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By Walter M. Spink

Quantity starts off with writings by means of essentially the most vital critics of Walter Spink's conclusions, interspersed together with his personal responses, utilizing an intensive research of the good Cave 26 to help his assertions. the writer then turns to concerns of patronage, and to the spectacular proven fact that, in contrast to such a lot different Buddhist websites, Ajanta was once only "elitist," built via under a dozen significant consumers. Its short heyday traumatically ended, despite the fact that, with the dying of the nice emperor Harisena in approximately 477, developing political chaos. Ajanta's nervous consumers now joined in a headlong rush to get their shrines committed, that allows you to receive the predicted advantage, ahead of they fled the sector, forsaking their caves to the priests and native devotees ultimate on the now-doomed web site. those "intrusive" new buyers now stuffed the caves with their very own helter-skelter votive choices, paying no heed to the well-laid plans of the years ahead of. the same trend of patronage is to be present in the redecoration of the sooner Hinayana caves, the place the cautious making plans of the paintings being performed in the course of Harisena's reign is without notice interrupted by way of a bunch of person votive donations. the quantity ends with a brand new and invaluable modifying of Ajanta inscriptions by means of Richard S. Cohen.

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Extra resources for Ajanta, History and Development: Arguments About Ajanta (Handbook of Oriental Studies Handbuch Der Orientalistik 2, 18-2)

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The surprising adjustments made to Cave 26’s left wing, under the dictates of rapidly changing taste, show this process of transformation. Originally this wing must have been planned to precisely mirror its counterpart on the right, preserving the careful and conventional symmetry of the whole complex’s façade arrangement. (See “original” plan of Cave 26 complex) But as we can see in the earlier- 3 In fact Hinayana viharas in general are astylar. K. Dhavalikar has suggested that Ajanta’s Cave 15 is early fifth century for this reason.

But when extended porch cell complexes with pillar-fronted vestibules came into fashion in 467, all of these caves now required more room. This could be found only by shifting them all to the left, since Cave 21 (the earliest of the triad) was already significantly underway, thus making any shift to the right impossible. Moving everything to the left, to provide space for the expanded cell complexes, with their pillared vestibules, was the only option. By viewing the western caves from across the river, it is easy to see that just enough scarp area was reserved between Caves 21 and 23 to comfortably incorporate the single cell originally planned at Cave 21’s porch left, with its counterpart at Cave 23’s porch right.

By the same token, the left aisle cells of Cave 24, had they ever been able to be completed, would have had a similar effect in Cave 25’s interior; indeed, it was at this point that work on the Cave 25’s hall floor was abandoned in mid-course, probably in 466, even perhaps in 465. This “destruction” of the right wings of the great caitya complex, to accommodate the extended Cave 24 was a decision as drastic as it is surprising. However, given the fact that every good space for caves at the site was already taken by 467, it was in fact the trading off of embarrassingly obsolete older excavations—those two old wings which formed the right side of the caitya hall complex—for a new conception in which the donor could take an understandable pride.

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