D. P. E. Hettiaratchi

The Symbols on the "Buddhist" Svastika coins of Ancient Lanka.

Published in Paranavitana Felicitation Volume
ed. Prof. N. A. Jayawickrama, p. 227-242 + 1 line drawing plate
M. D. gunasena & Co., Ltd. Colombo 1965.

I

In his monumental work entitled Ceylon Coins and Currency, H. W. Codrington has devoted four or five paragraphs to the description of a class of ancient coins under the sub-caption ``Elephant and Svastika'' 1 which for the purpose of this essay may be called the ``Buddhist'' svastikas, as preferred by H. C. P. Bell. 2

Codrington refers there to the large circular copper coins found only in Lanka with a raised and railed svastika, a rare symbol not traceable in any continental coins except on the Audumbara pieces 3 found in India in which, however, an enclosure takes the place of the rail appearing on the Lankan coins.

Codrington says that the Lankan coins may be compared with those Indian coins (both silver and copper) of the Kunindas 4 of the second century B.C. and, that, judging from general consideration of design, they may have been issued before the Christian era.

These large copper coins, perhaps the largest so far discovered in Lanka, are die-struck on both the obverse and reverse sides, various symbols being united in one die unlike the punch-marked eldlings.

It is in regard to this type of coins that Professor Rapson says, ``in the place of a number of symbols punched into the coin from time to time there appears at a later period a definite type made up of a collection of these struck from a die. This is usually the case in those parts of India which were least affected by foreign influence.'' 5

It has been commonly believed that the primary value of coins was normally in a monetary sense but it has to be remembered that their importance lay also in their peculiar blending of documentary or historical with aesthetic elements.

Scant attention has hitherto been paid by Lankan numismatists to the aesthetic aspect of coins and hence this attempt in that direction. The field being wide for any attempt at comprehension within the space of a short article, the major symbols only appearing on the obverse design of the ``Buddhist'' Svastika pieces above referred to have been selected, since they seem to offer a fairly manageable group possessing some characteristic peculiarity or point in regard to which they differ from their congeners in India above referred to by Codrington.

The discussion to follow may therefore be held to be a very bold expansion of a coin design, but numismatic studies, when properly and scientifically treated, can open a very large and expansive field of investigation.

The writer is, however, fully aware that this paper is most speculative and no doubt it is also that round which controversy will centre. He is also not ignorant that the premises on which these ideas are founded are to a great extent problematical or conjectural as these defiant symbols have held their secret through twenty centuries.

Therefore these ideas have been put forward as suggestions for criticism in the hope that they may provide a stimulus to look further into the matter of a solution of the complex problem furnished by the emblems on the coins.

It has to be noted at the outset that ``the art of any religion is, after all, nothing but one of the national manifestations of worship. In Buddhism, a religion with a founder, this worship is naturally addressed to the Master'', 6 so much so that the devotion of the faithful fastened at once on his biography. Many of the points touched upon in this essay centre round this truism as the sequel will show.

Now the age of the coins, as given by Codrington, falls within the heyday of Early Buddhism in Lanka, and it has long been recognized that the art of Lanka is in general a reflection of that of India.

John Still says in regard to the symbols on the coins that ``all of the symbols are Buddhist; that is to say, each symbol can be justly taken as indications of Buddhism, if its surrounding allows of the probability of such being the case.... Doubtless to the king who struck these coins they are emblematic of Buddhism and of little else.'' 7

II

We have now prepared the ground to notice what the major symbols are which form the collection on the obverse side of the coin. But before doing so attention must be drawn to the most illusive circular rim running round the coin. It is not perfect in any of the coins inspected. The reverse side is of course enclosed without a break in a single line circle, but not in the case of the obverse. Codrington says, presumably in a brief manner, that the whole design is in a double circle enclosing dots and lines. Henry Parker who discovered this class of coins for the first time at Tissamahãrãma and later at Anuradhapura and Mihintale, describes this enclosure more fully as follows :-- ``The design is surrounded by two parallel circular lines. 10 in. apart, having between them an intermediate line broken in one part into a series of dots, perhaps similarly broken in the opposite sides.'' 8

At first it was thought that this rim was one similar to the ``Sakvala Cakraya'' 9 at Tisãveva ruins in Anurãdhapura; but it is not. After a very close examination of several coins it suggests itself that the enclosure represents a path, somewhat like a procession path which runs round early Buddhist monuments, and that the dots or lines, the number of which it is very difficult to decipher they are between three and six apparently depict the entrances situated at each place of honour near the four entrances at the cardinal points common to such monuments in Buddhist India and Lanka. The rim may therefore be surmised to represent a circumambulatory or pradaksinãpatha which the Buddhist pilgrims usually use in their devotions in a clockwise direction round holy places.

