(University of Calcutta)
Paper Short Abstract:
This presentation would look at a few clay tablets recovered from cave sites in Myanmar and housed in various museums which betray a strong connection with Bodhgaya, India. The cave sites are Kawgoon in lower Myanmar, Kyankku, near Pagan and Tagaung in northern Myanmar.
Paper long abstract:
Myanmar-Bodhgaya linkage : Clay Moulded Tablets and Related Issues
The connected history of Bodhgaya and Myanmar has been so well articulated over the years from varied angles that it needs no further reiteration. There was constant movement of Buddhist monks and people among the two regions. It was in fact a dialogue that involved a rich exchange of literary, religious and artistic ideas. Bodhgaya as a pilgrimage destination even now is most coveted by the Myanmarese monks and lay population. This circulation of monks and people resulted also in the circulation of ideas and ritual practices. Among the ritual practices, offering of clay moulded tablets was an extremely important one which spread across Asia. These tablets were however not just objects of merit. They could be studied from the perspective of different motifs, art styles, style of writing, and its use in society as a ritual object. This presentation would look at a few such tablets recovered from cave sites in Myanmar, housed in various museums, which betrays a strong connection with Bodhgaya, India. The cave sites are Kawgoon in lower Myanmar, Kyankku, near Pagan and Tagaung in northern Myanmar. Though the adaptation of the Buddha seated within Bodhyagaya temple motif holds a crucial clue to the interaction, yet there are other areas also like manufacturing technique, representation of images, iconography etc. which would be brought under consideration while understanding linkages.
Myanmar: its past and its regional and inter-regional interactions