In the last part of the 12-part series on Buddhism in India, art historian and producer-director BENOY K BEHL talks about Buddhist art in India
The film is about the heritage of Buddhist art in India, from the Bharhut and Sanchi Stupa railings of the 2nd cent. BCE, through the art of the Kashmiri painters across western Tibet and the Indian Himalayas in the 12th century, till the art of the Buddhist monasteries of today.
The railings of the Bharhut Stupa and a stupa at Sanchi, both in Central India, present the earliest Buddhist art. Here, for the first time, we see the Jataka stories, tales of the Buddha in his previous lives. The deities on these railings are those that represent the flowering abundance, vitality, the power and protection and the generosity of nature. These are the Yakshas, Yakshis, Nagas and Lakshmi, who continue in Buddhist art till today.