Relics from Pakistan's multicultural past
August 22nd, 2011
10:36 AM ET

Museum exhibit highlights Pakistan's Buddhist roots

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - A statue resembling the goddess Athena and jewelry bearing images from Greco-Roman mythology may not be objects you'd expect to see in a museum exhibit of Buddhist art from Pakistan.

Their presence among carvings of Buddha and Indian deities is meant to serve as a reminder of Pakistan's oft-forgotten multicultural roots, which form the basis of a new exhibit, "The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara."

The show, which runs until October 30 at New York's Asia Society, is the first to bring works of Gandharan art to the United States since 1960. The pieces, on loan from museums in Karachi and Lahore, highlight Pakistan's history as a crossroads of cultural influences, despite present-day associations of the country as an incubator of religious extremism, museum director Melissa Chiu said.

Read the full story on the exhibit showcasing Pakistan's Buddhist art
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Art • Buddhism • Pakistan

soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Troy Acosto

    Wow, superb weblog layout! How long have you ever been blogging for? you made blogging glance easy. The full look of your site is great, as smartly as the content material!

    June 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  2. Naomi

    American atheists should repent before USA gets nuked.

    August 24, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  3. Jesus

    @Naomi I never knew you!

    August 23, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Satan

      I know her well.

      August 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  4. Naomi

    America can dig out their Christian roots even after the atheists demolish the nation. History and survivors never disappear for some reasons – to transmit the truth to the entire universe. Nothing can be hidden or covered up for long. Liberals, give up your filthy agenda.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:37 am |
  5. Naomi

    These Bhuddhist-majority nations – Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos and Bhutan(the worst) still need the freedom of conscience(religious freedom) enforced and practiced. Buddhism is as oppressive as Islam and the Western secularism. The air-headed history-ignorant secular Americans have no idea about it. Not everyone coverts to Christianity, but all Earthlings need Judeo-Christian values to be civil.

    August 23, 2011 at 2:34 am |
    • claybigsby

      "Not everyone coverts to Christianity, but all Earthlings need Judeo-Christian values to be civil."

      what crap you spew....GET A JOB

      August 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  6. The Lambly Winged Lion of The Gods Does Roar

    Polytheism should be upon us godly men and godly women, afterall, In the KJVB there is but a few verses regarding the Sons of GOD, therefore if one wants to be "cristee-anically" correct such Sons of GOD are Gods of a monumentalistic venue that all people should be considering the pluralisms of Politheisms in an abundant nature. Of GOD which was built by the Gods and these Gods do live out their Time deep within the Chasms of inner spaces known as the "Atomic" Cosmos. These families of God abide themselves within each and every singled out Life form(s) deeply within the "Atomic" Cosmos. Who dares to attempt a "truth" deniability posting? Will such a deniability come from god-loving men or from god-fearing men or perhaps by those men who do not even believe in GOD or God(s)?

    August 23, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  7. Bo

    @herbert juarze: I don't know if reallity will be back he hasn't posted much today, if he copy and pasted his article toeday he didn't get it from the website he gave. If he chose to copy and paste he chose a myth and not the true story. But the myth does go about the way he told it.

    August 22, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  8. Bo

    ==========@Reallity================== I don't intend to be sarcasitic, but where did you get your information about Judisim and Christianty? =================================

    August 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      the best response to reality is to click the report abuse option and get his copy paste drivel off the site.

      August 22, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Peace2All


      " ==========@Reallity================== I don't intend to be sarcasitic, but where did you get your information about Judisim and Christianty? ================================= "

      Hey -Bo...

      I guess -Reality has different references and... and some different interpretations than you do regarding some things in the bible. In case you hadn't heard, not all bible believers, or non-bible believers reads and interprets everything the way you do. Surprise !


      @Herbert Juarez

      " the best response to reality is to click the ªreport abuseª option and get his copy paste drivel( off the site). "

      That kind of surprise me about you, -Herbert. We have this thing called the 1st amendment and the right to "Free Speech."

      So... You message is basically.... anyones' posting that we don't like, agree with, think is stupid, doesn't agree with THE REAL BIBLICAL Teachings,... the answer to that is to "squelch" their 1st amendment right or free speech and expression.

