« Prayers | Main | Zen: a look back »

July 07, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

A small addendum to my previous comment and of course some of the articles by the zennist.

This epic and unique documentary (The story of India) about ancient india is a jewel and gives in a way a visual face to what the author of this blog has to say about early Buddhism and the times it emerged from India.

Here the english historian Michael Wood takes us, like a modern Faxian, on a fabulous journey through the early history and landscapes of India. In part 1 we learn about the development of earliest indian civilisation and sanskrit

and in part 2 and 3 we meet;

• A brief yet amazing recap around Buddha Gautama in which Michael visits the bodhi tree where Gautama attained his perfect enlightenment. He also visits Gautamas favourate cave where he returned many times to rest and of course his place of death. Kushinagar. We even get to see the small temple where a statue of gautama in his moment of death resides.

• We meet the young Chandragupta and his encounter with Alexander the Great whom inspired Chandragupta conquer and rule India. We also see how he, after having ruled India for several decadesa, abandons the whole chebang, in order to attain enlightenment as a poor wandering monk. ( Imagine Bush doing the same thing )

• We meet Emperor Ashoka (chandraguptas grand son) whom in the beginning was known as the cruelest of kings but after a very bloody battle with the Kalingas, (over hundred thousand lost their lives), is struck by deep grief and realizes the extent of human cruelty and suffering. We follow the Kings conversion to buddhism and his new role as a messenger of peace and kindness towards all living things and his role as the greatest benefactor of buddhism in india.

• We get to know the King of Kings, great Kanishka of the Kushan Empire,(predicted by Buddha 500 years erlier) and his patronage and promotion of Buddhism, litterature, arts, and above all, right to religious freedom.
• One of his more visible contributions to Buddhism was the worlds greatest stupa (supposed 300 feet?) on the pashawar planes. It was Kushan buddhist monks that travelled the silkroad and introduced buddhism to China.

This is wondrous and mind boggling documentary (especially part 2 and 3), masterfully narrated by Michael Wood, combined with an awesome photography.

It is truly recommended for those curious on ancient India brought back to life in this visual masterpiece and the the golden age of buddhism, an age when it flourished and the dharma was respected and promoted by great and wise Kings. As a roman historian from the second century a.d put it ; It was the happiest time for humanity.

Seeing all this one wonders where did humanity go wrong? Where did the inability to choose wise rulers dissapear, "rulers" able to promote peace and selfknowledge for all living beings instead of greed, devistation and death?

I highly recomend it .

Here are the torrent links:

Part 1 - The beginnings


Part 2 - The power of ideas (reviewed above)


Part 3 - Spice routes and silk roads


Best regards


In todays neo-buddhism the great enemy of genuine self-knowledge is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. After all it is a myth that has grown exponentially in the past century as to re-transform the great wisdom of the Buddhas into a chaos of the fragmented mind, spanning from the far right of pure materialistic absoluteness to the far left of complete nihilism.


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo