3.3 – ALIENS & SACRED PLACES (8.11.11)

AJANTA [4d]

Western India. April 28, 1819. While hunting tigers just outside the village of Ajanta, British officer, John Smith, discovers 29 elaborate cave temples carved into the side of a rocky cliff overlooking the Waghora River. Believed to have been constructed in 200 BC, the caves’ architecture and artwork reveal new insights into the origins of India’s mysterious sacred past.

“Ajanta is unique in the sense that these are the most ancient Buddhist caves of India. Here they started the work from 200 BC, and this work continued till the end of 6th-century AD.”

Abdul Nasir Mohammadi (Ajanta Tourist Guide)

“After 7th-century AD, Buddhism started declining all over India. And all these caves are abandoned. Nobody was living here. And so in course of time…a dense forest was grown up here…and all these caves were covered under vegetation.”

    – Ratnakar Shevale (Ajanta Tourist Guide)

“As you walk into the Ajanta caves you see all kinds of temples, carved out of solid rock, niches and alcoves, even statues. But it’s all been carved out of one giant block of rock.”

David Childress (Author, Technology of the Gods)

Visited yearly by thousands of Buddhist worshipers, the caves are considered sacred even to this day. Built as holy shrines and temples by devoted monks, they contain numerous places of worship – Complete with paintings and sculptures depicting the life and times of the Supreme Buddha, often referred to as the Enlightened One.

“There are many different sculpture subjects at Ajanta. Many of the sculptures are of the Buddha. In addition to those sculptures, there are various depictions of other mythological beings. These are called Jatakas. These Jatakas show these previous lives, and these lives could be related to, say, the Buddha being born as an animal, being born as a deity, or being born as a human.”

– David Efurd, Ph.D.
(Asst. Prof. of Art History, Wofford College)

Even today, modern engineers are baffled as to how the caves could have been cut from the 70-foot-high granite cliffs more than 2,000 years ago.

“These caves were created through the removal of stone, literally tunneling into the surface of the rock. Rock was removed, it was chiseled away, taken out, and any interior space that you see at the caves today, were created through this removal of stone. Any architectural details that one finds at the site, any sculptures, they’re actually carved from the same piece of stone, which is the mountainside itself.”

– David Efurd, Ph.D.
(Asst. Prof. of Art History, Wofford College)

According to researchers, the Ajanta complex is significant because of the deliberate positioning of the caves around the cliffs – an arrangement that reveals an unusually advanced understanding of celestial activity.

“The caves are carved into this horseshoe bend, and are oriented in various directions. Some are oriented towards the west, others to the south, and some are oriented to the east so that they are oriented towards the rising sun. It does seem to be the case that ancient peoples in India were very much interested in the Universe and the relationship of heavenly bodies.”

– David Efurd, Ph.D.
(Asst. Prof. of Art History, Wofford College)

Evidence of the cave sculptor’s precise knowledge of celestial movements can be found in two particular caves. Each contains large stupas, or dome-shaped structures featuring Siddhartha Gautama, the supreme Buddha and spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism.

“Cave 19 is oriented towards the winter solstice, and what this means is that on the day of the winter solstice, the morning sunlight would filter through this large window on the facade and the sunlight itself would illuminate the stupa. This is also true of Cave 26 at Ajanta.  It’s oriented towards the summer solstice, and so on the day of the summer solstice, that light would filter and strike the stupa within it.”

– David Efurd, Ph.D.
(Asst. Prof. of Art History, Wofford College)

“Now, this would have been very difficult to do, itself, because you’re cutting solid rock from inside of a cave. So, you would need some pretty high-tech gear in order to tunnel and build and chip away inside of solid rock in order to really be perfectly oriented to the solstice.”

David Childress (Author, Technology of the Gods)

Might the Ajanta caves had been constructed with the aid of advanced alien technology as Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe? If so, might they also had been considered sacred by the locals because of their connection to early extraterrestrial visitors?

“Many Ancient Astronaut Theorists look at the stupa and say it’s a symbolic reference from the power of light. Many times is symbolically shown with a young Buddha placed in there and it almost looks like he could be manipulating some type of controls within the stupa. The stupas were always used as a, as a way for Buddha to ascend or descend into the heavens. And we do see stupas in this art work very possibly saying that the Buddha was going into space.”

– Jason Martell
(Founder, AncientSchool),
(Author, Knowledge Apocalypse)

“There was an obsession of ancient human beings to depict things that they saw. And I think they did it with carvings on caves and depictions and sculptures and monuments…because that’s what they saw. They were duplicating what they saw. But what they depict are very strange things.”

   – George Noory (Radio Host, Coast to Coast AM)

“They depict gods and half animal/half god type figures. So, you have here what seems to be some kind of special subterranean temple that’s built for extraterrestrials or some kind of space gods.”

David Childress (Author, Technology of the Gods)

“What were the Buddhist monks seeing? Could the Buddhist monks have been helped by some kind of an extraterrestrial presence?”

– Bill Birnes, J.D., Ph.D.
(Author / Publisher, UFO Magazine)

“The Ancient Astronaut Theory suggests that if we find paintings or carvings of half men half animals, that that means that those creatures at one point really existed because they were genetically created by extraterrestrials.”

– Giorgio A. Tsoukalos
(Publisher, Legendary Times Magazine)

The sculptures and wall paintings at Ajanta are some of the oldest surviving works of art from ancient India. But was their elaborate construction really the result of early human contact with space travelers? If so, might there be additional evidence of stone-carved shrines in other regions of the world? Evidence that might provide the clues to our own origins.

divider

Previous: Mecca | Next: Lalibela

divider

References:

[1] Prometheus Entertainment. (2011). Ancient Aliens: Season 3. [DVD Back Cover]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[2] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.1 – Aliens & the Old West. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: July 28, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[3] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.2 – Aliens & Monsters. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 4, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[4] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.3 – Aliens & Sacred Places. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 11, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[4a] Prometheus Entertainment. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.3 – Aliens & Sacred Places. [DVD Footage: Introduction]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[4b] Prometheus Entertainment. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.3 – Aliens & Sacred Places. [DVD Footage: The Temple Mount]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[4c] Prometheus Entertainment. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.3 – Aliens & Sacred Places. [DVD Footage: Mecca]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[4d] Prometheus Entertainment. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.3 – Aliens & Sacred Places. [DVD Footage: Ajanta]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[4e] Prometheus Entertainment. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.3 – Aliens & Sacred Places. [DVD Footage: Lalibela]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[4f] Prometheus Entertainment. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.3 – Aliens & Sacred Places. [DVD Footage: Baalbek]. Los Angeles, CA: A&E Networks, LLC / History™.

[5]History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.4 – Aliens & Temples of Gold. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 18, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[6] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.5 – Aliens & Mysterious Rituals. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: August 25, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[7] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.6 – Aliens & Ancient Engineers. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: September 1, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[8] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.7 – Aliens, Plagues, & Epidemics. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: September 8, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[9] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.8 – Aliens & Lost Worlds. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: September 15, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[10] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.9 – Aliens & Deadly Weapons. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: September 22, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[11] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.10 – Aliens & Evil Places. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: September 28, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[12] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.11 – Aliens & the Founding Fathers. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: October 5, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[13] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.12 – Aliens & Deadly Cults. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: October 12, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[14] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.13 – Aliens & the Secret Code. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: October 19, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[15] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.14 – Aliens & the Undead. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: October 26, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[16] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.15 – Aliens, Gods, & Heroes. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: November 16, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

[17] History™. (2011). Ancient Aliens: 3.16 – Aliens & the Creation of Man. [Episode Description]. Retrieved: November 23, 2011, from http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens/season-3.

divider

Who were they?… Why did they come?… What did they leave behind?… Where did they go?… Will they return?…

%d bloggers like this: