Category: buddhist

In June of 1963, Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist …

In June of 1963, Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc burned himself to death at a busy intersection in Saigon. The burning monk.

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A Vietnamese policeman attempts to put out the…

A Vietnamese policeman attempts to put out the fire as a Buddhist monk burns to death in front of Saigon’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Oct. 27, 1963 by Horst Faas

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THEODOSIAN WALLS: THE Theodosian Walls are the…


THE Theodosian Walls are the fortifications of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, which were first built during the reign of Theodosius II (408-450 CE). Sometimes known as the Theodosian Long Walls, they built upon and extended earlier fortifications so that the city became impregnable to enemy sieges for 800 years. The fortifications were the largest and strongest ever built in either the ancient or medieval worlds.

Resisting attacks and earthquakes over the centuries, the walls were particularly tested by Bulgar and Arab forces who sometimes laid siege to the city for years at a time. Sections of the walls can still be seen today in modern Istanbul and are the city’s most impressive surviving monuments from Late Antiquity.

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pogphotoarchives:Resurfacing the Buddhist temple on Airport…


Resurfacing the Buddhist temple on Airport Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Photographer: Larry Beckner
Date: 1989
From The Santa Fe New Mexican Collection, Negative Number HP.2014.14.140

Left to right: Jorge [Beneemo?], Jeremy Morrell and Jesus Bencomo

Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk burns…

Thích Quảng Đức, a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk burns himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963.

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PEOPLE OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: Ennin (Japanese Buddhist…

PEOPLE OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: Ennin (Japanese Buddhist Monk) 

ENNIN (c. 793-864 CE, posthumous title: Jikaku Daishi) was a Japanese Buddhist monk of the Tendai sect who studied Buddhism at length in China and brought back knowledge of esoteric rituals, sutras, and relics. On his return, he published his celebrated diary Nitto Guho Junrei Gyoki and became the abbot of the important Enryakuji monastery on Mount Hiei near Kyoto and, thus, head of the Tendai sect.

Tendai Buddhism had been introduced to Japan by the monk Saicho, also known as Dengyo Daishi (767-822 CE). Based on the teachings of the Chinese Tiantai Sect, Saicho’s simplified and inclusive version of Buddhism grew in popularity, and its headquarters, the Enryakuji complex on Mount Hiei outside the capital Heiankyo (Kyoto), became one of the most important in Japan as well as a celebrated seat of learning. Ennin became a disciple of Saicho from 808 CE when he began to study at the monastery, aged just 14.

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BUDDHISM IN ANCIENT JAPAN: BUDDHISM was introduced to ancient…


BUDDHISM was introduced to ancient Japan via Korea in the 6th century CE with various sects following in subsequent centuries via China. It was readily accepted by both the elite and ordinary populace because it confirmed the political and economic status quo, offered a welcoming reassurance to the mystery of the afterlife, and complemented existing Shintobeliefs. Buddhist monasteries were established across the country, and they became powerful political players in their own right. Buddhism was also a key driver in fostering literacy, education in general, and the arts in ancient Japan.  

Buddhism was introduced into Japan in either 538 CE or 552 CE (traditional date) from the Korean kingdom of Baekje (Paekche). It was adopted by the Soga clan particularly, which had Korean routes and was practised by the significant Korean immigrant population in Japan at that time. Buddhism received official government support in 587 CE during the reign of Emperor Yomei (585-587 CE).

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Maoists destroying ancient Buddhist artifacts during the…

Maoists destroying ancient Buddhist artifacts during the “Time of Optimism,” 1949.

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Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc burns himself in Saigon in protest…

Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc burns himself in Saigon in protest of regime’s discriminatory Buddhist laws

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PEOPLE OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: Kukai (Scholar/Poet/Monk) KUKAI or…

PEOPLE OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: Kukai (Scholar/Poet/Monk) 

KUKAI or Kobo Daishi (774-835 CE) was a scholar, poet, and monk who founded Shingon Buddhism in Japan. The monk became the country’s most important Buddhistsaint and has been credited with all manner of minor miracles. Noted as a gifted sculptor and the inventor of Japanese writing, he also created the most important pilgrimage route still followed by believers today.

Kukai was born in 774 CE to a family by the name of Saeki in Sanuki Province, Shikoku which had been exiled from the capital Heiankyo (Kyoto). He adopted the name Kukai, meaning ‘air-sea’ when he joined, still a youth, a Buddhist monastery. When just seven years old, he was said to have climbed a mountain and, at the summit, declared, “If I am destined to serve the Law, let me be saved, otherwise let me die” (Ashkenazi, 202). He then threw himself off the cliff but was indeed saved by a group of passing saints or arhats who caught the boy and gently lowered him to safety. In another legend, when he was ordained as a priest the morning star descended and jumped into his mouth, a sign that Kukai was a saint and destined for great things.

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Article by Mark Cartwright with thanks to The Sasakawa Foundation on AHE