Monday, 15 April 2013

Buddha statues found during field study (1993-2012) - Tiruvarur district


Dr. B.Jambulingam
On the first day of every month we are discussing about the experiences faced while seeing the Buddha statues. During this month I wish to share the experiences which I had  individually and with the other help of other scholars while I had been on field work, from 1993 to 2012, to find out the Buddha statues.Of the statues which were identfied, during the past 20 years, many of them belonged to Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu. Now, over to Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu



PUTHUR  (2000)
Puthur Buddha
 Photo: Dr B.Jambulingam
During field study a Buddha statue was found in Puthur near Tirunellikkval railway station in Tiruvarur district. It was in sitting dhyana posture. Accompanied by Mr Singaravelan, after pedealling more than 25 kms, this statue was found. Accompanied by Mr Singaravelan, after pedealling more than 25 kms on a bicycle, this statue was found. Unmarried girls hope that if one pray this Buddha they could get married. Sacred ash is found on the forehead and chest. As usual, flame is found on the top of the head. It had a beautiful smiling face.  The flame and the nose are found broken. During Vaikasi Pournami special pujas are held to this statue. It is learnt that while digging a tank this statue was found. So this place was called as Buddhankuttai. During the field study of 2008 also the statue was found worshipped. .  

KUDAVASAL (APRIL 2002)
Based on the information given by Mr Govindarajan, head of Buddha was found in Seethakkamangalam near Kudavasal in Tiruvarur district. With elongated ears, broken flame, smiling lips, serene eyes the statue had tilak on the forehead



TIRUNATTIYATTHANKUDI (2003)
While carrying out field work alongwith Dr Kudavayil Balasubramanian and Mr V.Kannan, A Buddha statue was found in Tirunattiyatthankudi in Tiruvarur district. It was in usual sitting dhyana posture. The right hand, neck and the face were found damaged. Chakra was found on the hand. The locals believe that if the garland of yercam was worn to this statue they would get rain.   















ULLIKOTTAI (2004)
Mr. Madhavakumaraswami informed me about the prevalence of Buddha statue in Ullikkottai. With his help the statue was identified the statue. During field study it was learnt that the place in which the statue was found was known as Chettiarmedu. Locals said that while Chettiar came on a horse, he was disturbed by gangsters resulting him becoming stone.  Some referred to Buddha as a king. The flame, part of nose and hands were found broken. While carrying out field work during September 2012, the statue was found missing, for which the locals felt very much.


 Valayamapuram Buddha
Photo: Dr.B.Jambulingam
VALAYAMAPURAM (2007)
Though I got information in 1993 itself about the prevalence of Buddha statues in Valayamapuram area, during the field work carried out during 2007 a Buddha statue without head was found. In sitting dhyana posture the Buddha of Valayamapuram had all the characteristics of Buddhas found in the Chola country. It had broad shoulders, dharmadchakra on the hand, having dress on it. It was found on a field. It was learnt that till some time back it was with head. Attempts were made to locate the head, but in vain. Headless Buddhas were also found in Rayampuram near Perambalur and Keezhakurichi near Trichy.


KANDRAMANICKAM (2012)
Dr.B.Jambulingam with
Kandramanickam Buddha
A Buddha statue in sitting dhyana posture was found in  Kandramanickam while carrying out field work alongwith a team which included Dr. Kudavayil Balasubramanian. During field study it was learnt that while carrying out building works in Mettu street the statue was found. Locals worshipped the Buddha. It had a lemon garland. It also sported sandalwood paste and kumkum on the forehead. A lamp was found in front of the statue. Sacred ash was also kept there.   Like other Buddha statues of the Chola country this statue belonged to 10th-11th century CE. It had smiling face, tilak mark on the forehed, elongated ears, dress over the shoulder and chest. Dharmachakra was found on the hand. Flame was found over the head. Part of nose is found broken. After some time it was that Buddha statue was taken from that place and exhibited in the Government Museum at Tiruvarur.

It may be interesting to note that during the field study carried out during the past two decades more number of Buddha statues were found in Tiruvarur district. In the ensuing months we shall discuss about the  Buddha statues found in other districts of the Chola country. Our next trip will be to Thanjavur district to see the new Buddhas. 

My thanks are due to Mr. Singaravelan, Dr. Kudavayil Balasubramanian, Mr.Govindarajan, Mr.Kannan and Mr. Madhavakumaraswami who either accompanied or helped during my field work. 



First session
Fourth session (before presenting paper)
Fourth session (after presenting paper)
A paper entitled "Buddha statues found during field study (1993-2012)" was presented by me during the seminar Buddhism in Tamil Culture, held on 24.3.2013 at Chennai. Photo courtesy: Mr E.Anban.
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PREACHING OF BUDDHA
Na hi verena verani - sammani'dha kudacancam
Averenaca sammanti - esa dhammo sanantano 
       
ANGER IS CONQUERED BY LOVE
"Hatreds never cease through hatred in this world; through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law" -The Dhammapada5

Story
A husband had two wives, one barren, the other fruitful. The former, actuated by jealousy, mixed a drug in her rival's food and caused two successive abortions. On the third occasion the potion caused the death both of the mother and of the child. The dying woman willed vengeance on her rival and her offspring, and she carried out her resolve. The other too did likewise. Thus both women avenged themselves in the course of two successive births. In their third birth circumstances, however, compelled both to meet the Buddha, who pacified them by advising them not to retaliate.   
 (The Dhammapada, Narada Thera, The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, Taiwan, ROC, 1993)

1 comment:

  1. Buddha statue found in Puthur clearly shows that, people are ready to whorship the Gods beyond the barriers of Religion.
    Hearty congratulations for presenting your paper in Seminar

    ReplyDelete