Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

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Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:20 pm

Image

I kinda can't wrap my mind around the implications of this artifact. :jawdrop:

Based on it being dated to 834 C.E., that would make it contemporary to when Buddhism was first taking a real hold in Tibet.

Pretty epic!

:buddha1:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/545217098609925377/
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:30 pm

In the early 1800's, Godfrey Higgins wrote:…In my Essay on The Celtic Druids, I have shewn, that a great nation called Celtæ, of whom the Druids were the priests, spread themselves almost over the whole earth, and are to be traced in their rude gigantic monuments from India to the extremities of Britain. Who these can have been but the early individuals of the black nation of whom we have been treating I know not, and in this opinion I am not singular. The learned Maurice says, "Cuthites, i. e. Celts, built the great temples in India and Britain, and excavated the caves of the former."*

And the learned Mathematician, Reuben Burrow, has no hesitation in pronouncing Stonehenge to be a temple of the black, curly-headed Buddha.


Also, not all Black people are Merotic (curly hair and flatter noses), as many Black people are Nilotic, looking almost exactly like super-dark skinned Indians with straighter hair and narrower noses, e.g. many Ethiopians and Somalians, some Sudanese, Nigerians, and Kenyans, etc.

:buddha1:

Of course it is possible that non-Merotic or non-Nilotic Buddhists had made their way to Norway circa 834 C.E....
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:11 pm

Many of the Southern Indian peoples are very dark in color, and I suppose it's possible for some to have migrated as far as Norway. From what I hear, the Vikings were pretty open to other cultures, and historically were the last group to be Christianized.

Personally, that it's sculpted in the indigenous style is the most fascinating bit. If it were simply imported (whether in trade or by a migrating population) one might expect it to be in the style of wherever it originally came from. But this is a Norwegian portrayal.

Could that mean there were Norwegian Buddhists centuries prior to the standard belief of the Dharma only coming to Europe and the U.S. within the last 100+ years? Alexander the Great is said to have reached India, but Buddhism's confluence with what we know as "Western Civilization" is currently thought to have only have gone as far as Gandhara.

:popcorn:
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Alfredo » Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:52 am

There is no reason to suppose the "Buddha bucket" (the figure is affixed to a bucket handle) is actually a Buddhist figure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oseberg_ship
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:11 am

Disappointing, just a viking in lotus I guess heh.
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is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:13 am

maybe it was a sweatlodge or in other words sauna water bucket, and that was meditative for them. :thinking: :D
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby anjali » Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:28 am

The first thing I noticed when looking at the image wasn't the crossed legs. It was the four swastikas. For me, that is the only thing that would specifically identify the figurine as possibly Buddhist. An oddity for sure, but most likely a coincidence.
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Karma Jinpa » Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:56 am

The swastika may be the earliest and most widely used symbol in history, so it's hard to say that that alone would indicate this being a Buddhist figure. It's been used as a solar symbol, the Greeks are said to have known it as the fire-starter, and it was used in Hindu culture as an auspicious symbol long before Buddha came on the scene.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika

The other thing is that sitting cross-legged does not a Buddha make. However, that's how the OP identifies the image, and they also give when it was dated to, so that's why I shared it as such. In short, I'm not qualified to argue either way. It would be cool if it was, though.

Apologies about the confusion regarding when the Oseberg excavation was done. Guess it was simply my recent find on the good ol' interwebs...
:oops:
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby anjali » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:16 am

Karma Jinpa wrote:The swastika may be the earliest and most widely used symbol in history, so it's hard to say that that alone would indicate this being a Buddhist figure. It's been used as a solar symbol, the Greeks are said to have known it as the fire-starter, and it was used in Hindu culture as an auspicious symbol long before Buddha came on the scene.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika

The other thing is that sitting cross-legged does not a Buddha make. However, that's how the OP identifies the image, and they also give when it was dated to, so that's why I shared it as such. In short, I'm not qualified to argue either way. It would be cool if it was, though.

