Friday, May 6, 2011

Ellora Caves

Ellora Caves are one of the greatest wonders that India cherishes. No wonder they have been declared World Heritage Site. Nor is that they are in the state of Maharashtra, as in remote geological times a volcano in the region spent centuries vomiting lava. All the Deccan, the great plateau that stretches for much of the state, is covered with basalt, a soft stone that is left consistent styling with ease. The rest I put the religious fervor and artistry of the masons.

The abrupt abandonment of the cave temples Ajanta coincides with the flowering of Ellora, which nobody seems to have studied in depth, but that suggests a cause and effect relationship, as both sites were within a hundred miles away and linked by an important caravan route.

It also coincides with the beginning of the decline of Buddhism in Western India, fractured into multiple schools and doctrines that ended confusing to staff, and causing the return of Hinduism, the religion Florida mother, of which Buddhism is only a variant. Do not forget that Buddha, like Jesus in his time, never tried to create a new religion, but to systematize and providing a practical character to spread teachings of Brahmanism.

Unlike other notable caves used as religious shrines in India, Ajanta Ellora caves are unique because they represent the country's three major religions, Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, which is an extraordinary case of ecumenism. Together, but no riots, Buddhist caves, Hindu and Jain Ellora realize the wealth of a country's ancient religious, but also of tolerance and peaceful coexistence between different faiths that has traditionally characterized the Indian people. And I emphasize what the 'traditional', because in the past by conflict between Muslims and Hindus appear to have put paid to that splendid old tolerance.

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