how do we know what the buddha looked like?

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Re: how do we know what the buddha looked like?

Post by Zom »

We know that the Buddha was bald.
Also, as seen from the suttas, Buddha didn't differ too much in appearance from other monks; some people couldn't recognize him.

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Re: how do we know what the buddha looked like?

Post by Assaji »

diamind wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:22 pm
Did buddha ever say NOT to make images of him?
There are statements to this effect in Kalingabodhi Jataka:


In Samantapasadika: ... 6&lpg=PA66
In Chapter 48 of the Vinaya of the Sarvaastivaadins (3) there is a long passage which deals with the decoration of monasteries. Anaathapi.n.dika says to Buddha: 'World-honoured one, if images of yours are not allowed to be made, pray may we not at least make images of Bodhisattvas(4) in attendance upon you?' Buddha then grants this permission.

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Re: how do we know what the buddha looked like?

Post by Manopubbangama »

I always pictured him somewhat like Daniel Day Lewis - tall, blue eyes, dark hair.

That being said, his Indo-Iranian ancestors probably looked like many Iranians today, at least that is my conjecture. ... thans1.jpg

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Re: how do we know what the buddha looked like?

Post by Laurens »

The honest answer is: we can't really know, but that's alright because it doesn't matter.

The suttas describe the appearance of the Buddha as I expect many other posts in this topic have pointed out. If that constitutes good enough evidence for you then that's fine.

I personally feel like the "marks of a perfect being" are possibly not an accurate description. Some may disagree but I don't think the Buddha was a supernatural being, and I feel these descriptions sound more like the imaginings of devotees rather than a description of an actual person. I could be wrong but I'll never know whether I am or not, so thus the answer is inconclusive...

But as I say it doesn't matter
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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