Stone - Work, Art, Architecture, Style and Dating

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Ancient Indians have had their Standard books, Manuals and Working Instructions since Vedic period (c.12,500-3,500 BCE) for Art and Architecture. They have produced crores of monuments throughout the ancient India or Bharat (outside and beyond the 1947-India). At one period, definitely, throughout the world, Indian domination was there or the ancient Indians were living. Donald A. Mackanzie , Waddell and others have provided enormous amount of evidences to this effect. When the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Arabic and European (all categories) truth-seekers, travellers and others heard about India and came to witness the splendour of India in all aspects, the dating of Indian monuments after them appears to be artificial. That the Europeans wanted to find a sea-route to India is a different story, as it has so many mathematical, astronomical and scientific implications . When the travellers visited, they were mainly astonished, bewildered and dumb-folded to see the architectural and monumental magnificence of India. In between, there had been the Iconoclast invasions and rule of Mohammedans, in which lakhs of Indian monuments suffered heavily. They destroyed lakhs of monuments, demolished equally the places of worship, mutilated Idols and sculptures, used parts of the temples for construction of mosques and of course, they converted temples themselves into mosques, by retaining the structure but demolishing Idols and sculptures. They did not study or analyze the features of monuments, but considered as the representations of Satan and hence faithfully demolished. the the period with the ruling dynasties of the period after the battle of Kurukshetra.A critical examination of the decline of the Indus valley civilization with the drying of river Saraswati, shows how the influence of the rulers declined and came to an end with the conquest from the east (Magadh rulers).



K. V. Ramakrishna Rao,B.Sc., M.A., A. M. I. E., C.Eng (I)., B. L.,

Independent Researcher General Secreatary, Bharatiya Sankalana Samiti (Tamilnadu) Itihasa

25 (Old.9), Venkatachala Iyer Street, West Mambalam, Chennai 600 033. Phone: 98402 92065 (Mobile). e-mail:

1. Introduction: Ancient Indians have had their Standard books, Manuals and Working Instructions since Vedic period (c.12,500-3,500 BCE)1 for Art and Architecture. They have produced crores of monuments throughout the ancient India or Bharat (outside and beyond the 1947-India). At one period, definitely, throughout the world, Indian domination was there or the ancient Indians were living. Donald A. Mackanzie2, Waddell3 and others have provided enormous amount of evidences to this effect. When the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Arabic and European (all categories) truth-seekers, travellers and others heard about India and came to witness the splendour of India in all aspects, the dating of Indian monuments after them appears to be artificial. That


Different authorities place Vedas to various dates ranging from 12,500 BCE to 3.500 BCE. In any case, as Vedas pre-date, IVC, the interpretation would be made accordingly. The western scholars have been biased in dating the Vedas, as they have shifted their stands many times, only with an aim to reduce the chronology rather than coming to such revised dates after a critical or professional study. Boghas Koi inscription dated to 14th cent. BCE records about a treaty signed between the Mittanis and the Hittites, in which the Vedic Gods Mitrasil (Mitra), Arunasil (Aruna), Indar (Indra) and Nasattya (the twin) are mentioned along with Teshup and Hepa, their gods. The names of the Mittani Kings are strikingly Indian - Sutarna I (good sun), Paratarna I (Great Sun), Parashukshatra (Ruler with axe), Saukshatra (Son of Sukshatra, the Good Ruler), Paratarna II, Artatama or Ritadhama (Abiding in Cosmic law), Sutrana II, Dashratha, Mtivaja or Matiwazza (whose wealth is prayer). This evidence is given to prove the prevalence of Vedic people beyond 1947-India and also to show how illogical and unhistorical any attempt to date Vedas after 1500 BCE!

Donald A. Mackanzie, Pre-Christian Buddhism in UK and Ireland, Blackie & Son Ltd, UK, 1928. , Pre-Columbian America,3


Waddel, History of the World


the Europeans wanted to find a sea-route to India is a different story, as it has so many mathematical, astronomical and scientific implications4. When the travellers visited, they were mainly astonished, bewildered and dumb-folded to see the architectural and monumental magnificence of India.

In between, there had been the Iconoclast invasions and rule of Mohammedans, in which lakhs of Indian monuments suffered heavily. They destroyed lakhs of monuments, demolished equally the places of worship, mutilated Idols and sculptures, used parts of the temples for construction of mosques and of course, they converted temples themselves into mosques, by retaining the structure but demolishing Idols and sculptures. They did not study or analyze the features of monuments, but considered as the representations of Satan and hence faithfully demolished.

However, the European recordings differ because of their level of understanding, bias and prejudice5. Here, their psyche worked with religious and racial superiority complex. The Europeans Portuguese, Danish, French and British tried their best to enter India. With manipulations, they succeeded to establish their factories first and then power-centres. When they started studying Indian material and non-material culture, tradition, heritage etc., they too behaved like their predecessors.

The British were so astonished about the Stone Art of India that the British Architects took so much interest. In 1883 William Simpson6 read a paper Architecture in the Himalayas before the members of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in which he brought to notice that most of the houses in the hill country between the Sutlaj and the Ganges valley were built of wood and stone; timber being used in alternate layers to bind the courses of stone together.

2. Stone: The different ancient Indian books on Architecture, their authors and approximately assignable dates (provisional) are tabulated as follows:


The Longitude problem exposes the claim of European sailors going to different places by ships and reaching their destinations. And of course, the transmission of Indian sciences to the European scientists. Partha Mitter, The Much Maligned Monsters, Transactions of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Session 1882-1883. William Simpson, Origin and Mutation in Indian and Eastern Architecture, Indian Architecture, Transactions of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 1891.

5 6


Name of the work / book Vedas Stapatyaveda Vastu Satram

Author Compilation Staring with Brahma, Viswakarma and others. Upaveda of Atharvana Veda Vasistha Nagnatjit (his work is referred to by Varahamihira)

Date assigned provisional c.12,500-3,500 BCE c.3,500-1,500 BCE c.1000 BCE c.500 BCE Before 6th cent.CE

Brihat Samhita Manasara

Varahamihira Do

5th cent.CE Gupta period 4th-5th centuries

Vishnu Dhamothatharam Heyasirsha Pancharatram Vaikanasa Agamam Mayamata Silparatna Citra-lakshana Naganajitcitralakshana nagnavrata Samarangana Sutradhara Aparajita Priccha Pratimalakshnam Sadhanamala Dastalanyagrodhaparimand ala Buddhapratimalakshnanam a Sambuddhabhasita pratimalakshnavivaranana Raja Bhoja of Dhar Nagnajit Mayan.

7th to 9th centuries

10th 11th centuries CE

An authority of Indian arts.

11th century CE

All translated from the original Sanskrit works into Tibetan, but, the originals were reportedly lost.


ma Citralaskanam Pratimamanalakshanama Kriyasamuccaya

All other works written or circulated in different names Manasaram, Mayamatham, Kasyap[a Siilpam, Pyago Manjari, Thantira Samuccaya, Vasturaja Vallabha, Silpa Ratnam, Vastu Sastram are dated after 15th-16th centuries. And there have been lakhs of manuscripts (of the abovementioned works) in the museums, achieves and libraries of USA, European Union countries, the erstwhile USSR countries. One would be surprised to know as to how the Vatican library has so much of Indian manuscripts and books on Indian art and architecture. Compared to them, perhaps, India has fewer manuscripts.

A detailed study of the qualities of specific stones, their arks, etc., is made in Silparatna (Chapter. XIV, verses.2-14). In Sanskrit the words used to denote stone, sculptor, and sculpture are follows:

Stone = Shila, Pashan, Ashman, Prastar, Upal, Graven Sculpture = pratima, murty Sculptor = tvastta, takshaka, tastta, takshan Architect = Stapati

Sila-karma Siladhivasana Sila-patta-vamsa

Masonry, the art of building in stone, the stone work Preparation of stones for building, the worship of stones for building A particular people engaged in stone working, now known as Silawat caste, who are masons and found in the neighbourhood of Damoh (Epigraphica Indica, Vol.XII, p.44, note.1). Laying the corner-stone or foundation.

Sila-pravesa, silpa-sthapana Sila-marddaka, sile-muddas

A guild of stone masons, the stone-cutters


Silavedi Sila-vesma Sila-sthambha Silpa-sastra Silpi-lakshana Silpi-sala Silanyas

The stone terrace on which sacred trees usually stand Stone-houses, cave-houses The stone column, a kind of column, the monolith The science of architecture and otyher cognate arts. The description of the artists; their qualifications, rank, caste etc. A school or workshop of architecture Stone-laying ceremony

The four types of Silpis are:

Stapathi Sutra Grahi Varthagi Dhakshaka

Chief architect Expert in measurement with thread Expert in painting Expert in Wood work

All these words and expressions7 are found in the Vedas exactly connoting the same meaning supported by the epigraphical evidences. Therefore, the architecture has been prevalent since Vedic period (c.12,500-6,500-4,500 BCE). The literature and as well as the temples built show that temples were built continuously, but they were deserted, abandoned due to various reasons.

