Also very impressive was the section on Asian history. Three things struck me in particular:
- The Lion and the Buddha are probably the two most common icons in Ancient Asia- the Lion dominates motifs from Iran to China, and the Buddha from Afghanistan to Japan
- The Lion in ancient Persia was a symbol of both strength as well as … love, which explains why Ghalib chose Asad as his nome de plume (Asad means a lion)
- In Buddhist mythology, the Bodhisattva is not just a previous re- incarnation of the Buddha, but also a person who gives up his quest for nirvana in order to help others achieve nirvana. This is a deeply moving aspect, and deserving of more contemplation.
You can watch the pictures that I took there (178 of them!). Some are a little out of focus and hence little blurred, and of course even the most clear ones do not substitute for the actual stuff.