist shrine. This 6th century timber structure was found underneath of Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini. This timber Buddhist shrine represents the first archeological evidence which linked the Birth of Buddha and the religion he found in the specific century.
- Buddhas of Bamiyan
The two sixth-century standing statues of Lord Buddha were carved in the cliff of the Bamyan valley of the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, which were believed to be constructed in the same specific country. The smaller standing Buddha statue was built in 507 A.D and the bigger standing statue of Buddha statue was built in 554 A.D. These statues were built in the classic blended style of Gandhara Art. The enormous standing statue was called the male Salsal “light shrines through the universe” and the small statue was called female Shamama “Queen Mother” by the local. Various attempts were made to destroy this, two Buddha Statues of Bamiyan and in March, 2001 both statues were destroyed by the Taliban government.
- Asuka Daibatsu
Regarded as one of the Japan’s oldest daibatsu, Asuka Daibatsu was built in early 7th century. This Buddha statue is built in Nara prefecture and is about 2.75 meters high and currently situated in Asuka-dera (also known as Hoko-ji).
- Leshan Giant Buddha
A 71 meter tall, Leshan Giant Buddha was built in 803 which was started in 713 during the Tang Dynasty. It is carved on a cliff that is located at the confluence of the Minjiang, Sichuan Province,China, near the city of Leshan. The Giant Statues faces the Mount Emei with river flowing below the feet. The Mount Emei was enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 which includes the Leshan Giant Buddha Statue.
Gandhara Buddha Statue
One of the ancient kingdoms, which is located in the northern Pakistan and northeastern Afghanistan, Gandhara was the center of Hindu culture and Greco-Buddhist culture. Gandhara culture took a height of a peak during the reign of the Great Kushan King Kanishka (128-151). He was a great man who had a great belief in Buddhism and so Buddhism spread out to Central Asia and Gandhara became the holy land of Buddhism under the Great Kanishka and many Chinese pilgrims were attracted to its monuments. Under the Kushan rule, Buddhism flourished to far place and Lord Buddha was represented in human form. They built some of the oldest Buddha statues and they even enlarged the old and antique Buddha statues.
Some of the oldest Buddha statues were recorded in the city of Gandhara.
- The Standing Buddha Statues
A remarkable example of Greco-Buddhist Statuary which was built in Gandhara is The Standing Buddha Statues which reside in the Tokyo National Museum. The statue is dated around 1st or 2nd Century CE.
“the most beautiful, and probably the most ancient of the Buddhas”
These statues can be said as the starting point of the anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha.
- Seated Buddha Statues
The Seated Buddha from Gandhara is one of the early Buddha statue built which was discovered at the site of Jamal Garhi in ancient Gandhara. This Seated Buddha statue shows as a teacher sitting the wheel of of Dharma in motion also known as Dharmachakra Mudra. ThisBuddha statue was made in the interval of 2nd to 3rd century.