      We don't have to think too much about countries and 'individuals' that think like you do, that believe it is o.k. to "Shut someone up, because..."

      Well, -Herbert, I think you 'get' my direct message to you here. I most certainly hope that I am wrong about you.



      August 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      August 22, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Reality

      The Infamous Resurrection Con:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So, "run and hide herbie" has turned into "run, hide and silence anyone I don't agree with herbie"

      August 22, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Everyone is getting tired of the continuous copy paste.Freedom of speech?reality has had freedom, that gets old after 1000 times. Just like the guy who keeps posting strings,what is the difference?

      August 23, 2011 at 6:19 am |
    • Reality

      As we "thu-mp" along with rational thinking, conclusions and reiteration to counter the millennia of false and flawed religious history and theology!!!------––

      o Reiteration is great for the learning process. As is reading and rational thinking followed by conclusions based on all of it.

      August 23, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Herbert Juarez

      You Said: "@peac2all...(Everyone) is getting tired of the continuous copy paste.Freedom of speech?reality has had freedom, that gets old after 1000 times. Just like the guy who keeps posting strings,what is the difference? "

      Well Herbert, there are a couple of differences. First and foremost, -Reality or anyone else gets to express themselves on this blog or anywhere else, regardless of your dislike about his content and style (repeti-tive copy and paste). As long as... there are no laws being broken. I 'believe' (could be wrong here) is that basically the only things that trump free speech is if they are directly life-threatening, or directly inciting same, etc...

      Second, you are incorrect... 'not' "Everyone" is getting tired of -Reality's copy and paste comments. I'm fine with it. I typically just move on, if I have seen them before, and, sometimes -Reality 'does' engage in conversation outside of his copy/paste. Same thing goes for the 'butterfly' poster and the 'strings' poster.

      Suggestion... If you've "seen it 1,000 times" don't read it and move on !

      Same goes for the 'believers' and some of your postings. There have been many a time I'm sure that people have wanted to hit the 'abuse' button to remove your postings, but that would not be in the spirit of the 1st amendment.

      Everyone gets to post whatever the heck they want, apparently as many times as they want within the guidelines of the 1st amendment, and of course the guidelines of the CNN belief blog.



      August 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      it's spam and i will continue to treat it as spam and encourage others to do so as well.

      August 23, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Herbert Juarez

      " it's spam and i will continue to treat it as spam and encourage others to do so as well. "

      Well, -Herbert, you have the right to do what you like. While I and others might consider 'your' postings as spam, invective, mis-leading, or a variety of other things, I won't hit the 'abuse' button, as you 'too' have your right to free speech.

      To try and not only... 'squelch' free speech, but to encourage others to do it too, shows a level of willingness to control and stifle, not to mention, -Herbert... just seems 'petty'.

      I believe you to be better than that.

      'Spam' is a very ambiguous term. As it applies here to -Reality, he uses his cut/paste to put across his messages that he believes need to be said. Much in the same way, 'you' may quote your Bible verses (which you often do) and statements over and again.

      -Herbert, I do enjoy speaking and debating with you. I would like to continue to enjoy our discussions on the blogs, and part of what allows that to happen, is allowing others to write what they want, and then post it again, if they see fit.

      Instead of trying to 'stop free speech'... why don't you just recognize it, if it is something you've seen before...and... "move on"...?

      Instead of trying to organize an anti 'free speech' group, to kick people off of the blogs that write things repeatedly, or especially things that you don't happen to agree with.

      What do ya' think, -Herbert...?

      Hope that you are well.



      August 24, 2011 at 3:15 am |
  9. Bo

    =========@Reallity4:51================ Good evening Reallity, I hope things are well. I'm wondering where you got your information about Budda? Sinddhartha Gotama founded what is known as Buddisim about 2500 yrs ago. I'll call him Sinda. Sinda was born to a wealthy royal family. He realized that wealth and luxury did not bring happiness so at the age of 29 he set off to explore religions and happiness. After 6 yrs he had failed so he began to decelop a phllosophy of what life was all about. His followers gave him the name of Budda, which means "Lover of wisdom" Sinda continued his developing his phllosophy the rest of his life. He died at the age of 80. He did not denouance any religion or god. The images of Budda are not idols, nor are they worshiped. Followers bow in respect of a great man. I hope this helps, have a good evening.