According to South Indian tradition, there have been 32 branches of Silpa Sastra and they are: 1. Vrutham 2. Viswabotham 3. Viswakaspiyam 4. Visalam 9. Vidhyapathi 10. Manasaram. 11. Manuman 12. Manabotham 17. Mighuthavattam 18. Kalayupam. 19. Kapeelam. 20. Karparyam. 25. Srushtam. 26. Chaithykam. 27. Namasamhithai. 28. Sathvikam.

P. K. Acharya, An Encyclopedia of Hindu Architecture, LPP, New Delhi, Vol.VII, 2001, pp.494-495.



5. Viswadharmam 13. Mayindramal 6. Viswesam 7. Viswacharam 8. Vajjiram 14. Mayamanabotham 15. Mayanmatam. 16. Mayaneethi

21. Kalamdhiram. 22. Nalam. 23. Banu. 24. Parchariyam.

29. Adhicharam. 30. Aridagam. 31. Sowmyam. 32. Chitram.

The prevalent of such abundant books, manuals and handbooks o art and architecture in regional languages clearly prove the popularity of the subject among the village and city guilds. Many times, the modern / western writers mention them as craftsmen, tradesmen, artisans, and so on. But, their role in Indian society since the Vedic period has been unique: The important part which craftsmen, more especially Oriental craftsmen, have played in the worlds history as missionaries of civilization, culture, and religion, is not generally realized by bookmen. Even the present day, the Indian craftsmen, deeply versed in his Silpasastras, learned in folk-lore and national epic-literature, is, though excluded from Indian Universities-or, rather, on that account-far more highly cultured, intellectually and spiritually, than the average Indian graduate. In medieval times, the craftsmens intellectual influence, being creative and not merely assimilative, was at least as great as that of the priest and bookman8

different formation, forms, geological chronology, usage etc.

It is evident that stone and rock are used characteristically to differentiate from each other. Rock is naturally available, whereas, stone is a rock subjected to working or manipulation by man.

3. Usage of Stone implements: Interestingly, Indians like stones so much that they occupy part of their life in many aspects.

in Indian Even today, they use stone implements stone mill / roller-stone / grinding stone (for grinding grains converting into flour), stone mortar (Kallural),


E. B. Havell, Indian Sculpture and Painting, p.183.


Hew and Pick Grinding stone (Kallupoliya), Stone jar (Kal-jadi), etc., for different purposes, mainly forming part and parcel of (traditional) kitchen.

In many games, stones are used characteristically (stone-dice, stone-bar, stonemarker, etc.) a kind of backgammon board / dice-play (Thayam / Thaya-katta), a tablet with 14 holes to play (Pallanguzhi), mock-fighting with Tiger (Adu-puli), a game of six-stone spheres (Aru-kallu) etc.

Even in many ceremonies, particularly, in the last rites, stones are symbolically used. Moreover, in vocabulary of Indian languages, hundreds of words are available specifically connected with stone. Of course, the importance and usage of precious stones has been unique culture and tradition.

Washing cloths by striking, sharpening domestic knives,

4. Classification of Stone Usage: The presence of man in India and his handling of stones date back to millions of years back. In fact, scholars have not been definite about fixing Stone Age to India. F. E. Zeuner9 considers that, though no classification applicable to the whole of India is possible, a rough guide is:

Neolithic: Passing upwards into the Asoka period (274 BCE) and downwards into Indus valley culture (about 2300 BCE) and beyond). Microlithic: from the late Pleistocene to pre-historical. Paleolithic: from about 5,00,000 years ago to the end of the Pleistocene.

5. Man and Stone: Mans understanding of stone, stones properties, ability to crack or break or work with, implements required, invented and standardized.

It would have been easy for man to start with working stone that was available in his vicinity.


D. N. Wadia, Geology of India, TMH edition, 1981, New Delhi, p.388.


The lithic (paleo-meso-neo) culture noted proves the fact of selection, manipulation and continuous usage of stone. Naturally, when he conceived, perceived and wanted to write or draw anything, he would have tried it first on the sand / earths surface and then moved to stone for endurance and permanency. Thus, the mother-earth would have been a motivational factor inducing him to draw or write. It is relevant to note that the initiation or practice of writing or in fact education start with writing on sand or on the surface of the earth in India. Known as Aksharabyasa (Akshara = that one cannot be erased or destroyed and abyasa = the practice)has unique meaning, that is the practice of writing that cannot be erased or destroyed. So when a child was accustomed to draw or write on the earths surface, his fingers and hand would have been trained enough to work with stones. The selection of other media like leaves, barks, cloth, paper etc., would have been only for other factors of convenience. Even today, it may be noted that only inscriptions are used to record any event and fixed at the place or building for longevity with cherished memory.

Why stone was selected for the purposes mentioned or identified as listed above by Indians? The reasons may be given as follows:

Easy availability. Known that it could last for a long time. Part of nature and Panchabhutas (as per the Indian tradition). The worship of nature, mountain / hill, volcano / earthquake and other seismic activities would have been reduced to stone symbolically. Easy working with stone / knowledge of Stone working / art.

6. Stone Art: Standardization, Manual, training of stone workers, cutters, bringing stones to the required site, how the stones of various sizes brought to the construction site, machines and equipments used, construction methods adopted and adapted,


The marvelous, astonishing and mysterious stone-working has been noted by the writers, but perplexed to explain the technology behind it. For example note the observation of James Fergusson10:

Frequently the capitals and shafts have been actually turned in a sort of lathe in which the shaft was held vertically. (p.425).

About the Chalukyan sculptures, Meadows Taylor11 surprised as follows:

.the carvings on some of the pillars and of the lintels and architraves of the doors are beyond description. No chased work in silver or gold could possibly be finer..By what tools this very hard, tough stone could have been wrought and polished as it is, is not at all intelligible at the present day; nor indeed from whence the large blocks of greenstone rock was brought.

7. Schools and Quarters of Stone Experts and Workers: Ancient India had millions of monuments including temples, sculptures, palaces, Ghats etc. Even today India has millions of such pieces, but mutilated, debilitated, destroyed, crumbling, and restoring condition. Millions were destroyed, demolished and mutilated by the iconoclast Mohammedans and Christians too. And again millions are available in the museums of Washington, New York, Chicago, London, Lisbon, Paris, Moscow, and other cities. And unfortunately, now also they are neglected, ignored and deserted by the Indians because of their ideologies. So taking all into consideration, definitely, the figure comes to millions and millions. Howe these have come into existence? Definitely, crores of Stone Experts (Stapatis architects, engineers and specialists, Sculptors, and all other categories) and Workers (quarry workers, stone cutters, chisellers, polishers) must have worked mentally and physically to produce. Then, there must have been schools and quarters for them.

Particularly, when they had worked at site, there must have been arrangements made with required facilities. When the project was over, either they must have moved

James Fergusson, History of Indian & Eastern Architecture, Low-Priced Publications, New Delhi, 1997, pp.422-423.11


Meadows Taylor and James Fergusson, Architecture of Dharwar and Mysore, John Murray, London, 1866, pp.47-48.


over or settled there maintenance and other necessary work and services. That the streets around temples or palaces have been named after the artisans, workers, prove the fact. Their location would have been only to the fact of location of the temple or palace in question and the procurement of required inputs raw-materials, day-to-day requirements and other resources. For such easy accessibility, the Brahmans would have been placed near, just like suppliers of flowers, fragrance etc., and Sudras away but nearer to the places of availability of inputs required.

Considering the quantum of output of the monuments, as pointed out above, the number of such Stone experts and workers must have been many crores spreading length and breadth of the ancient Bharat and beyond. A rough estimate might be as follows:

PeriodBefore IVC

Place / dynasty Number of produced MonumentsVedic(Internal evidence prove the existence of art and architecture)

Total no. of Experts and workers engaged

Not known

Not determinable 1,00,000 5,00,000 8,00,000 10,00,00 12,00,000 2,00,000 8,00,000 10,00,000 6,00,000

3000-2500 BCE 2500-2000 BCE 2000-1500 BCE 1500-1000 BCE 1000-500 BCE 500-0 BCE 0-500 CE 500-1000 CE 100-1500 CE

IVC IVC matured / peak Post IVC, dynasties

50 100

Puranic 200 300 400 50 150 250

Puranic dynasties Jains, Nandas Mauryasns, Buddhists Guptas, Pallavas Kadambas, Chalukyas, etc Cholas, etc

Hoysalas 200



1. The figures have to be justified with evidences. 2. In due course of process, they can be corrected.

Accordingly, there must have been production of tools for stone working, thus, existence of metallurgists, metal-workers engaged in mining, extraction, alloying, moulding and working producing crores of tools catering to the workers. Thus, such tools cover the range of processes cutting, sawing, designing, shaping, sculpturing, honing, polishing, finishing etc.

That wooden prototypes were used proves the fact of existence of crores of such experts with fine-expertise. And there must have been production of required carpentry tools to manufacture such minute, accurate and fine pieces.

Of course, everything involves mathematics, designing, drawing, method of conversion of two dimensions to three dimensions, knowledge of different related subjects or engaging such experts for such specified applications, as nothing comes out of vacuum. The westerners could dub the literary works and the corresponding depictions as myth, even the depicted i.e, converted into sculpture-forms as myth, but the physically available monuments are not myth and the physically non-available Stone experts and workers who produced them are not myth. Therefore, historians, scholars and researchers have to explain the lacuna.