Apologies about the confusion regarding when the Oseberg excavation was done. Guess it was simply my recent find on the good ol' interwebs...
:oops:


Both swastikas and cross-legged figures have been around for a really long time. However, if you put them together, I personally can't say that I'm aware of any other ancient non-buddhist traditions that have a cross-legged figure with a swastika engraved on it's chest.

This particular figurine definitely seems random. Perhaps there are other examples of such random cross-legged figures with chest-engraved swastikas?
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  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby futerko » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:24 am

we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Lhug-Pa » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:09 am

Karma Jinpa wrote:Many of the Southern Indian peoples are very dark in color, and I suppose it's possible for some to have migrated as far as Norway....

...Could that mean there were Norwegian Buddhists centuries prior to the standard belief of the Dharma only coming to Europe and the U.S. within the last 100+ years? Alexander the Great is said to have reached India, but Buddhism's confluence with what we know as "Western Civilization" is currently thought to have only have gone as far as Gandhara.

:popcorn:


Well that's precisely why I posted the Godfrey Higgins quote, because according to him and others, melanated Buddhists DID migrate to Europe in ancient times:


Lhug-Pa wrote:
In the early 1800's, Godfrey Higgins wrote:…In my Essay on The Celtic Druids, I have shewn, that a great nation called Celtæ, of whom the Druids were the priests, spread themselves almost over the whole earth, and are to be traced in their rude gigantic monuments from India to the extremities of Britain. Who these can have been but the early individuals of the black nation of whom we have been treating I know not, and in this opinion I am not singular. The learned Maurice says, "Cuthites, i. e. Celts, built the great temples in India and Britain, and excavated the caves of the former."*

And the learned Mathematician, Reuben Burrow, has no hesitation in pronouncing Stonehenge to be a temple of the black, curly-headed Buddha.


And as I'd pointed-out in this recent thread, this type of research upsets Caucasian Euro-centric and Ashkenazi-centric academists.

As to the origin of the Norwegian statue, I really do wonder what the cultural atmosphere was like around that time (834 C.E.). If ancient Merotic, Nilotic, or Dravidian descended Buddhists did make there way to Norway like they apparently did Britain, would they have been long-gone by 834 C.E...?
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Nemo » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:25 pm

The vikings were a trading and seafaring people. Where there was water they would travel it. The Volga river system was a very popular trading route not long after the dating of that image. It would not surprise me if an early Viking explorer had traveled far enough to come in contact with the Dharma.
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:32 pm

Karma Jinpa wrote:Could that mean there were Norwegian Buddhists centuries prior to the standard belief of the Dharma only coming to Europe and the U.S. within the last 100+ years? Alexander the Great is said to have reached India, but Buddhism's confluence with what we know as "Western Civilization" is currently thought to have only have gone as far as Gandhara.
Say what??? Where did you hear this?
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Seishin » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:44 pm

Some other interesting artifacts;
Image
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gundestrup_cauldron

Image
http://www.strangehistory.net/2010/08/2 ... ng-sweden/

Image
http://www.vikingrune.com/2009/08/oseberg-buddha/

Personally, I don't see this as evidence of practising Buddhists in Cetlic/Viking Europe (or even Building stonehenge!), rather I see it as evidence of how great the Silk Road trading route was.

Gassho,
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:09 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Also, not all Black people are Merotic (curly hair and flatter noses), as many Black people are Nilotic, looking almost exactly like super-dark skinned Indians with straighter hair and narrower noses, e.g. many Ethiopians and Somalians, some Sudanese, Nigerians, and Kenyans, etc.

So when Merotic people interbreed with Nilotic people, do they become Nerotic?

This preoccupation with racial appearance sounds like a hangover from the 19th and early 20th centuries.
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:20 pm

Seishin wrote:Personally, I don't see this as evidence of practising Buddhists in Cetlic/Viking Europe (or even Building stonehenge!), rather I see it as evidence of how great the Silk Road trading route was.

