Segments in this Video

Introduction: Buddhism (02:11)


This episode will explore temples in China, Japan, and India. Buddhism has over 300 million followers.

Amaravati Monastery (06:09)

Ajahn Sumedho received his master's degree from Berkeley and became a Buddhist while working for the Peace Corps in Asia. The Theravada tradition focuses on meditation, silence, and stillness. The Abbot wanted a temple that made individuals feel calm.

The Great Stupa (07:40)

The remote location has attracted pilgrims for over 2000 years. The stupa was traditionally a burial mound that contained the ashes and relics of Buddha and his followers. Siddhartha turned his back to the world, became enlightened, and renamed.

Ellora Cave Temples (06:29)

Government officials use langur monkeys to keep other monkeys away from building in Delhi. Thirty-four Buddist, Hindu, and Jain temples exist within caves. McCarthy tours a monastery that was erected in the seventh century and Vishvakarma.

Longmen Caves (07:06)

Merchants and travelers brought Buddhism to China in the First Century. In Luoyang, worshippers erected cave temples along the Yi River over 500 years. In the Fengxian, craftsmen carved a giant Buddha statue along with his companions, Kasyapa and Ananda.

Puning Temple in Chengde (04:53)

Many statues and sites were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. The emperor inscribed a tablet commemorating a victory over Tibet and wanted to unite all the peoples of China. The gold plated wooden sculpture of the Guanyin Buddha weighs over 100 tons.

Angkor Temple (07:07)

Located in modern-day Cambodia, the area was once capital of the Khmer Empire which dominated Southeast Asia from the Ninth to the Thirteenth Century. The civilization left very little written material. Faces on towers combined images of Jayavarman II, Buddha, and Bodhisattvas.

Todai-Ji Temple (04:33)

A Korean King gave a bronze image of Buddha to the emperor of Japan in 552. Nara was the eastern endpoint of the Silk Road and the imperial capital. The Great Buddha Hall was completed in 749; parts of the large statue have been cast in different centuries.

Kennin-Ji Temple (02:40)

The Chan School came from China and stressed the importance of meditation. The Zen garden depicts the ideal state of mind; elements include a square, circle, and a triangle.

Water Temple (06:33)

The Hompukji is designed by Tadao Ando. A lily pond forms the roof of the temple. Shizuko Uchida describes the modern aspects to the design.

Credits: Buddhism (00:37)

Credits: Buddhism

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Buddhism is a family of beliefs, derived from the teachings of Buddha who died around 400 BCE. The emperor Ashoka Maurya (who r.272-231BC) was responsible for the first large-scale stone art in India and he also redistributed the Buddha's relics among (supposedly) 84,000 simple stupas (or solid memorial mounds containing relics) across his empire. It is from this act that Buddhist architecture and art springs. In addition to offering an introduction to Buddhism, the documentary visits these locations: the Amaravati Monastery in Hemel Hempstead, England; the Great Stupa, Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh, India; an early Buddhist monastery carved out of rock in the Caves at Ajanta in Maharashtra, India; Borobudur in Magellan, Central Java, Indonesia; the largest wooden buliding in the world that houses a colossal bronze statue of the Buddha in Nara, Japan; the Puning Temple in Chengde, China; and Komyo-ji Temple in Shikoku, Japan.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL194766

ISBN: 978-1-64867-402-0

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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