A statue of Buddha has been found near the ancient city of Egypt.
According to a public announcement by Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities it was discovered by the Polish-American Joint Archaeological Mission, which had been working on this subject since 1994.
The statue of Buddha has been found at a place called BERENIKE, Egypt. In ancient times this place developed as a port city. BERENIKE was an important trading port built by the Ptolemaic dynasty. This dynasty ruled Egypt for about three centuries.
Egypt was not only a major civilization settled on and around the banks of the river Nile, but it was also a place connecting all the prominent civilizations of that time together. These included the Mesopotamian, Indian, and Chinese civilization.
NOW IN EARLIER TIMES THE WORLD’S HISTORY HAD CONSISTED, so to speak, of a series of unrelated episodes , the origins and results of each being as widely separated as their localities , but from this point onwards history becomes an organic whole :the affair of Italy and Africa are connected with those of Asia and of Greece , and all events bear a relationship and contribute to a single end .
POLYBIUS (died 118 B C), on the rise of the Rome
UNEARTH BUDDHA STATUE
Historians are considering the received statue of Buddha to be about 1900 years old. This idol is made of stone and its height is 71 cm. Buddha is depicted in a standing position in this statue.
Salient features of the received idol
In the received idol, Gautam Buddha is depicted in a standing position.
The statues of Buddha in which he is depicted in a standing position are believed to be the oldest statues of Buddha.
Sculpture depicting Buddha in standing posture is believed to be an attempt to depict Buddha in human form.
A sun-like structure is carved behind the Buddha’s head, to represent the spiritual powers of the Buddha, his majesty.
Some believe that the reason behind carving the sun-like structure was something else.
Buddha came from the Ikshvaku dynasty, this dynasty was one of the main dynasty of India.
The Ikshvaku dynasty is also called the solar dynasty because like the dynasty of Japan, the origin of this dynasty is believed to be from the sun and the sun was their main deity, so the shape of the sun behind Buddha’s head represents his dynasty.
Buddha is depicted holding the end of his robe in one hand. The shape of a lotus flower is made under the feet of Buddha’s statue, in most of the ancient statues of Buddha found, Buddha has been shown sitting, meditating, or standing on a lotus flower.
The lotus flower has a prominent place in Buddhism, the lotus flowers were present in all monumental events such as birth, marriage, enlightenment or preaching of Lord Buddha, so for this reason the lotus flower is used in most of the statues of Buddha.
Apart from the statue of Buddha, an inscription written in Sanskrit has also been received.
What is the significance of the ancient statue of Buddha found in Egypt in context of India.
The ancient sea route which connected India to Egypt(Berenice).
Trade relations between India and Egypt date back much before the advent of Buddha.
Everyone is aware about the pyramids of Egypt. The mummies found inside the pyramids are still a matter of curiosity.
MUMMY:- is a dead body which was preserved long ago by being rubbed with special oils and wrapped in cloth .
Many bodies have been found inside the pyramids in ancient Egypt. To protect these dead bodies, these dead bodies were kept wrapped in special types of oil and clothes, Historians believe that the clothes used to protect and preserve the dead bodies were all made in India.
In ancient times, indigo was used to dye clothes. Many textiles found in the roman and the Egyptian empire display the usage of indigo in them. Indigo was supplied all over the world from India. This is trivial as Indigo got its name because of India itself.
According to old Persian stories, Indian steel was used in the making of high quality swords even during the time of Alexander.
There is evidence of large quantities of black pepper, silks, ivory ornaments and valuables being imported from India at a place called Berenice where the Buddha statue has been found.
All these Indian goods were sent to the Roman Empire from Berenice itself. In this way, India’s trade with Egypt was done on a large scale, as well as Egypt was a major stop of trade between East and West countries.
GRAND TRUNK ROAD
Note :- Trade between India, Egypt and Roman Empire was done not only through sea, ocean routes but by land route as well.
Starting from the remote part of India (now Bangladesh) via Peshawar, the Grand Trunk Road also connected Central Asia and Ancient Greece.
In ancient times, this road has mentioned by the name of Uttarpath “meaning ~ The Northern road”. During the time of Mauryan Empire (322 BCE), this road was renovated. The length of this road is about 2500 kilometers and it passes through almost all the major business cities of North India.
# The statue of Buddha found in Egypt once again well establishes the fact that India was the center of world trade for about 2000 years in ancient times.
# There was a huge demand for goods made in India all over the world and at that time the people of India had made good progress in chemistry, metallurgy as compared to other civilizations and empires.
# There was a great demand in Egypt and Europe for the clothes made in the Far East of India.
#In ancient India, the business of shipbuilding was in an advanced stage.
#Indian sailors had good knowledge of the sea route.
Here in Sarnath, Buddha gave his first sermon and ordered the Buddhist monks to spread his teachings in all four directions, following this order of Buddha, Buddhist monks spread all over the world and started promoting the teachings of Buddha for the development of human welfare.
As the layers of ancient history are being opened with the help of modern science, it is becoming clear that Indian traders also had a big role in the propagation of Buddhism across the world.