    August 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  10. Reality


    "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

    "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

    Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

    "Indeed, there are ideas within Buddhism that are so incredible as to render the dogma of the vir-gin birth plausible by comparison. No one is served by a mode of discourse that treats such pre-literate notions as integral to our evolving dis-course about the nature of the human mind. Among Western Buddhists, there are college-educated men and women who apparently believe that Guru Rinpoche was actually born from a lotus. This is not the spiritual breakthrough that civilization has been waiting for these many centuries."

    But to be fair:

    • There was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • There was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.


    August 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  11. Bo

    ===========@evolvedDNA================ Good day I hope. I grant you there is a lot of religious insanity around, but why would you think that God would have put an end to religious insanity before now? ====================================

    August 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      BO.. we are living in these times so we think they are the most important times...naturally. Many religious groups anticipate the return of their particular deity and they seem to claim that all the signs are there for this..people through out history have claimed the same "evidence' . People have been sacrificed for a variety of gods, weather phenomena, comets ...wars have been raged in the name of gods..insanity has persisted for eons and I made the statement that if a god existed he would had made himself/ herself known and put an end to it. This time in history will show that there is no more insanity with regards to belief than at any other time,, just perhaps a different form and a little more violent ( most sacrifices are no longer done but I would still not like to born a sheep or goat) and with communications it has the appearance of more crazyness....but it has been consistent and constant...

      August 22, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  12. David Johnson

    I'm curious. If the Religious Right manages to establish their Theocracy, will museums still be able to exhibit items from other religions? Will Jesus demand we destroy all the statues of other faiths, like the Taliban did to the Buddhas?

    Will it be unlawful to view these artifacts?

    I am afraid. I am very afraid.


    August 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Naomi

      David, He will demand to demolish your house which is full of your idols and trash. And that's exactly what'll actually happen to Earth. Cheer up.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:31 am |
    • Keith

      David, Why would you be afraid of Jesus if in your mind He doesn't exist?

      August 25, 2011 at 8:37 am |
  13. Bo

    =========@x-x-x================= I wish you wouldn't call sentuallity fithly, it's not. Sentuallty is only wrong when it is used wrong. =================================

    August 22, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Bo what is the correct way?

      August 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Naomi

      @EvolvedDNA, Sensuality is right only between a husband and a wife with the exclusive, lifetime committed love. All others are wrong.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • claybigsby

      "Sensuality is right only between a husband and a wife with the exclusive, lifetime committed love. All others are wrong."

      hmmmmm....makes me wonder why the divorce rate is greater than 50%

      August 23, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Naomi

      @Clay-, because people are selfish and irresponsible.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics


      @EvolvedDNA, Sensuality is right only between a husband and a wife with the exclusive, lifetime committed love. All others are wrong.

      Disagree. We can have multi lovers

      August 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics


      @EvolvedDNA, Sensuality is right only between a husband and a wife with the exclusive, lifetime committed love. All others are wrong.

      Disagree. We can have multi lovers

      In addition, show me in the bible where this is specifically not allowed

      August 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • Naomi

      @Anti-, Matthew chapter 19. Multiple wives were tolerated in OT, but never endorsed in both OT and NT. True man lives for one woman for all time. Period.

      August 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics


      @Anti-, Matthew chapter 19. Multiple wives were tolerated in OT, but never endorsed in both OT and NT. True man lives for one woman for all time. Period.
      So it comes down to your opinion, not biblical.

      August 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Naomi..see you are as ambiguous as your bible,... a husband and wife with a life long commitment means that it could be any husband and wife...not necessarily those they are married to..see how easy it is too spin a statement....well you do as it is done all the time by you.

      August 24, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  14. Bo

    ===========By the way Noami, that is a beautifu name, the book of Ruth should have been called the book of Noami, because the story is really about Noami, not Ruth. The story begins with Noami and ends with Noami. Ruth is remembered for her faithfulness to both God and Naomi and that she was the great, great, great (I don't remember how many greats) grandmother of Jesus on Mary's side. Good day.

