Buddhist temple

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A Buddhist temple is the place of worship for Buddhists, the followers of Buddhism. They include the structures called vihara, chaitya stupa, wat and pagoda in different regions and languages. Temples in Buddhism represent the pure land or pure environment of a Buddha. Traditional Buddhist temples are designed to inspire inner and outer peace.[1] Its structure and architecture varies from region to region. Usually, the temple consists not only of its buildings, but also the surrounding environment. The Buddhist temples are designed to symbolize 5 elements: Fire, Air, Earth, Water, and Wisdom.[2]

IndiaEdit

The design of temples in India was influenced by the idea of a place of worship as a representation of the universe. For Buddhist temple complexes one tall temple is often centrally located and surrounded by smaller temples and walls. This is symbolic of Buddhist imagining of the universe with Mount Meru at the center surrounded by oceans, lesser mountains and a huge wall.[3]

A Chaitya, Chaitya hall or Chaitya-griha refers to a shrine, sanctuary, temple or prayer hall in Indian religions. The term is most common in Buddhism, where it refers to a space with a stupa and a rounded apse at the end opposite the entrance, and a high roof with a rounded profile. Strictly speaking, the chaitya is the stupa itself, and the Indian buildings are chaitya halls, but this distinction is often not observed. Many of the early Chaitya were rock-cut, as in Karla caves or Ajanta.

 
Tall circular Buddhist temple, early 1st Century CE, Mathura Museum.

Some of the earliest free-standing temples may have been of a circular type. Ashoka also built the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya circa 250 BCE, a circular structure, in order to protect the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha had found enlightenment. The Bairat Temple is also a round structure, which can be seen through archaeological remains. Representations of this early temple structure are found on a 100 BCE relief sculpted on the railing of the stupa at Bhārhut, as well as in Sanchi.[4] From that period the Diamond throne remains, an almost intact slab of sandstone decorated with reliefs, which Ashoka had established at the foot of the Bodhi tree.[5][6] These circular-type temples were also found in later rock-hewn caves such as Tulja Caves or Guntupalli.[7]

Japanese BuddhismEdit

 
Buddhist temple of Kinkaku-ji, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Japanese Buddhist temples typically include a Main Hall.

A distinctive feature is the chinjusha, a Shinto shrine devoted to the temple's kami. Buddhism co-existed with shintoism, but in the 8th century Buddhism became the state religion and Buddhist temples were built.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "New York Buddhist Temple for World Peace". Kadampanewyork.org. 1997-08-01. Archived from the original on 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  2. ^ "Buddhism: Buddhist Worship". BBC. 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  3. ^ O'Riley, Michael Kampel (2013). Art Beyond the West. Person Education. p. 61.
  4. ^ "Sowing the Seeds of the Lotus: A Journey to the Great Pilgrimage Sites of Buddhism, Part I" by John C. Huntington. Orientations, November 1985 pg 61
  5. ^ Buddhist Architecture, Huu Phuoc Le, Grafikol, 2010 p.240
  6. ^ A Global History of Architecture, Francis D. K. Ching, Mark M. Jarzombek, Vikramaditya Prakash, John Wiley & Sons, 2017 p.570ff
  7. ^ Buddhist Architecture, Huu Phuoc Le, Grafikol, 2010 p.233-237
  8. ^ Hardy, Adam (1995). Indian Temple Architecture: Form and Transformation : the Karṇāṭa Drāviḍa Tradition, 7th to 13th Centuries. Abhinav Publications. p. 39. ISBN 9788170173120.
  9. ^ Le, Huu Phuoc (2010). Buddhist Architecture. Grafikol. p. 238. ISBN 9780984404308.