In the penultimate part of the 12-part series on Buddhism in India, art historian and producer-director BENOY K BEHL takes us to important Buddhist sites in the neighbouring nations of India
This film concerns the international spread of Buddhism. It covers the important Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka (Sigiriya, Pollonaruva, Dambula Caves), Myanmar (Bagan), Thailand, Tibet, Nepal (Swayambhunatha Stupa), Bhutan, China and Japan.
Buddhism spread through the whole of Asia in ancient times. A vision of life was established, which looked always beyond the material world, to the peace which was eternal. In ancient times, India traded considerably with South and South East Asia. This led to a great spread of ideas.
A landmark in the culture of Asia was when Emperor Ashoka’s daughter Sanghamitra took Buddhism to Sri Lanka, in the 3rd century BCE. The faith was accepted with great warmth in the island. In centuries to come, Sri Lanka became the center of the earliest form of Buddhism, known as Theravada Buddhism.