Therefore, definitely, there must have existed schools to teach, train and certify Stone Experts and Workers of various aspects.

For them, there must have been quarters or dwelling places depending upon their nature of moving or non-moving categories.

8. Movement of Stone Experts and Workers: The archaeological, sculptural and literary evidences amply show the movement of Stone Experts and Workers moving to different places and countries. If such movement is taken into account, then, the historical possibilities have to be considered:

Transport: The movement of them would have involved enormous transport facilities. As there was no air travel, only the possibilities are land and sea transportation. If the 11

poor road facilities of the ancient period, usage of bullock carts, unorganized sea voyages (without one has to believe, as they could not have had the knowledge of compass, clock, longitude-latitude measurements, maps) etc., were to be accepted, they would have taken months and years to travel and reach their destinations.

Manuals and Books: Till Buddhists produced their own architectural manuals and books, they must have used Hindu ones. Even the new books were produced, the Hindu origins could not be denied.

Language: They must have been conversing with each other in a specific language. If all were to be considered to have been hailing from India, then, a particular language should have been used.

Food and Shelter: They must have been provided food and shelter or they must have had tents and their own cooking arrangements. Then, there is no difference between the organized groups and the nomadic ones. This is also historically not explained.

Patronage / Funding: Evidences are there the Buddhists got immediately enormous amount of support from the Kings and Businessmen.

9. Where Schools, Worskshops and Factories Existed? To teach , train and professionalize such crores of Stone Experts and Workers, definitely, there must have been lakhs of schools existed. If the standard elements like worked / dressed slabs, lintels, pillars, base etc., were to be supplied readymade, again lakhs of workshops and factories must have existed with facilities. So how the Schools, Workshops and factories were creaed and where existed? Had the pillars were turned in lathes to get such accuracy of stock removal of stones, where were such lathes used? What type of chucks they used to hold the job weighing such enormous amount of weights of 5000, 1000, 500 kgs i.e, of the order of 5 MTs? What were the tools used to remove the stock of the material? Where were the tools? Considering the quantum of sculptures, monuments and other architectural elements, there must have been corresponding number of tools, implements, gadgets and machines used. What happened to them? At least some of them must have been recovered during the archaeological excavations carried on starting with the British. Were they not available during their scientifically carried out excavations? Having found, whether the British suppressed or removed to disappear, as they did not want to credit to Indians? Or all were made to disappear or get perished without leaving any traces? Why the historians, scholars and researchers do not explain this type of important facts? They could not think scientifically, rationally or critically, or having thought, they do not want to record, as


their academic identity, professional status or intellectual honesty would be questioned?

10. Stone Architecture: design and construction techniques, rock-cut temples, stone converted into blocks, shapes and other elements of construction viz., pillars, columns, lintels, slabs to form roof, railings, sun-shades, sculptures, idols etc.

11. Art and Architecture prove the Science and Technology Behind: The art and architectural methods and techniques prove the science and technology behind, as no art could exist without science. The Vedic literature clearly mentions about science and technology. The related Vastu literature Indian Books on Art and Architecture clearly have basis for such existence and construction of monuments, buildings and other structures.

Another important point is Indian progress from known to unknown. As anything can be known only from known to unknown, the Indian literature could not have come into existence all of sudden. Definitely, scholars were bewildered and perplexed about the pre-Mauryan and pre-Buddhist art and architecture, as most of them kept quite. Instead of investigating the truth, the scholars start to theorize that wood was used before stone and so on. As they did not date the stone sculptures and monuments independently, the proposed that Chandragupta Maurya was using wood and only Asoka started using stone. Here, purposely, they kept mum again on the art and architecture of Indus valley civilization. Therefore, accounting of art and architecture for the intervening period 2250 BCE to 300 BCE or the answer to the sudden emergence of them during the great Maryan empire with the Asoka the Great is to accept the continuance of it.

Denial of history for the period is unhistorical, as proto-history with advanced civilization could not have produced a historical empire with less advanced civilization. Here also, the lacuna would be solved, if the dating of monuments is connected or rather corrected with the intervening period. The thrusting of historians that everything script, language, mathematics, astronomy, art, architecture etc., should be blessed with Mauryans, who were created out of Indian literature that is again dubbed as myth. To downplay, the Greek borrowings are shamelessly imposed on the Indians to qualify for their civilization to be reckoned with the west. This is clearly artificial, unscientific and thus unhistorical.

The manufacture of sculptures involves stones and other materials also, as the Vastu literature mention about sculptures made of stone (precious and non-precious), wood,


metals and non-metals and others. In all cases, the involvement of tools, implements and machines used are criterion to understand and appreciate the technology behind.

12. Stone Art and Architecture Its Style: Identification of certain features, characters and design and associating them with a particular race, tribe, dynasty, empire and taking it as a style or standard and fixing the date or chronology accordingly. Here, many assumptions and presumptions are made.

Cunnignham dated certain monuments found at Taxila as belonging to 2nd and 3rd centuries CE (ASR, Vol.V, Plate.xxiv), which was disputed by J. H. Marshall. Fergusson dated to 8th cent. CE (1910, p.98, fig.27), so Marshall12 questioned him also as his woodcut was a mere travesty of the original.

The attribution of this monument, as itment, as it now stands, to the eighth century or thereabouts by Fergusson is one of the most amazing as his attribution of the Dhamekh stupa at Saranath to the eleventh century. The style of the architectural decorations around the plinth and base of the super-structure is precisely that which prevailed at Taxila in the second century AD, but was completely transformed during the three succeeding centuries

So scholars like Fergusson and Marshall could differ by 600 years in dating of the same Indian monuments by their exhibited style, what would have happened in the case of others?

Warmington,13 who published a silver dish from Lampsacos (ancient name Lapseki), Asia Minor depicting Bharata-Lakshmi dating to 1st or 2nd century CE based on the features exhibited in the figure. V. S. Agrawala14 discussing it states that the style of hair depicted coiffure was found among the Roman women during 1st or 2nd century is not known. However, such style appears in the terracotta figures of Gupta period dated to 4th century (or 3rd cen. BCE). Thus, even the surmise has a difference of 3 or 2 centuries gap, if one has to date sculptors by the style.

12 13 14

J. H. Marshall, The Date of Kanishka, JRAS (GBI), 1914 p.984, cf.1. Warmington, The Commerce Between the Roman Empire and India, 1928, p.143.

V. S. Agrawala, India Represented on a Silver Dish from Lampsacos, JUPHS, Vol.XVI, 1943, pp.3-6.


D. R. Bhandarker15 also points out the lacuna in deciding the date of the monuments based on the style:

Different ways of reading letters and script in the inscriptions. SAKA is read as SAN, SANAB, and so on and Kanishka as KARANO, KANAK, KANIK and so on (p.272). If one goes by Paleolithic evidence i.e, reading of letters / alphabets in the inscriptions based on style, The Guptas are made contemporary rulers of Kanisha (p.300).

Therefore, the monuments have to be independently dated with scientific methodology.

13. Dating of Stone Art and Architecture: Dating of stone available in nature and its working by man is different. The crude form of working is dated to Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. As it is not fixed or determined with respect to any people or nation or country, the generalization or comparison lead to wrong calculation and fixation of dates. Here, when a particular pillar, sculpture, idol, or any other form is made, it should be dated accordingly. A method or instrument should be there to determine date instead of fixing date by style or comparison.

14. Why Scientifically Worked Stones could not be dated? C14, TL and other scientific dating methods are used to determine dating of wooden, metal, textile, bone, grains, etc. However, it is said that the date of worked stones could not be determined by such methods.

15. Difficulties in dating Stone Monuments:

1. The Mohammedan invasion (Sind invasion in 712 CE, Malikaffur in 1311), iconoclast activities and other cruelties and atrocities had made the devotees taking away idols from the temples and keeping them at safety places.


D. R. Bhandarkar, A Kushana stone-inscription and the question about origin of the Saka era, JBBRAS, Vol.20, 1902, pp.269-302,


2. Thousands of Idols of stone and metal (Panchaloha) were not recovered back, as the devotees in urgency, fear and terror, buried them in the fields, hide in the forests and tree-cleavages and undisclosed placed and forgotten completely. In many cases, such devotees were chased away, hounded and killed.

3. The Danish, Portuguese, French and British removed piece by piece many sculptures, carved pillars etc., and exported to Lisbon, Paris, and London respectively. Such sacrilegious and blasphemous activities were carried out mostly during their military operations, using temples as garrison, and later under the guise of geographical and astronomical survey etc.,

4. The marble slabs of Amaravati excavated by Sir Walter Elliot in 1845 were transshipped to England and now adorn the grand staircase of the British museum16.

5. Robert Sewell reports the vandalism of 70 pieces of Amaravati sculptures kept in open place by Walter were reportedly vandalized by the local villagers17. In fact, the Government Public Works Engineers were equally guilty of such acts of vandalism18.

6. The monolithic pillars of Venkatramana temple of Chinjee were taken by the French to Pondicherry and used as base of the statue of Duplex.

