ART + IDEAS
The Getty Center
The Buddha’s First Sermon in Sarnath
Apr 14th, 2021 | S5
"After reaching enlightenment, the Buddha began attracting followers—and founding a religion—by preaching. He delivered his first sermon at Sarnath, near the banks of the Ganges in Northeast India, in the 6th century BCE. By the 3rd century BCE, it had become a site of considerable importance; the emperor Ashoka visited and erected a gleaming pillar, officially declaring it the site of the Buddha’s sermon while also referencing the flourishing monastic community. For thousands of years Sarnath has attracted monks, artists, archaeologists, and tourists from across the globe. Today, it ranks among the most prominent and most visited sites for Buddhists. Its ancient religious structures, including stupas, or reliquary mounds, and pieces of Ashoka’s pillar, can be visited in an archaeological park that is a candidate for World Heritage status.
In this episode, Fredrick Asher, professor emeritus of art history at the University of Minnesota, discusses the long history and significance of Sarnath, the site’s relationship to its local populations, and ideas for the future of the excavated area. Asher is the author of Sarnath: A Critical History of the Place Where Buddhism Began, recently released by Getty Publications..."
Click here to find out more and listen: https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-the-buddhas-first-sermon-in-sarnath/