SANDALWOOD AND BUDDHISM: A PERSPECTIVE OF MATERIAL CULTURE

Authors

  • CHENG LIN SHENG

Abstract

Sandalwood as a tropical and subtropical hemi-parasitic tree, has a special value in nature and social culture. Because of the association with Buddhism, it is endowed with cultural significance. Sandalwood and its products are classic materials(things). They are discovered in Buddhism through investigating the records of the Tripitaka, Complete Poetry of the Tang, archaeological investigations, and research at Buddhist temples in China. From these materials, we can conclude many material cultural aspects of sandalwood. Such as Buddhist temples named “TanLin(檀林)” “TanSi(檀寺)”, books of sutra named “TanJing(檀经)” in Chinese Language and some temples are built of sandalwood. Many products made of sandalwood are commonly utilized in Buddhism, such as Buddha sculptures and figures, Buddhist utensils, Buddha medicine, and so on. As a result, sandalwood plays an essential part in Buddhist culture and is regarded as the “Divine Tree”. “Buddha without Sandalwood is not transmitted; sandalwood without Buddha is not pricey,” according to a Chinese saying. Sandalwood tree evolved from a plant to a cultural tree after being baptised by Buddhist culture. They are unified together under the perspective of material culture.

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Published

2022-09-30

How to Cite

CHENG LIN SHENG. (2022). SANDALWOOD AND BUDDHISM: A PERSPECTIVE OF MATERIAL CULTURE. Quarterly Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society, 70(3). Retrieved from http://phs.com.pk/index.php/phs/article/view/199

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