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Important Caves in Ajanta

Part - 2

After the tour of caves 9-10 and 16-17, we have to move on to caves 1 and 2, which are the following important caves in Ajanta. Before entering, please see the exterior and interior of Caves 1 and 2.

Prepare to be swept away by awe and wonder as you contemplate the possibility that a supernatural world retains an unknown history of humankind. The caves of Ajanta bear such thoughts and deep emotions, leaving us to ponder the mysteries of that ancient world that are still whispered to those who understand the dignity of Lord Buddha. It is where humanity, love, peace, and relinquishment are consorted to form artistry.

Take a moment to sit down in this secluded cave of Lord Buddha, and you will realize that there is something precious beyond our everyday lives that can only be achieved through deep intuition. There is neither loss nor gain, but instead, an eternal existence of love and peace.

In the western part of the cave, number 1 demonstrates infirmity, sickness, and death. Those are the so-called stages of human life that motivated Lord Buddha to abandon domestic life, and it was the first inception that insisted he find out the truth about human life. Some marvelous sculptures are excavated on pillars and doors in the following cave. At the end of this cave, a lively statue of Lord Buddha with Indra (both sides of the Lord) is performing an extraterrestrial atmosphere in that secluded cave. Here, Lord Buddha is presented with empathy and compassion.

Here, I would like to introduce Indra, seated on both sides of the Lord. Indra is the God of rain; however, Indra is not the name of the God; instead, it's the designation of the God who helps to provide rain.

Prayer hall, cave 2
Prayer hall, cave 2

On both sides of the door, we will find the statues of rivers named Ganga and Yamuna in a female figurative form. In India, both are treated as Goddesses. All the other parts of this cave are full of paintings. On the front side, Emperor Second Pulokeshi is inviting the envoy of Khasru Parvej. In the east part of the cave, a hilly landscape is shown, and in the middle portion of two chambers, a serpent king and queen are interacting with a royal attendant. An unprecedented painting about the devoted spiritual life of Lord Buddha was painted on a wall of the womb of the cave. Some formidable characters of the extraterrestrial world had been continuously scaring Lord Buddha to postpone his efforts while meditative. They did it year after year and finally failed to dislodge Buddha. Here is an excellent illustration of the highest label of exertion Lord Buddha faced to achieve his coveted destination. Another unforgettable and world-famous painting of Lord Buddha, named "Bodhisattva Padmapani," shines with the light of self-realization, the highest destination of theosophy.

The artworks of Cave 2
The artworks of Cave 2

 The panels of the roof are an example of the highest label of decorative design, where the endless variety of patterns produced a flamboyant obsession. The artists of Ajanta Cave used stylized fruits, birds, flowers, animals, and even human figures in the composition of decorative design and have shown the infinite possibilities of this platform. Here, the delightfulness of life is eternal. By keeping up this information in the knowledge that they had no interaction with the world's outer part, it is astonishing how they deluge such a flow of life in this secluded cave! On the western wall of this cave, there is also a painting of two bulls contending with each other.

In cave number 2, the decorative designs in the round-shaped panels bear evidence of artistic knowledge. The liveliness of the paintings in the spandrels is awestruck. Most of the paintings in cave number 2 are based on the Jataka (pre-birth stories of Lord Buddha), and a few of them conjoined from Ablokiteswar (the present life of Lord Buddha). Instead, in several expressions of Lord Buddha, we will be introduced to various spiritual symbols of Buddhism. A few of those paintings indistinctly utter the stories of Jataka since they only have residuary line drawings to express themselves.

A scene from Vidurapandita Jataka: the birth of the Buddha
A scene from Vidurapandita Jataka: the birth of the Buddha

Here, it would not be a hyperbole if I pronounce it; watching the paintings of Ajanta in a blog or elsewhere as a photographic format is very similar to guessing about the ocean by watching a pond in a village! We must remember that most of the paintings of Ajanta we are watching here are as large as the painting, bearing a diameter of more than 20 feet! Moreover, we are not such devotees of Lord Buddha or have no spiritual impact like those painters who spent their lives in these caves for long years full of meditative intuition, just like a Buddhist mendicant. To understand the heartbeat of Ajanta's painting, we need to evolve our emotions regarding Buddhism and bring forth our keenness.

To enjoy Ajanta's paintings, we must observe them at the standard distance for such large paintings. Remember that those artists were not required to prove their expertise by showing detailed drawings at each step.

A few more attention-grabbing paintings in Cave Number 2 perplex us. A girl is sitting on the cradle and enjoying swings; the procession of a king with elephants, horses, and attendants; a girl on the floor, saluting someone, and more. The painting of the procession was taken from Jataka (Pandit).

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