India is the country from where Buddhism spreaded to all corners of the world. Influence of Buddhism can be seen on Buddhist Art. Its influence also reflects in Bihar Art because of deeper roots of Buddhism in Bihar ever since it came into existence.
One can still find various monuments reflecting different aspects and phases of Buddhism and let us know more about the evolution of Buddha Art through different phases of history.
The first appearance of Buddhist Art can be seen during Ashoka Period and followed by Mauryan Period (Around 320 – 180 BC). Many Stupas were built during that era reflecting Buddhist Art.
Till 1st Century BC Buddha was represented through some symbols not in the human form. Sculptures became more explicit representing various phases of Buddha’s life and his teachings during 2nd to 1st century BC. Later from early 1st Century Buddha was shown in the human form. After some time Buddha can be seen with hair in some of Buddhist Artworks.
BUDDHA ART SYMBOLS
THE BODHI TREE: Under which Lord Buddha got enlightenment.
DHARMACAKRA (The Wheel of law): symbol of the Four Noble Truths expressed by the Buddha. The Columns surmounted by a wheel, symbol of his teaching.
THE LOTUS: Symbolizes purity,
FOOTPRINT OF LORD BUDDHA: It is also known as Buddhapada. In Mahabodhi Temple (Bodhgaya), one can see the footprints of Lord Buddha.
THE LIONS: This is a symbol of his royalty. During Ashoka period Lord Buddha was known as the “Shakya Lion” so this symbol was used on the Buddhist pillars he planted throughout India.