Author Topic: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat  (Read 2851 times)

Dharmakara

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The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« on: January 17, 2010, 01:59:07 pm »
FreeSangha Forum would like to introduce it's members to the previously unpublished "Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat" soon to be released on Mahabodhi IP (www.mahabodhi.net). Created by David Lourie and David Heinrich, having brought us the original Philosophy With Fur series, now switch to artistic style reminicent of graphic novels and orientate the new series toward an examination of Buddhism's rich history and heritage.





HISTORICAL SETTING:

When this adventure story begins, it is in northern India, 260 BC -- two centuries after Gautama the Buddha lived. This is a momentous and ironic period in world history. From Greece, Alexander The Great’s conquering army has already reached northern India. Further to the west, the hundred year Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage are raging. Just a few decades from now, Hannibal will make his famous invasion of the Roman Empire, in which his army crosses the Italian Alps with elephants. In this same period, China becomes united for the first time, under the emperor Shi Huangdi.

Meanwhile, in India, the warrior-king Asoka Maurya has inherited the largest united province in the land. By now the Buddha’s teachings have spread to all parts of India — except for Asoka’s domain. So ironically, at this point in history, the furious King Asoka has no reason to suspect that he will soon become Buddhism’s most important patron of all time.


RELIGIOUS SETTING:

In the third century BC, the Hebrew Bible has already been written, and is being translated into Greek. Christianity and Islam do not yet exist. In India, Jainism has just recently been founded by Vardhamana Mahavira. Buddhism is still in its infancy, while India’s Vedic literature has already produced such sophisticated works as The Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita, which will become the seminal holy scriptures of modern Hinduism. But back then, that religion was based on brutal practices, including ritual live sacrifice, unlike modern Hinduism, which preaches compassion.

Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.
-- Dhammapada 81
« Last Edit: June 11, 2014, 11:13:03 pm by Dharmakara »

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2010, 01:39:02 pm »
I eagerly await the next installment!  :)

Best,
Laura

Yeshe

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2010, 01:47:43 pm »
Will the content be copyright free?

I can see several possibilities, even for children's classes.

Thnak you. :)

Dharmakara

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2010, 01:54:37 pm »
Unfortunately it is not copyright free, as it's one of the projects that investors were actually involved in. There's only 11 installments to the series as of date, but there's a pending negotiation for continuing the series in an academic partnership, such as an art internship for college students.

Yeshe

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2010, 02:08:44 pm »
Unfortunately it is not copyright free, as it's one of the projects that investors were actually involved in. There's only 11 installments to the series as of date, but there's a pending negotiation for continuing the series in an academic partnership, such as an art internship for college students.

OK.  Thanks. ;)

I will advise accordingly when I refer people to the site. ;)

Offline kirtu

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2010, 10:27:14 pm »
Good start - eager to see the whole series.

Kirt

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 08:37:44 pm »
I knew I forgot to do something way back when, just couldn't remember what it was... anyway, better late than never, so here's the next installment of the previously unpublished Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat:




Offline moonbeam

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2014, 08:16:59 am »
Pretty good so far. More, please!

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 02:04:58 pm »
Hi Moonbeam.

Glad to hear you like the strip. For some reason or another the new series never really got off the ground, which is really a shame --- anyway, since only 11 episodes were commissioned at the time, it seems best to just post a new one each weekend until I run out.


Offline moonbeam

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 02:39:28 pm »
Hi Moonbeam.

Glad to hear you like the strip. For some reason or another the new series never really got off the ground, which is really a shame --- anyway, since only 11 episodes were commissioned at the time, it seems best to just post a new one each weekend until I run out.


Too bad there's only 11. I'll be looking forward to seeing them.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2014, 06:36:06 am »
Okay, here's the third one in the set, including the text for the historical reference that goes with each episode:





THE ANCIENT RELIGIONS IN INDIA:

In ancient times, people were forced to follow the religious beliefs decreed by their kings and emperors, even if those beliefs did not credibly explain life as we know it.  But when the Buddha experienced enlightenment, his understanding of life became profoundly clear, and he no longer relied on any beliefs.  Awakening to the true nature of “reality,” he realised that everything which exists is impermanent, that change is the only constant, and that all suffering Is caused by craving.  Most importantly, he also discovered a practical way to get beyond suffering, and that method is known as the Eightfold Noble Path.

Up to this point in history, India’s Vedic Literature has been associated with some cruel religious practices, including live animal sacrifice.  Human and animal rights violations are the order of the day.  But by Asoka’s time, things are changing.  Not only are the Buddhist monks preaching non-violence, but also a gentler theology and practice is evolving among India’s traditional priests and Brahmins, and their body of thought and rituals will soon emerge as modern Hinduism.  So by now both Hindu priests and Buddhist monks are encouraging the people of India to live compassionately and to be kind toward each other and all living creatures.

For those following the teachings of the Buddha, the purpose of life is to live wisely and compassionately, with kindness toward all living beings.  The ethical principle that guides their conduct is to always be beneficial, and never harmful.  The intention behind a Buddhist’s speech and conduct is always to be helpful, and to make choices that produce the greatest benefit.  Their goal is to still the mind and extinguish all cravings, in order to reach a blissful state beyond suffering called “nirvana.”
 
               

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2014, 03:22:57 am »




THE BUDDHA'S EIGHTFOLD PATH:

The Buddha's method for spiritual development, which can ultimately lead to nirvana, or Enlightenment, is called The Eightfold Noble Path.  It is a process of perfecting eight fundamental qualities, or virtues: 1) Right Understanding, 2) Right Intention, 3) Right Speech, 4) Right Conduct, 5) Right Livelihood, 6) Right Effort, 7) Right Mindfulness, 8) Right Concentration.  This method, plus all of the other Buddhist teachings, derive from the Buddha's four fundamental principles, called The Four Noble Truths.
 
A helpful starting point for effective practice is regular Meditation, which moves one toward serene stillness of the mind and body.  Meditation is ideally an effortless process, letting go of physical tensions and mental restlessness to achieve a centred, tranquil state of sensitive awareness.  But it's good to get proper instruction from an experienced practitioner, because a lot of additional factors affect the quality of your meditation --- for example, your breathing, your blood chemistry, your fitness, your energy level and your general state of health and restedness.
 
The Buddha's purpose behind such spiritual development is very down to earth: to get to a state beyond suffering.  Note that this is very different from the purpose of God-based religions.


By endeavour, diligence, discipline and self-mastery, let the wise man
make [of himself] an island that no flood can overwhelm. (Dhp. 25)

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2014, 06:14:46 pm »
This is a test pilot for an animated series that never ended up being completed because of the quality of the animation itself:


Offline moonbeam

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2014, 08:45:47 pm »
I think would have been great if you just polished it a bit.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: The Silk Road Adventures of Dharma the Cat
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2014, 10:42:01 pm »
Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done with that video, especially due to poor quality of 2D animation in general, but there's a new animated prototype in the works using 3D computer animation, including a new theme and storyline:


 


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