“Krsna in Mathura – “Sri Uddhava said: Thereafter Lord Krsna went to Mathura City with Sri Baladeva, and to please Their parents They dragged Kamsa, the leader of public enemies, down from his throne and killed him, pulling him along the ground with great strength.” (SB 3.3.1)
“Since that time, the city of Mathura had been the capital of all the kings of the Yadu dynasty. The city and district of Mathura are very intimately connected with Krsna, for Lord Krsna lives there eternally.” (SB 10.1.28)”
All expert Mahayana Pure Land Buddhist Art Historians know that the canon of Mahayana Pure Land Buddhist sacred Art derives from and diffused from its two earliest main regional centers in Gandhara and Mathura. The Gandharan Forms were more Greek in style and the Mathuran Forms were more classically Indian and Oriental. In fact the Mathuran Forms are recognizable for a GAUDIYA VAISHNAVA as belonging to the Vrndavan-Mathuran cultus of Krishna-Balarama and Their Shaktis. Since it is known that the ‘Buddhist’ Emperor Asoka’s own ‘Buddhist’ Guru had a monastery IN MATHURA with about 10,000 monks in it, it should be OBVIOUS what kind of ‘Buddhism’ the Emperor was schooled-in and why ALL of Mahayana Pure Land Buddhism throughout its entire geographic range was spreading devotion to the Trinity / Trikaya of Krishna-Balarama and Their Omnipresent Holy Spirit, Paramatma.
Is it concievable that the central Northern Indian Royal Capital of Krishna-Balarama Worship would have an atheistic Theravadin ‘Buddhist’ Monastery with 10,000 monks in it? What does the historical evidence tell us about the presence of this Form of ‘Buddhism’ in Mathura, and why all of Asoka-related Mahayana Pure Land Buddhism is PERMEATED with the Holy Names, Forms, Doctrines and Practices of Krishna-centric Vaishnavism?
Take this one Wiki article for example, regarding the significance of Mathura in early Mahayana Buddhist Art… “…possibly dating back to the occupation of Mathura by the Indo-Greeks during the 2nd century BC.” My own studies have proven that the Rhodian Greek Tradition of Rhoda-Kouros and Dionysos (Radha-Krishna and Baladeva) was the specific connection between the Greco-Indian Gandharan and Mathuran Schools of Vaishnavism and the original Pure Land Tradition of the Vaishnava Brahma Sect / Sampradaya known as ‘Buddhism’. In the Mediterranean Region the Sect of Kouros Helios (Krishna) Worship known in the East as ‘Buddhism’ was the Afro-Helleno-Semitic Tradition of SOKAR-AUSAR-PTAH of Memphis. This was the Cultus of SUKRA-ASHURA-BUDH, Namely the Trinity of BALADEVA (SUKLA) – VISHNU (by His Vedic Name ASHURA) – BUDDHA (His Theophanies and Incarnations as the countless Buddhas and BODHI-sattvas of the Pure Land Tradition).
All of the evidence is there for any open-minded person to see. It is in the still-preserved artifacts, in the ancient Scriptures and even written in stone in the ruins of whole ancient civilizations. How tragic is it that the Devotees of the Lord still are refusing to even consider this massive amount of PROOF of their own ancient UNITY, due to the blinding influence of SPIRITUAL PRIDE and mundane prejudice! Truly ‘…the party spirit is the enemy of truth”.
Art of Mathura
The representations of the Buddha in Mathura, in central northern India, are generally dated slightly later than those of Gandhara, although not without debate, and are also much less numerous. Up to that point, Indian Buddhist art had essentially been aniconic, avoiding representation of the Buddha, except for his symbols, such as the wheel or the Bodhi tree, although some archaic Mathuran sculptural representation of Yaksas (earth divinities) have been dated to the 1st century BC. Even these Yaksas indicate some Hellenistic influence, possibly dating back to the occupation of Mathura by the Indo-Greeks during the 2nd century BC.
In terms of artistic predispositions for the first representations of the Buddha, Greek art provided a very natural and centuries-old background for an anthropomorphic representation of a divinity, whether on the contrary “there was nothing in earlier Indian statuary to suggest such a treatment of form or dress, and the Hindu pantheon provided no adequate model for an aristocratic and wholly human deity” (Boardman).
Greek scroll supported by Indian Yaksas, Amaravati, 3rd century AD
The Mathura sculptures incorporate many Hellenistic elements, such as the general idealistic realism, and key design elements such as the curly hair, and folded garment. Specific Mathuran adaptations tend to reflect warmer climatic conditions, as they consist in a higher fluidity of the clothing, which progressively tend to cover only one shoulder instead of both. Also, facial types also tend to become more Indianized. Banerjee in “Hellenism in India” describes “the mixed character of the Mathura School in which we find on the one hand, a direct continuation of the old Indian art of Bharut and Sanchi and on the other hand, the classical influence derived from Gandhara”.
The influence of Greek art can be felt beyond Mathura, as far as Amaravati on the East coast of India, as shown by the usage of Greek scrolls in combination with Indian deities. Other motifs such as Greek chariots pulled by four horses can also be found in the same area.
Incidentally, Hindu art started to develop from the 1st to the 2nd century AD and found its first inspiration in the Buddhist art of Mathura. It progressively incorporated a profusion of original Hindu stylistic and symbolic elements however, in contrast with the general balance and simplicity of Buddhist art.
Mathuran ‘Buddhist’ Art