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The identity of Vaiśālī is changing through the constructions of Buddhist Shanti Stupas, temples and monasteries of Eastern and South- East Asian countries. These modern developments raise several questions about their history, local and international identity, reclaim and conflicts. I would like to discuss Vaiśālī in relation to their archaeological past and historical importance in the Buddhist world, and how they became important in the modern world. This paper proposes to examine the revival of Buddhist Modernism[1] through art & architectures of Buddhist temples and monasteries of Eastern and South- East Asian countries in Vaiśālī.[2]


[1] The German Buddhologist heinz Bechert coined the term ‘ Buddhist Modernism’ and defined it as follows: “Buddhist modernism is characterized by the emphasis laid on rationalist elements in Buddhist teachings, by the belief that the teachings of Buddhism and those of modern science are not only in conformity but identical, by the tacit elimination of the traditional cosmology, and by a reinterpretation of the objective of the Buddhist religion in terms of social reform and the building of a better world.” Bechert noted that Buddhist modernism is also characterized in part by the creation of lay religious organizations that did not previously exist. For him, the primary ethos animating this modern interpretation of Buddhism is the attempt to bridge the traditional gap between otherworldly and this-worldly practices and aims, transforming a religion of world-renunciation into one stressing societal reform and human development. (David L. McMahan, Buddhism in the Modern World. Routledge, 2012.)


[2] Vaiśālī has more than ten temples and monasteries built by Buddhist countries such as China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka.


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How to Cite
Ajit Kumar. (2019). Revival of Buddhist Modernism at Vaiśālī. History Research Journal, 5(6), 672-689. Retrieved from