HomeFeatured2,300-Year-Old Buddhist Statue Discovered In Odisha

2,300-Year-Old Buddhist Statue Discovered In Odisha

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2,300-Year-Old Buddhist Statue Discovered In Odisha

NEW DELHI (ANI) – After lying buried in the earth for 2,300 years, an ancient sentinel emerges—the stone guardian Elephant, intricately carved from a single rock—now standing under the open skies in the lush and fertile valley of the Daya River in Odisha. It served as a steadfast witness to the Buddhist community that thrived in the region during Emperor Ashoka‘s reign.

Archaeologists from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) discovered this majestic stone elephant last month. Rising approximately 3 feet tall, this remarkable artifact offers tantalizing hints about the significance of bygone eras and reveals the profound connection between elephants and Buddhist teachings. Quoting from the Udana or “heartfelt sayings,” the Buddha once remarked, “In the quiet solitude of the forests, the spiritual giant finds solace, as does the mighty elephant.” This statement encapsulates the profound bond between elephants and the teachings of the Buddha, as both find refuge in solitude away from bustling crowds. In this context, the rediscovered statue from the verdant river valley assumes a deeper, almost mystical significance.

This statue bears a resemblance to other Buddhist elephant statues found in the region, with its closest sibling residing 19 kilometers upstream in Dhauli. These monolithic elephants, sculpted from the same rocky womb with finely etched features, echo the age-old story of the blind man and the elephant—an allegory that emphasizes the limitations of human perception and the pursuit of holistic understanding, as reported by Bhutan Live.

INTACH’s team plans to systematically excavate the area to unveil further glimpses into the ancient culture and religion that once pervaded this river valley. It is an ambitious endeavor, offering a glimpse into a bygone era when the teachings of the Buddha flourished under the patronage of Emperor Ashoka, radiating from the heart of India to modern-day Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and Bangladesh, as per Bhutan Live.

Today, despite Buddhists being a minority in India, the spirit of the Buddha’s teachings, his pursuit of peace, and the wisdom of his parables resonate profoundly. Alongside the discovery of these ancient treasures, we also find timeless lessons that can guide us through our modern trials and tribulations.

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