We often find our parents and grandparents talking about things, places and names which were lost. Things and places they grew up seeing, but are no longer to be found. Some of them have even become a part of folklore.
When we come across such stories, we often feel the nostalgia building up, and our minds imagine the charm those things and places created. Amid this there’s utter sadness that the generations of yore couldn’t preserve such places for us to experience them. Some great monuments, which were epitome of excellence, have been lost in the pages of history.
Many such lost or less explored places and monuments belong the glorious past of Buddhism. Followers of the enlightened path included some of the greatest architects and engineers, who created masterpieces throughout the world. In the last 2,500 years, a multitude of monuments were added in the Buddhist Culture.
However, over the years, popularity of many of these marvels witnessed a steep decline in popularity due to several reasons. Currently, there are a great number of such monuments which are unexplored, mainly because such structures and places are out of public discourse.
Apart from the famous Ajanta and Ellora caves (Borobudur stupa), the Buddhist culture has a lot more striking monuments to offer, which are waiting to be explored and experience such unexplored. And that’s what we need to bring to light, so that a culture as rich as Buddhism may come to light.
Unexplored Buddhist Monuments (UBM) is an effort in this direction. This online initiative aims to bring information about unexplored places and monuments, which have a Buddhist influence, to common knowledge. The initiative came into being with the sole motto of protecting the culture's rich and varied heritage by means of creating awareness amongst the masses.
If you are a kind of person who loves culture and history, and have always wanted to play your part to save heritage, this is your chance to do it.
Here are five reasons why you should contribute on Unexplored Buddhist Monuments:
- To let the world know about your journeys, so that others can be inspired to explore
You have travelled places. You have covered significant ground. You have been in the mountains, in deserts, in jungles, and in the woods. If you have done all this, it’s a high possibility that you have seen what others haven’t. That magnanimous cave, those mammoth structures, which you made you ask yourself the question, “how on Earth did I not know about this?”
Many of such monuments belong to the Buddhist Culture, as over the centuries, followers of the path built some of the most phenomenal structures. If such is the case, the world needs to know about your travelogue. The place, the architecture, the journey, and everything about it, deserves to be known. This will inspire more and more people to set on their own journeys to explore what you did too.
- Contribute towards preserving one of the oldest cultures on earth
Culture diversity has been one of the core strengths of humanity. Buddhism, in its history of 2,500 years, has been one of the most revered and influential cultures of the world. With its unique philosophy of life and non-violence, Buddhism inspired warring kings like Ashoka The Great to adapt the path and work towards the betterment and welfare of humanity.
These features of Buddhism have always been reflected in their structures and monuments. Without them, the culture is as incomplete as a body without heart, a flower without fragrance, a life without love. Many famous and significant monuments of Buddhist origins have been lost with time, some due to natural wear and tear, some due to human encroachment.
Several of these lost monuments are scattered all over the world, left unexplored by the mainstream. If you know any such monuments, let the world know about it. Bring them back to life will help us preserve one the most ancient cultures, which is as important as the skyscrapers and amusement parks we crave for.
The monument you mention doesn’t need to be world famous. It doesn’t need to be a place you travelled to, it can be a place where you live. You might have seen it a thousand times, but the world hasn’t, so just look around, see structures which seem to be ancient, they might just be what the UBM initiative is all about.
- Bringing the glorious past alive, getting engulfed in nostalgia.
Imagine a great palace, where thousands of monks united. A place where Kings and Monks sat next to each other engrossed in meditation, a place completely engulfed by spirituality. Think of a place where people came with congestion in minds and corruption in hearts, but left with peaceful both.
Such were the structures in Buddhist history. Kings, monks, travellers, beggars, men, woman, children, elderly, all come together, to be mesmerized with the teachings of Gautama Buddha, and later, his disciples. A simple gathering usually turned out to be a festival, with attendees feeling more elevated by every passing moment.
However, with passing time, such places came under wrath of cruel rulers, ignorant mercenaries and even natural calamities, which made such ceremonious places deserted. Today, such isolated monuments and structures hide great stories behind them, some of the golden days, some of the dark nights. By making the world know about these places will make people visit these places, and if sincere efforts are taken, these unexplored monuments can relive days from their glorious past.
May be not as much as those days, but glorious indeed. Once again these isolated places will bloom with laughter of small children and reverence from adults.
- To help a noble cause of bringing unexplored places of history to the mainstream
Helping someone makes you happy. Helping someone for a greater good makes you happier. Folks at Unexplored Buddhist Monuments are trying to save some history and heritage, a part of that centuries’ old culture, inspired by Gautama Buddha himself.
In this day and age of wars, failing diplomacies, exploitation and corruption, people need something to hold on, something which can inspire them, and culture is one such way which could transform people’s approach towards the world we live in. And for that to happen people need to see places and monuments, which reflect culture. Nothing can inspire more than a piece of history which silently says, “no matter what transpires, there is still hope always”.
Helping initiatives like UNB will not only make you proud, but also help such initiatives to garner support and see the day soon. Bringing your experiences on the platform will add immense value to this noble cause, which aims at reviving the lost monuments and structures, bring them back to the mainstream knowledge.
- To motivate those who are taking this initiative
In today’s day and age, where morality and value system has gone for a toss, and people have no time for themselves, let alone for anthropologic initiatives. Fortunately, there are good Samaritans who go out of their way and do social activities, which in fact is a collection responsibility of the entire human race.
These volunteers work selflessly, like in the case of UBM. All they need is your moral support. And if you spend an hour or two sharing your experiences on the UBM website, the folks working in the direction will feel that their efforts are not going in vain. The best thing that can happen to a volunteer is seeing his efforts turning out to be fruitful.
Once you start sharing your experiences of unexplored monuments, the people working on the initiative will be extremely motivated and will be encouraged to work even harder. Moreover, if you start writing, you will inspire other writers as well, and slowly, we will see a community building. So if its is in your heart, let it go on record, as the emotions you experienced are invaluable, and the inspiration they will have is immeasurable.
Who can write on the UBM forum?
There’s no special skills required to express emotions and memories, one just needs a heart to do it. If you are reading this, it’s a great possibility that you have a good heart. So just sit down, write your heart out on the forum, and post it. Don’t worry about language, or heavy phrases, as emotions are too powerful to be perturbed by them.