Let us now take into consideration the arrangement of the obverse design within this circumambulatory. In doing so it is convenient to arrange the symbols according to the dial of a clock.

(1)   6 O'clock --
``Elephant walking left, trunk extended, tail ending in a triple fork, occupying the whole of the base.''
(Plate, Fig. 1.)
DPEH_E&S Fig. 1-5
(2)   9 O'clock --
``A three-branched tree in enclosure, each branch ending in a triple fork. The enclosure is shown by a square divided into four compartments by a vertical and horizontal line.''
(Plate, Fig. 2.)
(3) 12 O'clock --
``svastika revolving to right mounted on a staff, and surrounded by a railing indicated by four vertical lines rising from the horizontal one.''
(Plate, Fig. 3.)
(4)   3 O'clock
``Caitya of three cells, the two bottom ones are contiguous.''
(Plate, Fig. 4.)

III

Having thus described in the words of Codrington the major numismatic devices appearing on the obverse of the coin we have now to encounter the difficult task of explaining what they stand for.

It is no doubt a difficult task to explain old symbols that have come down to us from the past. ``In many cases we have the symbols, but no descriptive authority for the particular meaning that was attached to it. Symbols may have had new meanings given to them. and at times the scene in which they were understood may have been almost completely changed. The symbolical interpretation that belonged to one system, or to some particular date may not be the same that is accepted when the symbol has been adopted by another system or at another period of time. The study of symbolism is on this account surrounded with difficulties.'' 10

In view of the above-mentioned difficulties it may be well, before proceeding further, to realize the fascinating side to the study of symbols. In the words of Heinrich Zimmer, ``they are endowed with an almost incredible life-force; they outlive eras and the declines of civilizations. New generations are fascinated by them and they migrate to distant regions -- from Mesopotamia, for example, to Cambodia. Ignoring silently the lapse of time, they can remain alive from the third millenium B.C. to the second millenium A. D. For they are like receptacles, ever ready to receive and to hold the essence of a new meaning. Differing generations and far separated cultures pour into them the contents of their hearts and imaginations. Whatever spiritual energies may be in need of adequate manifestations in the visible realm can find in them a tangible, meaningful pattern. They lend themselves willingly to the service of the most divergent functions, and so knit together, in a wondrous repetition, the whole adventure of man.'' 11

With such a vista laid before us we are irresistibly forced to put on record what little we have been able to unravel, and to follow out more largely the associations involved in the die-devices, with the hope of drawing a meaningful pattern as referred to above. But then what is the key for our purpose? No better key can be found for the rendering of meanings into given emblems than the remarkable words of Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy: ``However unintelligently a symbol may have been used, it can never, so long as it remains recognizable, be called unintelligible; intelligibility is essential in the symbol, by definition, while intelligence in the observer is accidental.'' 12

With this retrospect we may now proceed to make some observations on the symbols as we see them primarily from a Buddhist point of view as already stated above for throwing some light on the obscurities of a difficult subject. We shall here take them in the order they were grouped above, namely:--

1. Elephant -- The elephant is the most accomplished animal of Lankan art. In our design the animal appears walking with its trunk extended, and it occupies the whole of the base. In some coins it is so large that it covers the whole half of the lower base. In others the animal is beautifully proportioned and the trunk is in the attitude of doing obeisance. In all the coins the elephant is walking to the left in the design and this fact makes us think that the other symbols are also arranged clockwise beginning with the elephant.

Now it must be stated here that a symbol has no power of its own. ``So long as it is associated with a religious conception it can possess intense suggestiveness. The moment the religious contents lose their significance the symbol robbed of its mission sinks down to an element of ornamentation.'' How true this saying is will be clear from the elephant to the left appearing in the inscriptions of Asoka. The following may be cited here for our purpose: 13
(a) On the North face of the Kãlsi Rock with the label gajatame, ``the best elephant'';
(b) At the end of the East Dhãuli Rock Edict with the label seto, ``the white one'';
(c) In the Rock Edict at Girnãr (now missing) with the words: (sa)rva-sveto hasti sarva-loka-sukhãharo nãma, ``The entirely white elephant indeed bringing happiness to the whole world.''