7. Many of the sculptures taken away from the sites and locked up in the offices of Archaeological Survey of India disappeared during 18th - 19th centuries, evidently smuggled out of India by the British.

8. Due to Mohammedans iconoclast raids, many of the sculptures were destroyed and from the rubbles, most of the pieces were taken away by the Europeans16

Devaprasad Ghosh, The Development of Buddhist Art in South India, The Journal of Historical Quarterly, Vol.4:4, December, 1928, p.725. Robert Sewell, Report on the Amaravati Tope, London, 1880, p.67. Madras Govt. Orders No.467, 30 April, 1888, p.15.

17 18


rulers to their respective countries. James Fergusson notes the difficulties in the characterization of Chalukyan style by mentioning,

Unfortunately, most of the earlier and finer examples perished during the early Moslim invasions and under the later rule of the various Muhammadans dynasties of the Dekhan19.

The Mohammedans themselves converted basic structures into mosques keeping pillars but mutilating divine and human figurines, which were antiIslamic.

9. What available now are only perhaps one tenth of original temples, structures and images and therefore, the classification of styles ascribing to a particular dynasty is mostly speculative, surmising, and thus misleading and not definite.

15.1. The Manipulations of European Scholars with Stone Evidences: Surprisingly, the European scholars have stooped down to manipulate stone evidences according to their convenience of interpreting historical events.

The manipulations of Dr. Alois Anton Fuhrer20, Assistant Editor of Epigraphica India: About A. A. Fuhrers activities, T. A. Pelps notes: In his official Progress Report as Archaeological Surveyor in that year, Fuhrer copied large slabs of text from a report by Buhler on Sanchi inscriptions, transposing both texts and inscriptions, almost verbatim, into the report on his own excavations at a completely different site. Astonishingly, this wholesale and extensive plagiarism appears to have passed completely unnoticed during this period (including, apparently, by Buhler himself, with whom Fuhrer was soon afterwards in correspondence). He also - and more ominously, perhaps, in the light of later events fraudulently incised a Brahmin19

The Mohammedans iconoclast-fanatical-ferocious destruction of temples have been noted by the British surveyors and recorded in their records and works. James Fergusson, opt cit. Archaeological Survey of Western India, Vol. III, pp.20, 23, 38-40.


T. A. Phelps, Lumbini on Trial: The Untold Story, see the article posted in H. Luders, On Some Brahmi Inscriptions in the Lucknow Museum, JRAS (UK), 1912, fn, p.167.


inscription on to a stone statue in the Lucknow Museum at this rime, an event which also unnoticed. The other disturbing details are:

Fuhrer had been conducting a steady trade in bogus relics of Buddha with a Burmese monk, U Ma. Among these phoney items and a year prior to the Piprahwa finds Fuhrer had sent U Ma a soapstone relic-casket, supposedly containing Buddha-relics of the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, together with bogus Asokan inscriptions, these dedceptions thus duplicating, at an earlier date, every important detail of the supposed Piprahwa finds21. He was also found to have falsely laid claim to the discovery of 17 inscribed Sakya heroes which were alleged inscribed upon these caskets22. Peppe23 noted that the so-called 2500 years old bone relics might have been picked up few days ago. A molar tooth found among these items (retained by Peppe) has recently found to be that of a pig24. When Peppe returned to London, the London Buddhist Society wanted to clarify about his findings. Though, he agreed, he did not answer the questions proposed. The Society declared the matter to be kept in abeyance in consequence; but Peppe died six years latter, leaving all such questions unanswered25.

Thomas Watters doubt on the location of Lumbini: According to Vincent A. Smith, Mr. Watters writes in a specific skeptical spirit, and apparently feels doubts as to the reality of the Sakya principality in the Tarai. The editors of Watters book (On Yuan Chwangs Travels in India 629-645 A.D), T. W. Rhys Davids, S. W. Bushell and Smith had suppressed the Watters manuscript. Doubting Rhy Davids, Watters had21

Government of India Proceedings (Part B), Department of Revenue & Agriculture (Archaeology & Epigraphy Section), August 1898, File No. 24 of 1898, Proceedings Nos. 7-10 (National Achieves of India, New Delhi). P. C. Mukheji, Report on a Tour of Exploration of the Antiquities in the Tarai, Nepal, JRAS, 1898.

A. A. Fuhrer, Annual Progress Report, archaeological Survey, N. W. P. & Oudh Circle, y/e 1898, p.2.23 24 25


W. C. Peppe, The Pirahwa Stupa containing Relics of Buddha, JRAS (UK), 1898, p.576. T. A. Pelps, opt.cit Journal of the Buddhist Society, Buddhism in England, London, July 1931, pp.61-64; Oct.1931, p.78; Mar-Apr.1932, p.180).


published his writings in The China Review, Vols. 18-20, 1890-92. Fearing controversy, the editors unwittingly mentioned in the preface to the book, We have thought it best to leave Mr Watterss Ms. Untouched, and to print the work as it stands. This clearly shows that the editors have edited the text much against the wishes of Watters.

Manipulations of Piprahwa Findings26: Dr. W. C. Peppes discovery27 of Lomas Rishi cave / stupa with Buddhas relic casket near Nepal border in 1898 created a great sensation among the British. About the dating of the monument, there was controversy among them. Fergusson28 dated to c.250 BCE. Vincent Smith29 wanted to give round numbers of 450 BCE for good reasons. Fergusson noted that the Sudama or Nyagrodha cave is the oldest architectural example in India dated to 250 BCE, whereas, Smith asserted that, The earliest building to which an approximate date could be assigned is the stupa at Piprahwa on the Nepal frontier, explored by Mr. Peppe in 1898. Very strong reasons exist for assigning this building to 450 BC.

Thus, it is evident, here the fight and manipulations among the involved were for two reasons: 1. The dating of stone monument and 2. The dating of Buddha relics. As the stone monument, according to them was the ancient one in India, they did not want to give any pre-Alexander date, though definitely, it belonged to an earlier date. Of course, about the relics, as they themselves accepted forged ones were used, the dating is immaterial. However, the act of inscribing Asokan inscriptions on the casket is an archaeological fraud tampering with evidences of dates. As all these unbecoming acts affect adversely the dating of Indian monuments, Buddha and Asoka, the present dates cannot be accepted. In fact, the suppression of these from the knowledge of students of India and its continuance by the teachers and professors have been another biggest fraud inflicted on them.

16. Why Temples Reportedly Built 1000 to 2000 years back are not found? Generally researchers, scholars and historians used to ask what happened to the Hindu temples built 1000 to 2000 years back as claimed to have existed. See the fate of IVC, in spite of the advanced status, it is only pre-historical or proto-historic and not historical! So also, here, a peculiar situation arises as historical records prove the

26 27 28 29

P. C. Mukherji, opt.cit, p.577. W. C. Peppe, opt.cit., pp.576 Fergusson, opt.cit, p.131.

Vincent Smith, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol.II, Oxford at Clarendon Press, UK, 1909, p.102.


existing of material evidences, but historians ask the same material evidences, which are incidentally not available!

Literary evidences show that temples were there during Vedic period assigned to c.12,500 to 3,500 BCE.

Epigraphical proofs (dated from c.3rd century BCE) too confirm the existence of temples and installation of images inside, but they are not found. So what happened to the temples built c.300 BCE before?

The following points are crucial in deciding the factual position: Men in India have been there since millions of years with stone axes. They were painting on the rocks around 40,000 to 30,000 YBP in Bhimbetka and other places. IVC prove their civilized status at least by 3,500 to 2500 BCE. Scientific knowledge of stones, images, stone working, and the required mathematical, geometrical and astronomical wisdom had been there. The instruments, equipments and gadgets must have been there. Then, what happened to the material evidences?

So what could be the possible reasons for the disappearance of the material evidences that is the existed temples? The following exigencies may be analyzed critically:

Importance is given to Istadevata (the God which is liked the most or the Personal God) and thus, the worship of others at a particular place and time may get reduced, isolated, deserted and abandoned.

The periodical worship and patronage of Kuladevata (family deity) has been practiced even today since time immemorial. There are Hindus, who are abroad in different countries with different professions but they come to India and go to the Kuladevata temple with family. When such families discontinue visiting the temple, actually, it becomes disuse. 20

Temples belonging to tribes or specific groups have their temples with periodic worship with festivals and funfair. However, when they are displaced or ousted due to some reasons, such temples become desolate.

And the most of the temples have been built and patronized by Kings, Queens, Nobles, Aristocrats, Army-commanders, soldiers, Business-men, and even ordinary people. When their status or position changes, the patronage is affected and so also the temple.

Time factor is also there. The temple built with stone could last for 1000 to 2000 years and therefore, the built before such period could have crumbled due to ageing, collapsed due to weight and disintegrated beyond repairs.

After Mohammedan invasion, the position and condition of the temples is wellknown. Lakhs of temples were subjected to their heinous iconoclast frenzy, religious fundamentalism and large-scale destruction.

When started to stabilize and rule, their religious groups went on spree in converting the existing temples, ghats, and other important sacred and pilgrimage places to Mohammedan. Thus, mosques were built predominantly in the places of traditional sites.