    August 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Naomi

      @Bo, Naomi means "delightful" in Hebrew. No, the Book of Ruth is about Ruth. Read again. Yes, truly beautiful characters in chaotic time. I hope you can find me again even if I have to change my user name again. I used "Bonnie" and "Bonita" before. "Bo" is cute, isn't it?

      August 23, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  15. gupsphoo

    Porkistanis would love to blow this place up.

    August 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  16. Bo

    ============@Noami========== I think N. Korea and China are about the same, N. Korea may be worse, but not by far. I've got to be going, I have some things that must be done. But, I hope Noami, and all the other Christians that come on this blog, that you can remember not to display so much hateful anger. Just remember, hate is a tool of satan, and when we display hate we are letting satan take control of our hearts. God loves all his creatures, even atheist and it is more Godly to love. Be kind in what you say. Help spread the word to other Christians. I know that some atheist will ridicule, make nasty remarks and claim God does't exisit, but that is no excuse to say hateful and mean things, like they are stupid, they are going to burn in hell, etc.Let God be the judge. The fact is, there are many atheists with good characters, and many of them are very intellegent they just don't have any faith in God. (I must agree there are some who don't seem to know how to be nice, but just ignore them)

    August 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Naomi

      @Bo, thank you. But I love atheists. No, no atheist is good or intelligent. You are imagining things. Atheists are all evil and foolish. They need help.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Naomi

      @Bo, read Psalms 14 and 53. The facts of follies and evils of atheists are repeated for emphasis. No human is good and the atheists are the worst. Americans are dreaming because you don't have much history.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • tallulah13

      Shame on you Naomi. You don't know every atheist, therefore you don't know these things. You are lying and spreading hate for no better reason than your own vanity. Shame on you. If your god does exists, he sees you and knows you to be an arrogant liar.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Naomi

      Tallulah13, a good atheist does not exist in theory and never existed anywhere in reality. It's from data. You don't know how evil atheists are because your living standard is too low. You expect Christians to be good but we don't expect you to be good because we know you are not good. Not at all. It relieves us if you just don't harm others or yourselves.

      August 23, 2011 at 3:20 am |
    • claybigsby

      "You expect Christians to be good but we don't expect you to be good because we know you are not good."

      LOL riiiiight....just like you KNOW your god is the one true god...give it a rest and get a job already.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • tallulah13

      That's the thing, Naomi. I don't expect goodness from you. Nor do I expect fairness, or kindness, or compassion or any of the qualities as-sociated with goodness. You have proven yourself to be an arrogant, ignorant liar who only knows how to hate people. You can't be bothered to look at the person, only the label. You must lead a very lonely life. I would pity you, but you are a monster of your own creation.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Naomi

      Tallulah13, I'm sorry I made you miserable. Please don't give up. God loves you. Jesus died for your sins. When you come to your sense, read the Bible and meet other Christians. Truth hurts. Don't hate those who tell you facts. I will pray for you.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Naomi

      Tallulah13, I'm sorry I made you mi-se-rable. Please don't give up. God created you and He loves you. Jesus died for your sins. When you come to your sense, ac-cept God's love and trust in Jesus your only Savior, read the Bible and meet other Christians. Truth hurts until you admit it. I didn't lie or hate anyone. Don't hate those who tell you facts of real life. I will pray for you.

      August 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Naomi

      Tallulah, why did you leave Christianity when you have such rich heritage? I never befriended American atheists personally before and I had little idea what they were thinking until I started reading the CNN blog and was shocked. Shocked for their ignorance on the Bible, Christianity, their own national heritage, US history and so on. And the amount and degrees of blasphemies and the use of filthy vocabs! You guys are actually s-cu-ms. It's unbelieavable you guys even exist. I wonder why USA was not nuked yet when you guys are ranting such blasphemies... Then I realized there are so many Christians in USA. I feel this is the Endtime. Your blasphemies proved it.

      August 23, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      Naomi..I do not think you befriended any other human unfortunately Naomi..you are so jaded that even your fellow religious folks would not agree with your stance. I know many christian people and i think they are great people..I have no hate for them, i simply do agree with one of their ideas.. that's it. And i can bet they feel the say way with me...Please Naomi, understand that this just a forum.. a discussion board in which ideas, some time heated and sometimes less civil than I like, are put forward. Your extreme views are not only incorrect but an embarrassment to your god.

      August 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.