Here it is pertinent to note what E. Senart has to say with regard to these inscriptions. He says, ``it is impossible to doubt that these images and these legends are contemporary with the inscriptions. Nor is the meaning doubtful. Not only are we here in the presence of a Buddhist symbol; but the accompanying legends contain a clear allusion to the history of the birth of Buddha descending in the form of a white elephant into the womb of his mother.'' 14

It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that the elephant in the emblem of the coins may also have a similar suggestiveness, especially in view of the fact that the elephant, is facing left and that emphasis is placed on it by making it larger in size than its surroundings, an art convention of ancient times to convey respect and importance.' 15

2. Tree -- The symbol of a tree was an object of worship as early as the Mohenjõ Dãrõ period. This emblem is also seen on the punch-marked coins found extending from North India to South Lanka and on the coins of the Sãtavãhanas. But taking the symbol in its context in the design under discussion, we are inclined to the view that it refers to that gens aeterna (ficus religiosa), the Bodhi tree, under which the Buddha ended the Bodhisattvaship and gained Enlightenment. The tree under which he sat became celebrated as ``the tree of knowledge and enlightenment'', The Bodhi-tree is a most sacred symbol -- a symbol as dear to the Buddhists as the cross is to the Christians. According to tradition a branch of the original tree was brought to Lanka during the reign of King Devãnampiyatissa in the 18th year of the reign of King Asoka, i.e., 251 B.C., and planted in Anurãdhapura where it is still venerated.

The enclosure of four compartments in the design may symbolize the four predicative signs which led the Buddha to the final renunciation of the world. In early Buddhist art the Bodhi-tree is the Buddha hermeneutically. 16

3. Raised and railed Svastika -- We now come to the pièce de résistance of our symbols, the raised and railed svastika which has no parallel in India or we may go further and say anywhere else in the world. Thomas Wilson who has made a special study of the subject has omitted it in his book -- The Svastika.' 17 The raised and railed svastika should therefore take a pre-eminent place as it is undoubtedly an indigenous symbol connected with Buddhism in Lanka. The raised and railed svastika is found lying on the side of cave inscriptions assigned to 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.

Henry Parker has assumed that this symbol represented the royal seal or mark of the time and that what it really meant originally will probably never be known.' 18 There is, however, inherent in this symbol, a stronger power of attraction than in the other symbols. In view of this we have to be circumspect in what we have to say here.

The components of this symbol need careful dissection to facilitate the enfoldment of its raison d' être in the design of the coin. What are its component parts? They may be described as follows:

(a) The figure of the svastika (simpliciter) as referred to in all publications and discussions hitherto noticed consist of two parts: firstly the cross and secondly the crampons at the end of the arms giving a turn always from left to right in the coins under discussion. Much controversy has ranged as to the meaning of svastika in this form 19, and our task is greatly simplified as no other scholar than Sir Monier Williams says that it is a mere curtailed form of the wheel, consisting of four spokes with a portion of the periphery of the circle. 20

(b) Now in our coins this wheel-like svastika is surmounted on a staff or stambha which is fixed to a horizontal of exactly the same length as the vertical giving it a pillar-like appearance; from the horizontal four vertical lines of the same length as the arms of the cross or crampons rise, forming a railing to the raised svastika.

(c) Further, the whole raised and railed svastika participates in a symmetry in that it can be enshrined in an upright triangle which has its vertical equal to its horizontal, an iconometrical proportion (pratima laksana) for a seated Buddha image. 21

(d) Coming now to the four crampons attached to the two cross bars of the svastika they remind us of the wheel referred to in the Mahã-Sudassana Sutta 22 which moved to the four cardinal points and, further the wheel (cakka), whence the cakkavatti derives his title, is the most popular symbol for the Buddha cited in the Pãli canon. 23

(e) Keeping the above point in view we may go another step further and say that the four spokes of the svastika raised up on a post or pillar remind us of the Dhammacakka, for Asoka too selected the Wheel to crown the great pillars he put up in India. The four spokes may therefore be taken to represent the Four Noble Truths propounded by the Buddha in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, 24 the discourse of setting in motion the Wheel of the Law' or the foundation of his Dhamma, the Buddha's first discourse after enlightenment which gives the essence of his whole doctrine. In fact, it has been remarked that the svastika contains within it the whole mind of the Buddha. 25

(f) The four vertical lines rising from the horizontal may be thought to represent the four stages of inner sanctification accomplished by the perseverance in the Noble Eightfold Path, viz., Sotãpatti, Sakadãgãmi, An-ãgami and Arahanta.

