Buddha Statues

 

 

Buddhism was a philosphy that got large acceptance and the worship of Buddha as god also became popular during the 1st and 2nd century.The tranquil image of Gautama Buddha meditating has been sculpted time and again by master craftsmen. Yet this Buddha statue never fails to evoke feelings of faith and serene splendor. It is no wonder, then, that the sculptures of Buddha are often used for meditative purposes. Buddhists believe that the most important function of a Buddha statue is to communicate self-discipline and peace of mind.

Though the meditating Buddha, also called Amitabha Buddha , is perhaps a sculptor's favorite image, numerous other postures and poses of Buddha have also been depicted.

In Sanskrit, a Buddha statue or other pictorial representation is called Buddharupa , which literally means ‘image of the enlightened one'. Bronze, brass, wood, stone (jade, marble, sandstone among others) are popular materials used for making Buddha figurines and sculptures. Sometimes, gold and silver are also used.

In the popular lotus position sculpture, the Buddha is depicted sitting on a lotus pedestal, meditating. His legs are crossed such that the right toe rests on the left thigh, and the left toe on the right thigh. This is the Padmasana (full lotus) position. It is a posture of complete physical and mental balance.

 


Other postures are:

Abhaymudra (Abhay is the Sanskrit word for ‘fear'): In this posture, the Buddha has his right hand raised in the gesture of expelling fear. These Buddha statues are placed in homes for protection and peace.

Reclining Position : This depicts the total disconnection of Buddha with earthly matters.

Dhyana: In this Buddha statue, the enlightened one has his hands on the lap in the gesture of repose.

Akshobhya: In this, the Buddha is depicted touching the earth with the right hand (Bhumispara). It refers to the legend of the attack of Mara, the Evil one upon Sakyamuni.Budha then called the earth goddess to witness.

Bhaishajya Guru Buddha Statue : In this, Bhaishajya Guru is shown in the act of offering with the right hand the myrabolan, a medicinal plant. The palm of the Buddha's left hand holds a small bowl, while a vajra rests on the surface of the huge water lily on which he sits, aligned with his eyes rapt in deep meditation.

Manjushri Buddha Statue: Manjushri is one of the important Bodhisattvas and is both the teacher of Buddhist doctrine and the keeper of wisdom.

Sculptures of Buddha often depict the eight auspicious Buddhist symbols: Conch Shell, Endless Knot, Fly Whisk, Lotus Blossom, Parasol, Twin Fish, Water Vase and Wheel of Dharma. Each of these symbols represents an aspect of the life and philosophy of Buddha's teachings. The ushnisha or knot of hair on top of Buddha's head is considered a sign of his spiritual wisdom.

Statues of the Medicine Buddha , Laughing Buddha , Maitreya Buddha are also popular.

World's Largest Buddha Statue

The Buddha at Leshan in China, is 71 meters high. It took ninety years to complete this sculpture. It is believed to have been created between 713 and 803 AD during the Tang Dynasty.



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