In fact, in spite of the bias, prejudice and pre-determination, the westerners too have thought about it and opined in between their writings and some of them are pointed out as follows:

After discussing about the Art school of IVC, H. Heras points out30 with his favorite consideration of IVC as Dravidian:


H. Heras, The Origin of the So-called Greco-Buddhist School of Gandhara, JBBRAS, Vol .XII, 1936, pp.77-97.


The far-off age of these works of art does not allow us to continue this artistic tradition year by year. Moreover many of those ancient works must have totally disappeared on account of the perishable material of which they were made, for instance wood or clay. Finally the wars fought in northern India as a consequence of the Aryan invasion, the subsequent wars of Kuruksetra and those of Alexander and Chandragupta Maurya did not allow the Dravidian artists to produce new manifestations of their national school.

Just like any other Dravidian protagonist, he uses31 Itihasas and Puranas to prove his point as otherwise, he would dub them as myth:

The contempt with which the Vedic rsis spoke of the Magadhas is well-known. It was a Dravidian kingdom which proved to be very reluctant to accept Aryanization. This dynasty reigning at Magadha during the Mahabharat was not Aryan. Jarasandha, the king then reigning at Rajagriha, was himself a Dravidian. In the time of the Mauryans, Magadha was much Aryanized; but the Dravidian element was beyond doubt prevalent. The kings undoubtedly used Dravidian sculptors who had been such skilful artists in the past

Alexander Rae in his report on Amaravati says that the remains at Sankaram may either represent a very early period of underdeveloped workmanship or a later decadence. But, Devaprasad Ghosh differed and showed that the sculptures belonged to pre-christian age32.

17. The Question of Borrowing from the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks or Romans: The historians, scholars, researchers of general and art have been unanimous and monotonous in repeating that Indians borrowed the stone art from the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, or Romans33. Though, already some Indian scholars34 have questioned, it is ignored purposely as it questions the established chronology.

31 32 33

Ibid, p.93. Deviprasad Ghosh, opt.cit, pp.737-738. Leitner, H. Butchtal, Vincent A. Smith, A. MacDonald, J. F. Fleet, James Fergusson, Jas Burgess, R. E. M. Wheeler, and host of others. K. D. Sethna, Ancient India in a New Light, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 1989, pp.390-394.



Vedic period Stone Experts and Workers: Scholars have expressed two views about the prevalent of Idol-worship in the Vedic period. The Vedic references (c.4500 BCE) about Pratima are discussed first:

Those who assert that there was no image worship during Vedic period quote the following verse: na tasya pratimahasti yasya nam mahadhashaha (Yajurveda.XXXII.3) meaning that there is no image of (God), whose appellation is the great and glorious.

Those who point out the prevalent of Idol worship during Vedic period quote the following verse: Shrushinam prastaroasi namaoastu devayaprastriya (Atharvaveda.XVI.26) meaning that, You are the couch of the Rishis. Let worship be paid to the divine couch. Ka imam dashbhirmamndram kritnati dhenubhi (Rigveda.IV.24.10) means that, Indra can be purchased for ten cows (and such Indra should be only an image of Indra). Here cow is meant for some coinage, as cow is wealth. In fact, in can be noted that Valluvar (c.43 BCE) uses the very word madu meaning cattle to assess ones wealth.

However, other descriptions like the Forts, destruction of three Forts by Shiva, different forms of disposal of dead, stone structures etc., show the prevalence of stone structure during the period. P. K. Acharya35 has dealing with Vedic Architecture points out the specific words used in Vedas stham, vis, prathistha, gaya, dama, dhaaman, sarma for house (gruha) prove that the Vedic people were long settled with permanent dwelling houses of different categories. Not only that the references of purchase of built houses, possession of several houses according to one status etc., negate the popular view represented by the western scholars that Vedic people were nomadic and they had only hamlets. The Sulva and Kalpa sutras may deal with the construction of altars with meticulous geometrical details, but, they must have been used for building houses also.

Vedaprakash, Was Indian Stone art Derived from the Chaldeans, Greeks, Romans or Persians? in Contribution of South India to Indian Art and Architecture, Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti, Madras, 1999, pp.36-43.35

P. K. Acharya, Hindu Architecture in India and Aboard, LPP, New Delhi, 1998, pp.54-65


Interestingly, the people of Indus / Saraswati Civilization, Jaina and Buddhists have abundantly incorporated Vedic subjective and objective symbolism in their art and architecture. Therefore, the persons who ordered and the persons who executed such monuments knew on what basis what they carve, erect and build was depended upon. How then, the material evidences of Vedic people are missing is a question.

Stone Experts and Workers of Indus Valley / Harappan / Saraswati Civilization: Though, variously mentioned by the historians and scholars, the Indus Valley / Harappan / Saraswati Civilization has unique evidences of a highest status of civilization on the earth ever existed till perhaps in modern times to be reckoned with. It has the following material evidences proving the expertise in stone art, sculpturing and metal work carried on:

Human torso (without head and limbs): Made of fine grained Red stone, 2a material that was never used by later sculptors (JMK, p.129). Holes drilled in the torso attached separately carved arms and head, while the nipples and some form of shoulder ornaments would have been inlaid. It is quite common that such types of mutilated sculptures / monuments are found in the sites before or during or after excavations. As many heads without bodies and limbs without body or head etc., have also been found, recovered and carefully displayed at many museums, if any attempt had been made, its missing parts could have been matched to see the image of such unfortunate man. As the human body has been in perfect proportions with all modern requirements of morphology, physiology, anatomy etc, the sculptor must have carved the whole in the same principles. Thus, the expertise and proficiency of Stone art could be easily understood during c.3500 BCE. Thus, such expertise could have continued to preceding progeny. Male Bust / Priest-King Image (without legs): It is broken sculpture of 17 cms height. Made of Steatite stone. Seated Male: Partly damaged sculpture is made of limestone of 33.5cm height and 16.5 cm width (Mohanjo-daro Museum, MM 432). Seated man: A fragment of a limestone sculpture (JMK,, in Islamabad museum) depicting a seated man wearing a cloak over the left shoulder of 28 cm height and 22 cm width. Other pieces of the bearded figure were found scattered in the Harappan site (DKG area). These sculpture resemble the so called priest-king image. Stone head: Many stone heads or heads of human sculptures have been found. Steatite Male head (Lal and Gupta, 1984), Stone head (Wheeler, 1968, pl.XXA), carved sand stone head (JMK,


Torso of male dancer: Made of gray sandstone, height 8.5 cm. conjectural sketch (after Marshall 1931, fig.1) proves the dancing posture clearly. Dancing girl (made of Copper alloy). Spear thrower or dancer: Made of copper / Bronze of 4.1 cm height, 1.7-0.6 cm width (JMK, A Woman wearing bangles: Made of copper / Bronze of 13.2 cm height and 4.7 cm width (J. M. Kenoyer, 1998, Mohenj-daro, in Karachi museum). It appears evidently Indian features with corroded surface. Cart with Roof and side panels: It is an interesting copper / bronze metal figurine made by lost-wax casting method. Though mentioned as cart by the western scholars, it could a chariot / rath, as such images are famous in India even today since time immemorial. Terracotta images, including toys (of different features). Seals (with many images, figures and symbols).

The thousands of sculptures and artifacts have made the scholars to accept that sculptor schools were there in Mohanjadro and Harappan cities during c.3500 BCE. Therefore, such sculpturing, casting, moulding, carving, stone and metal experts and workers would not have vanished, but continued through their progeny making more and more monuments after 3500 BCE. A furnace / kiln / oven dated to c.2,400 BCE of Harappa proves the metallurgical skill of ancient Indians. Therefore, it is unbelievable for common man to know that sculpture of 3500 BCE could exist but that of between the period 3500 to 300 BCE could vanish till Mauryas to come and produce for Indians to have or start art history.

Marine archaeological findings in the Gulf of Camby, Gujarat: The findings of underwater marine archaeologists36 of artifacts etc., discovered on the seabed at a depth of 20-40 m below the present sealevel, 20 km offshore of Hazira occurring south of Tapi mouth in the Gulf of Camby prove the Stone art expertise of the people dated to 9500 BP or 7500 BCE based on C-14 of the samples tested37. The archaeological findings are:


S. Kathiroli, S. Badrinarayanan, D. V. Rao, B. Sasisekaran, K. M. Sivakolundu, A New Archaeological Find in the Gulf of Cambay, Gujarat, Journal of Geological Society of India, Vol.60, October 2002, pp.419-428. , New Archaeological Sites in the Gulf of Cambay, India, Episodes, Vol.26, No.1, March 2003, pp.16-18.



Scrapper of chert / silocone rock Broken barrel bead A fragment of a hearth Pottery pieces.

Of which the blade scrapper proves the human activity of men with stones around 9500 BP or 7500 BCE.

Dwaraka Excavation: The Dwaraka excavation unearthed the stone boulders forming part of the submerged fort, triangular three-holed stone anchor, all datable to 15th-1th century BCE. This clearly proves the usage of stones for construction purposes in India going back to 1500-1400 BCE38.