(g) We have already stated that the entire symbol can be inscribed in a vertical equilateral triangle, a symmetry which is the standard formula prescribed for transcendental contents. This is what a writer on the symbolic aspect of Form says:
``The Buddha after his enlightenment -- after he has become one with the supreme Truth -- is not represented with rapturous expression or gesture, but seated crosslegged in supreme calm, all seems withdrawn, his entire figure inscribed into the upright triangle, the symbol of Prakãsa, the Principle of Light.'' 26

Now assembling all the component parts of the raised and railed svastika together, we may not be far wrong in attributing to the symbol a non-anthropomorphic representation of the Buddha turning the Wheel of the Law in a seated attitude, i.e., Dharma-cakra mudrã, and this inference, moreover, goes to support the fact that in the Art of very early periods the Buddha was represented only by symbols. Perhaps it is best to say here that the comprehension of the meaning unfolded above has to be grasped intellectually in the same way as some pictures have to be identified in ``an all-embracing union of content and form something transcendental which is not visible but which nevertheless can indirectly be made visible.'' Herbert Spencer even adds in the most explicit terms that it will always be permissible for us to picture to ourselves Reality by concrete symbols so long as we do not regard them as resemblances of that for which they stand. 27

These thoughts force us also to refer briefly to the most significant passage containing the Buddha's statement that the creative imagination of mind is the first step in all artistic creation. 28

So with due circumspection it may be said that the raised and railed svastika has not only infinite charm as it provokes philosophic reflection and aesthetic experience but also presents in an accretion of visual concepts a precursor of the iconographic symbol for the Buddha preaching the Doctrine, in a unique indigenous memorial form which. is a counterpart of real form and which has no real existence of its own, long before license to display the physical form of the Enlightened One had been received in Art. 29

No other interpretation seems possible nor need any other be sought to put it out of court, since nothing above assumed is contrary, either to the facts as we know them or to inherent probability.

Therefore, as this symbol manifest the above-mentioned creative thoughts in its visible form, may we not cumulatively label. the same as --

Bhagavato dammacakkam ? 30

4. Caitya -- A triple hemisphere so arranged to give a pyramidal character, two for basement and one for apex -- has been adopted as the name for this symbol by the early numismatists including Sir Alexander Cunningham. Perhaps Codrington too followed them in calling the symbol appearing on the coins under discussion as Caitya.

Caitya denotes anything connected with a funeral pile, e.g., the tumulus raised over the ashes or a tree marking the spot or any shrine or reliquary.

Stupa means in Buddhist literature a sepulchral sanctuary enshrining the charred bones or ashes of a funeral pyre of a deceased hero. We therefore prefer to call the fourth symbol on the coin, a stupa. 31 Asoka, too built stupas to preserve the relics of the Buddha.

It is, however, to be remembered that the stupa is built not by the triple hemispheres but by a hemisphere. The tri-unite form is probably the mystic representation of the three signata of corporeal existence of all sentient phenomena according to Buddhism, namely, everything is impermanent, everything is firmly rooted in misery and everything is without a lasting entity --

annicam, dukkham anattã,

The stupa came to be worshiped with these feelings as much for the inherent virtue that it was supposed to possess as for its association with the demise of the Great Teacher. So the stupa on the coin according to the context of the other symbols so far described may be taken to represent the Great Decease -Mahaparinibbana for ``round the Master's end there grew up spontaneously a sort of drama in three acts, or rather in three tableaux, his death, his funeral and the division of his relics.'' 32

