How Partition affected Lord Buddha


New Delhi, India -- Partition of the Indian sub-continent in 1947 separated many families. The division brought misery not only to mortals but also gods and goddesses.

Visitors who throng Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10 in Chandigarh will find a foot of Lord Buddha separated from its companion at the time of Partition. Since Lahore Museum had the largest collection of sculptures from Gandhara period, at the time of Partition it was decided to divide the collection into two.

One part remained with Lahore Museum and the remainder came to India. The collection was kept at several places temporarily and was finally handed over to Chandigarh Art Museum, when the city came into being in 1954.

The three-feet foot of Buddha (unusually big), probably occupied the altar of some temple in the remote past. Though Buddhism does not propagate image worship, the cult of worshipping footprints of divinities in Hinduism was taken up by Buddhists.

The solitary foot of Buddha has a Swastika symbol in reverse and several other auspicious symbols like the lotus, the Triratna and the Chakra sculpted on it. These are all Maha Purusha Lakshana, suited only to the divine. It is a different matter that divinity too had to experience pangs of separation.