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The Buddha’s Journey to Lumbinī in Newar Buddhist Art and Literature
May 27, 2014 - 16:15-18:00
Today’s Lecture in the Oslo Buddhist Studies Forum: Prof. Gudrun Buehnemann (Madison): “The Buddha’s Journey to Lumbinī in Newar Buddhist Art and Literature”
According to Newar Buddhists, Śākyamuni Buddha returned to his birthplace Lumbinī after his enlightenment. Depictions of his journey and visit to Lumbinī date back to the seventeenth century. They show the Buddha riding standing up on a Nāga while being attended by Hindu deities in service to him. The theme, known as the lumbinīyātrā, is represented in numerous paintings and in wood and metal work and became especially popular in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Nepal. In this paper I will trace the history of the lumbinīyātrā by examining descriptions in texts and artistic representations. I will then discuss elements of the yātrā which are also found independently in other contexts. In conclusion, I will offer some thoughts on the significance of the theme.
Gudrun Bühnemann is a Professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, The University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has published extensively on South Asian iconography and ritual. Details can be found at http://lca.wisc.edu/~gbuhnema/ Her recent books include Buddhist Iconography and Ritual in Paintings and Line Drawings from Nepal (Lumbini International Research Institute, 2008) and The Life of the Buddha: Buddhist and Śaiva Iconography and Visual Narratives in Artists’ Sketchbooks from Nepal (Lumbini International Research Institute, 2012).
As always: all are welcome, and after the talk and the discussion light refreshments await us!
Venue: PA Munch’s hus, room 12