I agree. Through trading, Buddhist artifacts were clearly finding their way into far off places.

But because the cross-legged figure in the OP bears so little resemblance to other Buddhist art, I would conclude that it does not share any connection. As has already been mentioned, swastikas have featured in the art of many different cultures over the ages. The lotus posture is not specifically Buddhist either.
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Karma Jinpa » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:00 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Karma Jinpa wrote:Could that mean there were Norwegian Buddhists centuries prior to the standard belief of the Dharma only coming to Europe and the U.S. within the last 100+ years? Alexander the Great is said to have reached India, but Buddhism's confluence with what we know as "Western Civilization" is currently thought to have only have gone as far as Gandhara.
Say what??? Where did you hear this?

Which part?

The first is commonly acknowledged. There wasn't much contact before the late 1800s. Admittedly, being from the States my university education on this has centered on Buddhism's entry into America. The main event in this regard is the World's Parliament of Religions held in 1893: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament_of_the_World's_Religions

The Greco-Buddhism of Gandhara is the best example of "Buddhism meets the West" that comes to my mind, though I'm sure that as a former classicist I'm biased here. The story of King Menander's conversion to Buddhism in the Milinda Panha is still one of my favorites (especially Nagasena's example of the chariot's lack of chariotness). Gandhara is located in the modern day Pakistan in the so-called "Middle East," meaning that it was between the "West" of Eastern Europe and the "Far East" of lands like China.

I'd love to hear that Gandhara's influence extended further westward, and that Greco-Buddhism had spread or at least made contact with those cultures. However, the scholarship that I'm aware of indicates Gandhara's sphere of influence mainly extended eastward and helped in the flourishing of the Mahayana, rather than in any other direction.

Obviously if the Gandharans are responsible for helping Mahayana spread across Asia we all have them to thank for our lineages and the existence of wonderful things like this forum

:)
"The Sutras, Tantras, and Philosophical Scriptures are great in number. However life is short, and intelligence is limited, so it's hard to cover them completely. You may know a lot, but if you don't put it into practice, it's like dying of thirst on the shore of a great lake. Likewise, it happens that a common corpse is found in the bed of a great scholar." ~ Karma Chagme

དྲིན་ཆེན་རྗེ་བཙུན་བླ་མ་རཱ་ག་ཨ་སྱ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།
ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།


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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Stewart » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:05 pm

I'm gonna throw something into this thread, but before I do, I will say first that; I HAVE NO SOURCE AT HAND FOR THIS, but I definitely read it somewhere about 15 years ago....I have tried to find it again over the years but with no luck.

Basically I read that Dudjom Rinpoche said that in the future Norway would be a Terma land of Guru Rinpoche's treasures... The article also stated that geologists in Norway had found a specific type agate which had previously only been found in the Tibetan plateau.... The article was talking about Dzi stones.

A recent news story reminded me of it....it was about the supposed Yeti hair DNA which 99% matched an ancient giant polar bear only found in Svalbard....maybe there's some connection there.... I don't know, but it's intriguing.
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby Norwegian » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:42 pm

Stewart,

That is very interesting. If you or anybody else come across the Dudjom Rinpoche quote / article, I'd love hearing it in full. As well as the agate information.
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Re: Buddha sculpted in Iron Age Norway

Postby anjali » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:30 pm

Just read this article on Science Daily, posted Nov. 1: Norwegian Vikings Purchased Silk from Persia

"The Norwegian Vikings were more oriented towards the East than we have previously assumed, says Marianne Vedeler, Associate Professor at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo in Norway. After four years of in-depth investigation of the silk trade of the Viking Age, she may change our perceptions of the history of the Norwegian Vikings. The silk trade was far more comprehensive than we have hitherto assumed."
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  • All activities are like the games children play. If started, they can never be finished. They are only completed once you let them be, like castles made of sand. --Khenpo Nyoshul Rinpoche
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