IV

With due regard to the age assigned to the coins we have now analysed the components of the emblem from a Buddhist point of view. And now the question arises: ``Do the components fail to achieve a meaning or do we fail in discovering in the components a coherent meaning ?'' In going yet another step forward it has to be remembered that the essence of visual art is to make the non-visible visible. It is well known that symbols which show no similarity to their. referents can be found in all cultures. They too make visible what cannot be seen. For the devout Christian the cross is not a material thing made of two beams, but a symbol of his faith. For the citizen the flag is not a piece of cloth on a pole -- to him it means the State. Reference has already been made to the importance of symbols in all cultures and for all intellectual life. ``It connects the abstract, the purely mental, with concrete reality. Science operates constantly with symbols. Mathematics can present visually abstract differential equations by means of curves. We now know that N. Bohr's model of the atom is not a `picture' in the sense of exact similarity to reality, but merely a, symbol for the complicated processes of wave mechanics. What we call `history' is not a faithful picture of actual events, but merely a symbolic presentation.'' 33

This pertinent extract not only solidifies the formulated arguments in our discussion but also serves as a fulcrum to an intermediary trying to find the deeper meanings in art.

May we not now propose to look at the tetradic symbol on the obverse of the coins as forming a synthetical Buddhist hierogram (Plate, Fig. 5), and with due regard to the raison d'être of the symbols of which the emblem is built and the logic of the relationship of its parts to `the whole as explained above, can we not assert that the emblem makes visible what the devotions of the Faithful had fastened, from time immemorial, on the life of the Buddha in regard to the four chief episodes in his life called ``the four Great Miracles''; i.e. his Nativity, his Enlightenment (Sambodhi), his Preaching (Dhammacakkappavattana) and his final Decease (Mahãparinibbãna), 34 each represented by its own peculiar symbol -- the elephant, the pipal tree, the raised and railed svastika, and the stupa, the iconography and symbolism of each of which we have discussed above in detail?

Now one point seems clear, namely, that in the interpretation of the symbols as arranged within the rim of the coin which is indigenous, ancient in age, and unique in its character and which deserves our notice of its ``aesthetic merit'', the components appear to function most meaningfully within the circumambulatory in which they are enshrined at the four cardinal points, depicting perhaps the four main divisions into which the Buddha's biography can be divided.

If the above-mentioned conception is acceptable then it leads us to point out its corollary which reveals yet another facet and this time it is topographical, and which will no doubt surprise only those who forget the relation ``between art and life,'' for, in the devotions of a Buddhist worshipper the four great original places associated with ``the four Great Miracles'' of the Buddha are appointed places 35 to gain merit by paying visits with reverence and awe. Since the days of Asoka, the idea of pilgrimage has appealed strongly to the Buddhists both monks and laymen and, even today, the Buddhist devotees from all over the world regard pilgrimage as an act of great merit. Now the appointed places are Kapilavatthu, associated with the Buddha's Nativity; Buddhagaya, with his Enlightenment; Bãrãnasi with his First Sermon.; and Kusinãrã with his Decease -- the .four places which have been hallowed by the presence of the Buddha himself.

Ipso facto the design of the coin is also a reminder of these holy places of worship as laid down for the purpose.

``It is scarcely necessary to point out what degree of certainty this regular association lends our identifications. They corroborate one another and aid by forming a coherent whole which defies scepticism.''

In passing, we wish to mention that the reverse emblem of the coin enclosed in a single line circle seems to give in nuce the mystic representation of the three ratana -- the Buddhist Trinity the Buddha, the Dharnma and the Sañgha -- as remembered by Buddhist devotees in their daily round of worship.

``Thus, we catch a simultaneous glimpse of the two aspects of the same religious phenomenon, one artistic and the other social, and their signal agreement successfully proves that we need have no fear of exaggerating the part it plays either in the worship or in the. art of primitive Buddhism.''

The presentation of a hierogrammatical interpretation to the emblem of the coins sets forth another phase before us for an argument in favour of it as an accredited hand-maid of religion in the wake of the missionizing aspects of Buddhism introduced into Lanka. It is recorded in the national chronicles that the new faith was transplanted in Lanka by the first missionary, Mahinda, the pupil of Tissa Moggaliputta, who was sent here by King Asoka and who was responsible for the conversion of the first royal person -- Devãnampiyatissa, a friend of the father of the first missionary. This fact should then not be forgotten here that the first missionary hailed from Vidisã (the modern Bhilsã) where was built the monument of Sãñchi which deals with Buddhist subjects that teach ``the onlooker more than a whole library could do.''

It is well known that the dominant note of the Buddha as portrayed in the Sãñchi monument was an ensemble of the biography of the Buddha, especially ``the Four Great Miracles'' symbolically as the hand-maid of the Faith in India.