According to the Indian Historical records, Mahabharat and Puranas, the city Dwaraka was submerged after the death of Yadavas fighting with each other and the left out reached the land. The Sangam Literature also succinctly records about Irungovel, who ruled reportedly around c.1725 BCE39. Kapilar, the Tail Poet records certain details about Irungovel (Puram.201:8-12), which are to be scrutinized critically:

1. Irungovel was born from a Yagna Pit (Tadavu) of a Rishi living in the North. 2. He ruled a city named Tuvarai, which had walls made of Copper like material. 3. He used to give alms without any discrimination. 4. He descended from the Velir dynasty, which had in existence for 49 generations before him.


S. R. Rao, Prospects and Progress in Marine Archaeology, NIO, Goa, 1986.




Such exigency has been consistent with the tramiradesha sangattana of Kharavela Inscription40.

All these go to prove that there had been some tectonic activity took place around c.3100 BCE leading to submergence of Dwaraka (an island city) in the Gulf of Cambay and thus the movement of people to the main land. Therefore, the existence of men before and after c.3100 BCE cannot be denied considering the findings of marine-archaeologists and the pre-historic findings of Pallavaram axe-man dated to lakhs of years BP and the Bhimpeta paintings to 40,000 YBP. These men already started working with stone could not have sit for years together to get inspired by Alexander and others to copy stone-art from them to start carving sculptures only after c.300 BCE.

18. Jain Stone Experts and Workers: Jainism preceded Buddhism, however, again historians do not give any decided or conclusive dates for Vardhamana Mahavira41. The approximate and provisional date is 599-527 BCE (commonly accepted) / 549-477 BCE (Hermann Jacobi42, ), though Buddhas date is c.623-544 BCE (B. V. Bapat, 1977) / 567-487 BCE (Vincent Smith, 1923). The date of Pasvanatha, the 23rd Tirthankara is given as c.872-772 BCE. The western scholars discuss Asokan inscriptions to fix date of Buddha, taking references from Buddhist texts, which give only years from one event to another. Thus, they arbitrarily have fixed the dates considering the facts which are favorable to their interpretation and ignoring or suppressing other facts. The hundreds of dates given by La De Poussin43, A. B. Keith44, H. Jacobi, J. F. Fleet45, Vincent40

..., Kharavela and Karikala, a paper presented at the23rd session of South Indian Congress held at Tiruchirrappalli from January 31 to February 2, 2003. Vincent A. Smith, Hermann Jacobi, SBA, 1930, pp.557-568. De La Vallee Possin, Indo-europeens et Indo-iraniens, pp.238-248; ., L Inde aux Temp des Mauryas, p.50.

41 42 43


A. Berriedale Keith, Mahavira and Buddha, Bulletin of Oriental studies, 1932,Vol.9, pp.859866 (here, the purpose of this article is to discredit the Jain and Buddhist traditions). John Faithful Fleet, The Date of Buddhas Death, as Determined by a Record of Asoka, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 1904, pp.1-26 (the exercise has been to read a line Iyam cha savane vivuthena duve sa-pamnalati sata vivutha ti / vyuthena, savane kate sata vivsa ta / iyam cha sava.. sa..p..te vyuthena of Sahasram, Rupnath and Brahmagiri inscriptions respectively as The Buddha departed 256 years before this sermon, i.e, Buddha died 256 years before the edict of Asoka, thus bringing down Buddhas niryana from c.544 BCE to c.440 BCE, though such words are not in the inscriptions. In fact, no word for years is available in the inscriptions to consider date or chronology. Different scholars have read as follows only in the context of Buddism:



Smith46, MaxMueller47, Jas Burgess48 etc., prove that they desperately wanted to nail these with that Chandragupta exploiting the divergent versions found in the Jain and Buddhist literatures about the Nirvana of Mahavira and hearing it by Buddha1. In fact, there are scholars who could not find any difference between Jaina and Buddha faiths and so also in the Idols of their Masters49. Starting with 9th-7th centuries BCE, hardly anything is mentioned about Jaina art and Architecture.

Like others, the Jaina scholars interpret that their art and architecture could be traced back to IVC, as the Pasupati of IVC is nothing but the first tirthankara, Lord Rishaba based on Joseph Campbell50, John Koller51 and others.

As the Jaina literature has been profoundly influenced by Vedic, Itihasa and Puranic episodes, it is evident that again, there has been chronological problem in fixing the dates of the literatures in question. E. J. Thomas, Life of Buddha, 1927 J. G. R. Forlong, Science of Comparative Religions, 1877 have pointed out that before Buddha, there was no difference between Buddhism and Jainism perceived by the people outside Bharat.

H. Oldenberg - and the number 256 denotes only 256 beings have appeared 256 have departed for nirvana / the number of the departed on the earth is 256. Buhler 256 men have gone on missions / there have been 256 setting out of missionaries / the teaching is promulgated by the missionary 256. Rice And this exhortation has been delivered by the society 256 times. .., The Day on Which Buddha Died, JRAS, 1909, pp.1-34.46

Vincent Arthur Smith, The Authorship of Piyadasi Inscriptions, JRAS, 1901, pp.481-512. ., The Identity of Piyadasi (Priyadarsin) with Asoka Maurya and Some Connected Problems, JRAS, 1901, p.821-829.

., The Meaning of Piyadasi, IA, 1903, pp.19-23.47 48 49

Max Mueller, The True Date of Buddhas Death, Indian Antiquary, 1884, pp.148-151. Jas Burgess, The Date of Buddha Nirvana, IA, 1884, p.117. Brahmachari Sital Prasadji, A Comparative Study of Jainism and Buddhism, The Jaina Mission Society, Madras, 1932, p.286-287. Joseph Campbell, Oriental Mythology, The Viking Press, New York, 1962, pp.219-220. John Koller, The Indian Way, MacMillan Publishing Co., New York, 1982, p.113.

50 51


E. J. Thomas in his book The Life of the Buddha has given the following details: There were gymnophists or naked saints in India, but they were not Buddhists (Introduction, p.XIV).

Philosophy, then with all its blessed advantages to man, flourished long ago among the Indians, the gymnophists (p.104).

Sarmanes called Germanes by Strabo and Sumarians by Parphyrius, are the ascetics of a different religion, and may have belonged to the sect of Jains or to another (p.105).

When Alexander arrived at Taxila, and saw the Indian gymnophists (Jain munis), a desire seized him to have one of these men brought into his presence. The oldest of these sophists with whom the others lived as disciples with a master Daulanus by name, not only refused to go himself, but prevented the others going. He said to have won over Kalanus one of the sophists of the place (p.115).

Socrates speaks of the soul as at present confined in the body as in species of prison. This was the doctrine of Pythagorus, even in its most striking peculiarities, bears such a close resemblance to the Indians as greatly to favour the supposition that it was directly borrowed from it. There was even a tradition that Pythagorus had visited India (p.122).

J. G. R. Forlong in his Science of Comparative Religions gives the following information:

It is clear also that the Gotama of early Tibetans, Mongols and Chinese must have been a Jaina: for the latter say he lived in the 10th and 11th centuries BC. Tibetans say he was born in 916, became Buddha in 881, preached from 35th year and died in 851 BC dates which closely correspond with those of the saintly Parsva (Introduction, p.XIX).

Through what historical channels did Buddhism influenced Christianity? We must widen the inquiry by making it embrace Jainism the undoubtedly prior faith of very many millions through untold millenniums though one little known in Europe except to the few (p.2).


So light seem to Asoka the difference between Jains and Buddhists that he did not think necessary to make a public profession of Buddhism till about his 12th regnal year 247 BC; so that nearly if not all his Rock inscriptions are really those of a Jaina Sovereign (p.20).

From Aini-Akbari of Anbdul Fazl it is clear that Asoka supported Jainism in Kashmir, when Viceroy of Ujjain about 260 BC., as had his fther Bindusara and grand-father Chandragupta thrpughout the Magadha Empire. Buddhism was for about a century after Gautamas death thought, by all who did not trouble themselves with details to be a mere form of Jainism. Among and beyond these millions, Asoka laboured assoidiously to propagate his mild and kindly Jainism, especially concerning the sacredness of all life, as well as peace, charity and universal brotherhood. In all his rock-inscriptions, he designates himself as the favourite Jaina title Deva nam piya the Beloved of God? (p.29).

This then was the theory and practice of the great Jaino-Buddhist religion which flourished in Indian many centuries before and after the teaching of Gotama Sakya muniIt was certainly long before Parsva and Mahavira.whilst India was certainly the fruitful centre of religion from the 7th century B.C., yet Trans-Himalaya, Oxiana, Baktria, and Kaspiana seem to have still earlier developed similar religious views and practices: Indian Jains and Buddhists claim and almost historically show, that their score of their saintly leaders perambulated the Eastern World long prior to the 7th century B. C. We may reasonably believe that Jaino-Buddhism was very anciently preached by them from China to KaspianIt existed in Oxiana and north of the Himalayas 2000 years before Mahavira.

In these moves, we see how Baktrian faiths passed to West and how in the 7th and 6th centuries B.C or earlier, Xalmoxis and Pythagorus were preaching and teaching like the Butha gurus of Jains and Buddhists.

