When the germ of destruction inseminates a seed of violence in mind, the result is devastating memories haunting one for a life time.
A few days ago I purchased a book in a fair on Bamiyan Buddhas. It was fascinating to read about these amazing Buddha statues built by an ancient Indian emperor Kanishka who was staunch follower of Buddhism. The sources said the carving of these two Buddha statutes were started around second century A.D. and completed approximately around fifth century A.D. These magnificent statues were carved into sandstone cliffs in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The Bamiyan valley was an epitome of heavenly beauty with snow covered tips, splicing blue mountains, and lacing green pastures. The merchant caravans using the Silk Road stopped by this paradisiacal valley for a good rest and worshipped the statutes. The surrounding caves were chapels and monasteries for monks.
These architectural marvels were the tallest Buddha statues in world. The statues were carved in the Gandhara style of Buddhist sculpture mixed with Greek and Roman art. The clothes carved on the Buddha statues were so vivid and human that one could see the wrinkles of the robe on the stone.
The artistry and engineering were extraordinary. The Bamiyan Buddhas were not only a feast for eyes but devotional for souls as well. They were the essence of the blend of cultures and religions.
Unfortunately, some humans are losing the propensity to preserve the treasures bestowed by our ancient history, nature, and heritage. Greed, fundamentalism, religious sentiments are eclipsing vision and wisdom. The perfect example of this is intentional destruction of the colossal Bamiyan Buddhas. It took several centuries, arduous efforts to amass ginormous resources for Emperor Kanishka to build these statues. But, it was a click of a button for Taliban to smash these statues to smithereens. The tough Genghis Khan also didn’t have heart to lay his hand on these marvels.
In March 2001, Taliban leader ordered his troops to demolish the carvings. Now in the place of those magnificent statues, there are big gaping holes mocking at the selfishness, ignorance, and cowardice of humans.
Several countries and people protested against this barbaric act. I heard from a native friend that there are plans and efforts being put in to reconstruct them.
First of all – even though world is far more developed in technology and resources than in second century and produced more brilliant engineers than Emperor Kanishka – can we match that mastery and devotion?
Secondly – let say we even succeed in cloning the Buddha statues – do we have the ability to protect and preserve them for our future generations?
Emperor Kanishka died, the Bamiyan Buddhas have been destroyed, but evil is still breeding.
(Sources: Pictures From Google Images)