In this Our History Series 2 are presented here five illustrations related to our ancient history, some of them well known while others may be unfamiliar to some and briefly they are, from Left to Right:
We are familiar with the first, it is Swayambhunath of Kathmandu, Nepal. We have learned in Our History Series 1 that it was created by the divine hands of Manjusri, the Celestial Architect and bequeathed to the Kiratis. Today, the brahminic elements call it the Monkey Temple but obviously due more to ignorance than derision.
Emperor Ashok, after giving up his military career took the unusual step of turning himself into a devout disciple of the Buddha. In the year 282 B.C., following the footsteps of his Master he arrived in Kathmandu and offered worship at the temple of Swayambhunath. This pilgrimage made a lasting impression in his mind and upon his return he determined Sanchi to be the most central geographical point of his realm, a grand replica of Swayambhunath erected there. Today only the hemispherical base of the temple remains with the superstructure gone with the centuries of neglect.
Swayambhunath of Sanchi is surrounded by finely crafted stone pillars and railings as seen above in illustration 2. One of the images is of Ashok himself arriving at the temple by an open horse drawn carriage while the royal entourage follows riding on elephant back. A very notable feature of these carvings is that Emperor Ashok, his family and most of the citizens depicted in these carvings bear Mongolian features, and there are hundreds of them.
The fourth illustration is the aerial view of Bodhnath or Mahabouddha of Kathmandu which is significantly less prominent in comparison to the Swayambhunath Temple.
The last but not the least is the illustration of the temple of Borobudur, in the isle of Java in Indonesia. The layout of the foundation of the two is unmistakably similar and in all probability the two must be architecturally related. As we will see by and by, there are even more evidence which will convince even the most skeptics that the ancestors of the citizens of Indonesia commenced their journey from Nepal.