Sir John Marshall referring to this subject says, ``the part that the figurative arts could play in the religious education of the masses was an all-important one; and the more popular and attractive their mode of expression the wider was their appeal to be.'' 36

It may therefore be surmised that here in Lanka also the early Buddhists espoused the same method in portraying the emblems depicted on the coins with a view to propagating the new faith which had the royal assent.

It now remains to say that the character of the art displayed in the treatment of the various symbols on the coins can be appraised with some justification as creating some pretensions to a balanced result conferring on the coins an aesthetic merit and that all the features taken together leave a strong impression in favour of the assumption that the ancient indigenous artist responsible for the coins was inspired by the portrayal of the four chief events of the Buddha's life as depicted in art in India before the appearance of the Buddha figure anthropomorphically at the period with which the age assigned to the coins agrees.

It will now be apparent that in this paper we have cautiously essayed to the best of our ability to. find a key to the silent language of the symbols constituting the emblem on the coins, relying on its features just as one would have to rely pars pro toto on the features of a child to tell of his parents and ancestors when no other documents are left behind.

The present paper may therefore be considered rather as a provisional study for future elaboration and completion than as a claim to thoroughness in an investigation where little help was to be had from outside sources, and not much had been accomplished by previous inquiries.

To summarise:
(1) The four major symbols on the obverse side of the coins, namely, the Elephant, the Bodhi Tree, the. raised and railed Svastika, and the Stupa appear to constitute a synthetical Buddhist hierogram;
(2) they are, perhaps, emblematical of the four chief events in the life of. the Buddha, namely, his Nativity, his Enlightenment, his promulgation of the Doctrine and his Decease, respectively. 37;
(3) they also remind us of the. four places hallowed by his presence, viz., Kapilavatthu, Buddha-Gayã, Bãrãnasi and Kusinãrã; and lastly,
(4) the emblem of the coin is presumably an adaptation as a hand-maid of religion for missionizing purposes by the earliest propagators of Buddhism in Ancient Lanka. 38

