Earlier this year, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had discovered Buddhist Remains from Hazaribagh’s Sadar block located at the eastern side of Jharkhand’s Sitagarha hills.
What did the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) discover? ASI had discovered the remains of a Buddhist monastery along with some Shaivite remains which includes:
- Four Statues of Taras, the “saviouresses” of the Thunderbolt Vehicle, displaying the Varada mudra(gesture of hand showing dispensing of boons).
- Six statues of the Buddha in Bhumisparsha Mudra [gesture of hand showing five fingers of right hand towards the earth symbolising the Buddha’s enlightenment].
- Remnants of a statue of the Shaivite goddess Maheswari. Also, with a coiled crown and chakra, it appears to suggest a degree of cultural assimilation at the site.
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Earlier Discoveries at this Site:
- The first archaeological discoveries on this site were made in 1992. A painted grey ware (PGW) pottery, a votive stupa, a black basalt apsara torso, and an “eight-petalled astadala lotus” inscribed on the stone were discovered.
- It was estimated that these antiquities of Buddhism were from 300 BC from the period of the Palas (8th to 12th centuries AD) and the Sena (11th-12th centuries).
Significance of these discoveries:
- These findings are significant since the monastery is on the old route to Varanasi. It is also 10 km from Sarnath where the Buddha gave his first sermon.
- Further, the presence of statues of the deity Tara shows the possible proliferation of the Vajrayana form of Buddhism in this region.
- Vajrayana is a form of Tantric Buddhism. It flourished in India from the 6th to 11th century.
Source: Indian Express