Strabo says, There was a Thrakian sect who lived without wives. Their brethren the Masi religiously abstained from eating anything that had life.

Homer, of 7th century BC, or earlier, called them, most just men.livers on milk.devoid of desire for riches. John the Baptist, Jesus and theirs disciples are common examples pf Essenik life in Asia.


Josephus says the Essenik brethren like the ancient Dacae neither married, drank wine, nor kept saervants, living apart. They offer no sacrifices and teach the immortality of the soul as do Jains.

He (Zalmoxis) taught more than the Jaina doctrine of the immortality of the soul (p.35).

He taught the Indian doctrine of .transmigration etc., and considered no animal should be injured-all having souls like men (p.36).

The Savans of Alexander found Jaino-Buddhism strongly in the ascendant throughout Baktria, Oxiana and all the Passes to and from Afghanistan and India (p.40).

Aristotle saying (About 330 BCE) that the Jews of Caele-Syria were Indian philosophers called in the East Calani and Ikshvaku or sugar-cane people and only Jews, because they lived in Judea. These Jews (evidently Essenes) derived from Indian philosophers wonderful fortitude in life, diet and conscience. They were, in fact, Jaina-Buddhists, whom the great Greek confounded with Syrians (p.46).

202-193 BCE. Rise of Chinese Han dynasty, before which say compilers of Sui dynasty of about 600 A. C. Buddhism was unknown in China, so that all prior to 200 B.C, was Jain-Buddhism (p.67).

The above are quoted to prove that Jainism, Jaina-Buddhism and Buddhism was already prevalent beyond India, particularly in India-extragangum before 7th-6th century, what was the necessity for Asoka to send missionaries to spread Buddhism in 3rd century BCE? This again proves only that the dating of monuments attributed to Asoka is wrong or the date of Asoka is wrong. Therefore such an Asoka of missionary zeal must have existed before 7th-6th centuries to spread Buddhism, so that it could have taken strong roots in the middle-eastern and central Asian countries and beyond in China. Arthur Lillie52 gives details on the contribution of travelling Buddhist monks to Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor, to the formation of the early Essene /52

Arthur Lillie, Buddhism in Christianity and India in Primitive Christianity,


Therapeut / Nazarene communities in these areas, which later became the base upon which Christianity was raised. A large number of the volumes in the Library of Alexandria were likewise of Hindu and Buddhist origin. Before, during, and after the death of Christ, there were Buddhist missionaries who visited Greece, Egypt and other countries in the Mediterranean area. One such visit is documented in 20 B.C. in Athens.

In this account an ambassador from India was accompanied by a Buddhist philosopher who burned himself (to prove some point of impermanence?). His tomb became a famous tourist attraction and is mentioned by several historians. It has been argued that in St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, he alludes to this well known event when he writes that "though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing."

If the Jaina tradition is taken into consideration, they had 23 Tirthankaras before Mahavira. If their chronology is taken into consideration, the date of first Tirthankara may have to be placed around 12th century BCE (taking 50 years for each Tirthankara). In any case, till first centuries, it is unbelievable that they could not have produced anything.

In fact, scholars have pointed out the similarities between Mahavira and Buddha Idols (Brahmachari Sital Prasadji: 1932).

19. Buddha the Great Monumental Evidence in Dating: The images of Buddha found in many parts of the world [Sanchi, Bahrut, Amaravati, Nagarjunakonda, Karle, Kanheri, Bhaja, Ajanta all India, Afganistan, Egypt, Central Asian countries, Kizil, Kucha, Turfan, Bezaklik, Dandan Uiliq, Miran, Khasgar, Khotan, Yun-Kang, Shansi, Hsiang-Tang-Shan - China (dating from first centuries of CE), Japan, Burma, Ceylon, and South East Asian countries] has been astonishing and proves the widespread of Buddhist religion throughout the world definitely at a particular point of time1. This could not have been possible without well-organized sculptures, and connected stoneartisans going to such places. Moreover, with little local variations, the similarities and parallels noticed proves the established and existence of manual like handbook. Thus, the Indian art and architecture depends on well standardized work, which is reflected in Vedic literature including works like Mayamata, Manasara etc.

Though, the date of Buddha has not been fixed and decided even today, it is taken as c.623-544 BCE.


19.1. Origin of Buddha Image: About the origin of Buddhas image, the western European / scholars always assert that it reflected the Greek influence. First, they proposed that Gandhara art was derived from the Greeks and hence the entire Indian art was Greek53. W. W. Tarn gives the questions and arguments about the controversy as to whether the Buddha image was Indian or non-Indian origin54. Considering the sculptural evidences of Mohanja-daro, it can be easily noted that the Indian sculptors followed such tradition continuously. Surprisingly, the Dravidian protagonist H. Heras comes to such a conclusion55.

Later, arguments were put forward, as the Buddhists abhorred the image worship, there was no images found dated to earlier period56. However, it has to be noted that in spite of the prohibiting orthodoxy, the liberal or popular religious believers go on producing images and start worshipping. Such iconogenetic tendencies are noted even among the declared and professing iconoclast religionists.

There have been many Buddhist claims, based on the Udayanas commissioning of Buddhas image, Vinaya of Sarvastivadins etc., that the first Buddhas image was made during his life time itself i.e, during 7th-5th centuries57. In fact, when the date of Buddha is fixed to 18th century BCE, the theory fails and in fact, Indian influence is found on the Greeks.

20. Pre-Asokan (c.277-232 BCE) Buddhism: The pre-Asokan Buddhism is important in chronological context posing problems to historians, but they have not so far explained properly, just as in the case of pre-Asokan pillars58. The pre-Asokan Buddism in South India poses the following questions:

53 54 55

A. Foucher, The Beginnings of the Buddhist Art, Paris / London, 1917. W. W. Tarn, The Greeks in Bactria and India, pp395ff. H. Heras, The Origin of So-called Greceo-Buddhist School of Sculpture of Gandhara, JBBRAS, Vol.12, 1936, pp.77-97. S. N. Chakravarti, The Origin of the Buddha Image, JUPHS, Vol.XVI, 1943, pp.63-75. P. C. Jain, Putting the Ocean in a Bowl: The Origin of the Buddha Image, in Exotic India website, 2004.


57 58

J. C. Huttington, The Origin of Buddha Image,


1. How the Buddhism reached these areas Andhra and Tamilnadu before the Asokan mission? 2. How Nandas (c.413-322 BCE, reportedly not professing Vedic religion) were ruling Mysore (Bandanikke and Kupatur inscriptions) and invading Tamizhagam (Purananuru references dated to c.500/300 BCE to first centuries)? 3. How the Chandraguptas presence (c.322-298 BCE) was registered in Mysore (Sravanabelagola, where he died as a Jain) and Andhra (Srisailam) areas? 4. How the Buddha / Buddhists are mentioned in Aitreya Brahmana, Epics, Manu etc., when they are dated to pre-Buddhist period? Whether the works are postBuddhist or the Buddhism was pre-Vedic? Or the dating of these works and Buddhism is wrong? 5.

21. Buddhist Stone Experts and Workers: When Buddhists started working with stones, immediately, they would not have produced their Stone Experts and Workers to suit their requirements. Therefore, they must have engaged Hindu stone experts and workers. Then, slowly, they would have been requested, advised and ordered to produce Buddist or only Buddhist monuments. Here, also they must have used Hindu works / manuals / instructions and modified them according to their taste, just like, as they adapted and dopted Itihasas and Puranas to write their Jataka stories / narratives.

There have been instances that Brahmins, sculptors, businessmen and others moved together with Buddhist missionaries when they went to different countries. Therefore, it is evident that they must have gone with them voluntarily or under compulsion / threat / inducement of higher remuneration.

The Mahayana and Hinayana struggle clearly point to the sudden importance given to the Buddha imagery and the necessity of stone workers and experts. The deification of Buddha, in spite of the Buddhist opposition or Buddhas teaching necessitated large scale production of Buddha icons, sculptures and other imagery. Therefore, it is a wonder that such huge number of artifacts could have come into existence during the crucial periods c.500 BCE to 0; 0 to 500 CE or 500 to 1000 CE, as they were marked with Mauryas (except Asoka), Guptas (the Golden period / Hindu period!) and Pallavas (and of course, Cholas, Chalukyas etc)?

Therefore, the following possibilities are considered:


1. The stone experts and workers should have been working for both Buddhist and Hindu (and Jain) projects. 2. They had no discrimination or in society, such discrimination was not felt and they continued to work with their own Vedic manuals and books / blueprints. 3. As the lakhs of monuments of thousands places are squeezed into this 1500 years period, it is evident that historic event could not have taken place, that too, considering the projected animosity between the Buddhists and the Hindus by the historians. 4. In any case, the Hindu monuments should have preceded Buddhist to adapt and adopt, so also the stone experts and workers. 5. Then, what happened to the pre-Buddhist Hindu monuments? Were they destroyed by the jealous and zealous Buddhists or converted into Buddhist? 6. If such conversion had taken place, whose images could have been manipulated easily to make Buddha out of such existed images? Could such manipulation i.e, conversion of existed Hindu images into Buddha images have been possible? As Buddha images had simple decoration unlike Hindu ones with ornaments or embellishment, could such extra projections had been removed by chiseling out, polishing and making Buddha out of such Hindu images? In fact, Shiva images could have been converted as both appear similar in many aspects. [Note: More proof is required. Anyway, the existing Buddha images should be studied carefully and brought out evidences. The Vishnu-Lokeshvara, Siva-Lokeshvara idols are interesting in this context59 (all dated to medieval period)]. 7. As all different monuments with conflicting historical events could not have been compressed into a small period, the period may have to be expanded or dating of monuments may not be correct. 8. About the Buddhist Councils different views prevail, because of the unsettled dates of the involved historical personalities60.

