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May

17

2019

    ART & CULTURE

    Bojjannakonda And Lingalakonda

    News: This fourth century Buddhist site in Visakhapatnam has a rocky road to nirvana.
    Source: The Hindu

    Bojjannakonda was excavated in 1906 by Alexander Rea, a British archaeologist. There are 150 steep rock-cut-steps that lead to a cave with a wide opening.

    Alexander’s excavation also led to the discovery of Lingalakonda. It has over 250 rock-cut stupas. The uphill climb here isn’t as challenging as it is at Bojjannakonda. There are only 35 steps leading to a gentle slope.

    Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda are two Buddhist rock-cut caves on adjacent hillocks, situated near a village called Sankaram, which is a few kilometres away from Anakapalle, Vishakhapatnam in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The sites are believed to date between 4th and 9th Century A.D, when the 3 phases of Buddhism (Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana) flourished at Sankaram (Sangharam as it was called then) .

    Three Ratnas of Buddhism

    Buddha

    Dhamma – The teachings of Budhha

    Sangha – Community of Buddhist monks and nuns

    Teachings of Buddha are known as Dhamma.

    The Four Great Truths:

    The world is full of sorrow and misery.

    The cause of all pain and misery is desire.

    Pain and misery can be ended by killing or controlling desire.

    Desire can be controlled by following the Eight Fold Path.

    AstangaMargha

    Eight-fold Path of Buddha is known as Astangamargha. The Eight fold path is:

    Right livelihood

    Right observation

    Right determination

    Right action

    Right meditation

    Right exercise

    Right speech

    Right memory

    The Six Buddhist Councils

    In total, six councils have been held in Buddhism since antiquity. Here are a few details about each council:

    First Buddhist Council- 400 B.C

    The First Buddhist council convened at the Sattapanni caves in Rajgriha

    It was held under the patronage of King Ajatashatru

    The First Buddhist Council was presided by Monk Mahakasyapa

    The Agenda of the First Buddhist council was to reserve the teachings (Sutta) of the Buddha and the monastic discipline and guidelines for monks(Vinaya).

    It was held just after the death of the Buddha.

    Suttas and Vinaya were recited by the monks Ananda and Upali respectively

    AbhidhammaPitaka was also recited in this council.

    Second Buddhist Council- 383 BC

    The second Buddhist council was held at Vaishali

    It was under the patronage of Kalasoka

    The Second Buddhist Council was presided over by Sabakami

    The Agenda of the Second Buddhist council was to settle the disagreements of different subdivisions.

    This council rejected the Mahasangikas as canonical Buddhist texts. For this reason, the council is considered historical.

    Third Buddhist Council–250 BC

    The third Buddhist council was held at Pataliputra in the Magadha Kingdom.

    It was under the patronage of Emperor Ashoka

    The Third Buddhist Council was presided over by MoggaliputtaTissa

    The Agenda of the Third Buddhist council was to analyze the different schools of Buddhism and to purify them.

    Ashoka sent several groups to different countries to spread Buddhism after this council.

    Fourth Buddhist Council-78 AD

    The fourth Buddhist council was convened in Kashmir

    It was under the patronage of Emperor Kanishka

    The Fourth Buddhist Council was presided over by Vasumitra and Asvaghosha

    The Agenda of this Buddhist council was the reconciliation of various conflicts between different schools of thought.

    Hinayana and Mahayana sects of Buddhism diverged after this council.

    Fifth Buddhist Council-1871

    The fifth Buddhist council was held at Mandalay in Myanmar, then called Burma.

    It was under the patronage of King Mindon of the Kindom of Burma

    The Fifth Buddhist Council was presided by Jagarabhivamsa, Narindabhidhaja, and Sumangalasami

    The Agenda of this council was to recite all the Buddhist learning and scrutinize them in minuscule details

    This council is largely not recognized outside of Myanmar as no major Buddhist countries apart from Burma had representatives attending the council.

    Sixth Buddhist Council- 1954

    The Fifth Buddhist council convened at Kaba Aye in Yangon(Rangoon), Myanmar(Burma)

    It was under the patronage of Prime Minister U. Nu of the Republic of Myanmar

    The Sixth Buddhist Council was presided over by MahasiSayadaw and BhadantaVicittasarabhivamsa.

    The Agenda of the sixth Buddhist council was to uphold and preserve the authentic Dhamma and Vinaya of Buddhism.

    A special MahaPassanaGuha(cave) was built which was similar to the cave where the first Buddhist council was held.