Yato yaj-jãyate


1. H. W. Codrington, Ceylon Coins and Currency, 1924, pp. 28-32; Plate I, Nos. 7, 8, 9; Supplementary Plate, Nos. 1 and 2.
Cf. John Still, Some Early Copper Coins of Ceylon, JCBRAS Vol. XIX, No. 58, 1907, pp. 201 ff., and Plate, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and H. Parker, Ancient Ceylon, 1909, p. 482, Fig. 155, No. 54.
2. A.S.C., A.R. 1900, p. 6.
3. Alexander Cunningham, Coins of Ancient India, 1891, Plate IV. Fig. 2.
4. V. A. Smith, Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, 1906, Vol. I, Plate XV, 11, 12.
5. E. J. Rapson, Indian Coins, Strassburg, 1897, p. 11
6. Sir John Marshall. The Monuments of Sãñchi -- Vol. I, 1940, p. 180.
7. JCBRAS, Vol. XIX, No. 58, 1907, P. 204.
8. Henry Parker, Report on Archaeological Discoveries at Tissamaharama, JCBRAS, Vol. VIII -- No. 27, 1884, pp. 145-147.
9. A.S.C., A.R.. 1901, p. 9, Plate K.
10. W. Simpson, The Buddhist Praying-Wheel, London, 1896, P.
11 Dr. Heinrich Zimmer, The Art of Indian Asia, Vol. 1, 1955, p. 66.
12. Dr. A. K. Coomaraswamy, Rape of a Nãgi -- An Indian Gupta Seal, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Bulletin, Vol. XXXV, 1937, p. 56.
13. Dr. B. Hultzsch, Corpus Inscriptionem Indicaruin, Vol. I Inscriptions of Asoka 1925, pp. 50, 91, 26.
14. Indian Antiquary, 1892, p.89.
Cf. Bühler Asoka Inscriften, ZDMG, Vol. XXXIX, 1885, p. 490.
15. May we not appropriately adopt a label for this symbol as gajatame as in (a), supra p. 270.
16. May we not appropriately label this symbol as Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodhi, the Bodhi tree of the Buddha Sakya Muni? cf. A. Cunningham, The Stupa of Bharhut, 1879, P. 115; E. Hultsch, Bharhut-Inschriften, ZDMG, Vol. XL, 1886, p. 65.
17. Thomas Wilson, The Svastika, Washington, 1894.
Cf. R.P. Greg, On the meaning and origin of the Flyfot and Swastika, Westminster, 1884; Edward Thomas, The Indian Swastika and its Western Counterparts, Numismatic Chronicle, N.S.,Vol.XX, pp.lS-45.
18. JCBRAS, Vol. VIII, No. 27, 1884, p. 151.
19. Henry Parker, Ancient Ceylon, 1909, Chapter XV. Cf. John Still, Some early Copper Coins of Ceylon JCBRAS. Vol. XIX, No. 58, 1907, p.211 ff
20. Sir Monier Williams, Buddhism, 1889, p., 522.
21. Dr. Stella Kramrisch, The Expressiveness of Indian Art, Journal of the Department of Letters, Calcutta University, Vol. IX, 1923, P. 96.
22. Prof. T. W. Rhys Davids, Dighanikãya, P.T.S., Vol. II, 1903, p. 174.
23. Prof. T W. Rhys Davids, Dighanikãya, P.T.S., Vol. III, 1910, p.202.
24. Prof. T. W. Rhys Davids, Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., Vol. XI, p. 158.
25. Dr. Joseph Edkins, Chinese Buddhism, London, 1880, P. 63.
26. Alice Bonser, The Symbolic Aspect of Form, Journal of India Society of Oriental Art, Vol. XVII, 1949, p. 47.
27. Herbert Spencer, First Principles, London, 1862.
28. Fausbbll's Jãtakas, Vol. IV, 1887, No. 479, pp. 228-236; or Rouse, Jãtakas, Vol. IV, 1901, p. 142.
Cf. Edward Muller, The Atthasãlini, P.T.S., 1897, p. 64.
B. M. Barua, Ancient Indian Theories of Art, Journal of India Society of Oriental Art, Vol. I, 1933, pp. 81-84.
29. According to A. Grunwedel, Suastika is canonised by Buddhism. See Buddhist Art in India, 1901, p. 160.
30. A Cunningham, The Stupa of Bharhut, 1879, p. 90. Cf. E. Hultzsch, Bharhut-Inschriften, ZDMG, Vol. XL, 1886, p. 66.
31. ``In fact, a Caitya is more often a sacred tree than a stupa; more often a Yaksa shrine than a Buddhist one. If or when the coin motif is thought to represent a stupa, the word stupa should be employed, as is done, for example, by Whitehead, Lahore Catalogue, p. 18'' - Ananda Coomaraswamy, Notes on Indian Coins and Symbols. Ostasiatishe Zeitschrift, N.F.III, 1927-28, p.175.
32. Sir John Marshall, The Monument of Sãñchi, Vol. I, (1940), p.23.
33. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol. VII, 1948, pp. 119 and 120.
34. Sir John Marshall, The Monuments of Sãñchi, Vol. 1, (1940), p. 180.
35. Prof. T. W. Rhys Davids, Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., Vol. XI, p. 90.
36. Sir John Marshall, The Monuments of Sãñchi, Vol. 1, (1940,) p. 155.
37. Cf. the story of Dharmaruci in the Divyãvadãna, (ed. Cowell and Neil p. 244).
Here a stupa, among other details, is said to have on its four sides four doorways, and four shrines, one containing the representation of the scene of the birth, another that of the enlightenment, the third that of the first sermon and the fourth that of the demise of the Buddha. This goes to support the surmise that the rim on the obverse of the coin represents a circumambulatory.
38. ``The cobs, no doubt, reflect the particular form of religion which prevailed in the district in which they were struck.'' E. J. Rapson, Catalogue of the Coins of the Andhra Dynasty &c., 1908, p. xii, note 1.


Published on the web by LakdivaCoins - 2001 July 4th.
OCR text output formatted with EMACS to HTM. It was proofed by OCR software which allows interactive correction of errors it finds and then the a printout was Proofed. but not very carefully.

Some of the accents in words like the tilde i in Sãñchĩ ; the acute s in Aśoka ; the tilde u in Stũpa ; and more uniquely the dot below (Cdilla?) s and n in pardaksinãpartha are not listed in standard HTML based on the extended ASCII character-set.
They are not included in text above since it is uncertain if they will be displayed by different web browsers and printers.