Buddhist Council First

Held at Rajagriha

Under the patronage of Immediately after the Parinirvana of the

Date approximately assignable c.544 BCE


Lalit Kumar Shukla, A Study of Hindu Art and Architecture, Chowkamba Sanskrit Series Office,Varanasi, 1972. Sumangal Barua, Buddhist Councils and Development of Buddhism, Atisha Memorial Publishing Society, Calcutta, 1997.




(The Bodh Gaya inscription reportedly gives this date) c.444 BCE c.272 BCE c.100 BCE to 100 CE.

Second Third Fourth

Vaishali Pataliputra Jandar Kashmir or

A century after the Parinirvana Under the aegis of Priyadashi Askoka Under the auspices of Kanishka

The dating differs:

Event Pasva, 23rd Tirthankara

Reference / work mentioning it

Date / chronology c.872-772 BE (100 years)

The gap between nirvana of Parsavanath and that of Mahavira is 250 years When Mahavira was born, Parasava attained nirvana 178 years before.

772 250 = 522 BCE If 772 is taken, the nirvana of Mahavira comes to 522. 559 + 178 = 737 BCE (nirvana of Parsva) or 772 178 = 594 BCE (birth of Mahavira) 599-527 BCE (72 years)

Gautama Buddha became the disciple of Pihitasrava Gautama, the Buddha

Devasena, Darsanasara,

c.600 BCE c.623-544 BCE (79 years)

When the Buddhist started working with stones, immediately, they would not have produced them.


22. Racial Bias and Racism in the Interpretation of Art61: Evidently, the writers on art and architecture of all sorts (artists, architects, archaeologists, historians, critics etc) till 20th century were totally imbibed with race prejudices. The non-Indians like Percy Brown, James Fergusson, Vincent Smith and Indians like Ananda K. Coomaswamy were discussing and debating Indian art and architecture in terms of Aryan-Dravidian races only. However, how both accepted or differed in stone selection for idols, sculptures, temple building etc., have not been discussed or debated.

23. Dating of Stone Monuments and Works Specify Stone as Acceptable Material: The dating of Stone Monuments is different from that of dating of the works or treatises mention about usage of stone for architecture. However, the scholars and historians confuse the issue. For example, Stella Kramrisch62 notes that Stone temples have no place in Vedic rites. Mentioning about an aboriginal prototype, she finds the continuance of the stone dolmen in worship among the Gonds even today and in South India and elsewhere, had been given relatively large size and careful workmanship, however without giving any date. She could record that the earliest preserved temples of this type date from 400 A.D., especially in Central India. About the treatises or works, he notes from the sixth century A.D., onwards, the time of the compilation of the earliest preserved treatises on architecture, stone is accepted materials. However, in footnotes, she mentions63 that the following (the details are given verbatim)

1. Brick and also stone were used and are preserved in sacred buildings and their accessory parts, in the third, and the second and the first centuries B. C. respectively.

2. Lithic in its construction and not only in its substance is the solid stone fence unearthed in Besanagar, Bhopal. It belonged to a :Uttama Prasada of Vasudeva only its brick foundation existing- of which also the Garuda stone pillar with the inscription of Heilodoros son of Dion and an inhabitant of axial, formed part(see also ASIAR, 1913-14, Pt.I). These relics date from 2nd century B. C.


John Marshall, The Influence of Race on Early Indian Art, Kramrisch, Rupam, 18, 1924, pp. 69-76. Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Intoduction to Indian Art, Munshiram Manoharlal, New Delhi, 1969, pp.5-11, 21.

62 63

Stella Kramrisch, The Hindu Temple, Motilal Banarasidas, New Delhi, 1976, Vol.I, p.108. Ibid, p.109.


3. The balustrade of the terrace of the Buddhist Srtupa of Amaravati, Kistna district, similarly consisted of uprights with a rectangular slab morticed between.

4. The majority of the stone railings, such as those in Sanchi, Bahrut etc., are stone versions of wooden prototypes.

5. The Mora well inscription from Mathura of Mahaksatrapa Sodasa, of the 1st century B.C speaks of a temple, a sailadevagr a stone house of god where 5 images in stone of the holy Panchaviras of the Vrisnis were installed. No trace of this temple is left (Epigraphica Indica, XXIV; J. N. Banerjea, JISOA, Vol.X).

6. Another inscription of the 1st century B.C from Nagari, Udaypur, Rajputna (Epigraphica Indica. XXII, p.204) says: This puj-prakara, enclosing wall, round he stone (object) of worship, called Narayana-Vatika (compound) for the divinities Sankarsana-Vasudeva.has been caused to be made by (the king) Sarvatata., who is a devotee of Bhagavat (Visnu) and performed an Asvamedha sacrifice. Parts of the structures mentioned are available.

Thus the usage of stone is not denied tactfully, but refused to accept the existence full or complete temple as such as per the contemporary Vastu texts, as they were not available completely or available only in parts or historical records vouchsafe their existence!

24. Dating of the Books of Indian Art and Architecture: The western scholars in dating the Indian primary sources have adopted and adapted the following methodology:

1. Taking the date of the manuscript as the date of the text / work / book.

2. Taking some internal evidence of a contemporary or earlier king, poet, place or name dating that is contemporaneous with that particular king, poet, place or name or must have been written after that.


3. If a poet or writer acknowledges that he derived the subject matter or part of it from a person, then, it is dated after that person. Here, it is interpreted that he borrowed the entire subject matter from him.

4. If a poet or writer acknowledges that he derived the subject matter or part of it from Brahma, Viswakarma, Daksha or other Indian personalities with divine attribution, straight away rejecting as myth. Here, it is dated after that person or name mentioned and interpreted that he borrowed the entire subject matter from his predecessors mentioned.

5. Taking the possibilities and probabilities of modernity, the possibilities and probabilities of the ancient is denied or worst dubbed it as myth.

6. If the above is not enough, racial (Aryan-Dravidian), geographical (North-South) and casteist (Brahmin-Non-Brahmin) interpretation and divide is brought in so that if any scholar comes in to interpret against it would be antagonized by either one of the group.

Now, the dating of important works of Indian art and architecture are discussed.

Mayamata: Bruno Danens64 dates to 11th century, as it mentions about imagined 16 storyed temple, perhaps after getting inspiration from the Big Temple of the Cholas! He puts it characteristically:

Our text however must be earlier and may have been written between the definitive elaboration of the false storey option and the appearance of the very big temples of this type, as those of Tanjore or Gangaikodacolapuram.

Manasara: P. K. Acharya dates it to Gupta period i.e, c. 4th century. T. Bhattacharya65 points out that the present text is dated to later period, as the original text has been


Bruno Dagens, Mayamata, Sitaram Bharatia Institute of Science & Research, New Delhi, 1995, p.v in Introduction. T. Bhattacharya, The Cannons of Indian Art, Calcutta, 1963, pp.183-195.



subjected to editing, which the modern scholars used to say that it is a recension of recensions, which is to say, a late and protracted version drawn from a less complete original and from numerous other sources. However, they do not mention where the original Ur-Manasara is there and how it has been dated, how it is incomplete, edited, appended, updated or upgraded by others when where and whom etc. Whatever the enlargement may be the existing texts / books written or copied from the originals, the existed could not be denied. It has to be noted that Indian scholars and writers always acknowledge the source of their derived knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, such quality of due acknowledgement could not make the earlier sources imagined or non-existed ones.

25. Conclusion:

The following points have to be considered after throughout verification and support with evidences:

The Mauryan Empire was extended up to Middle-east during Chandragupta Maurya - 1534-1499, Bindusara - 1500-1472, Asoka 1472-1432.

After the Mahabharat War, there had been breaking away of social, professional and religious groups to different parts of the world.

The Silpis, Vastu experts and Viswakarmas had dominant role in all parts of the World.

They too spread put and started working separately in different parts of the world. They worked for Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and others.

As the Indian stone experts and workers had been so popular, they were in good demand. Slowly, they went to other parts and started settling there. Because of local variations, they adapted and adopted their techniques easily to satisfy the engaged rulers and patrons.


There has been confusion about religious leaders Jain, Buddha, Zoroaster, Mani etc. In fact, from one religious personality, others might have been created, thereby overlapping of incidences and dates are noted.

The attempt of creating Adi Tirthankaras, Adi Buddha, Adi Sankara might be due to this fact.

The involvement of Alexander and Jesus Christ in all these is intriguing. As both are mythical, to have historicity, they might have confused the facts of others.



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