Page 1 of 3

how do we know what the buddha looked like?

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:40 pm
by diamind
Are there any descriptions of how the buddha looked in the cannon? Where does this familar image of buddha come from?

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

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:44 pm
by Aloka
Hi diamind,

I don't think anyone can know for sure what the Buddha looked like around 2,500 years ago. This is short article written by Ajahn Sujato "On the 32 Marks" :

/sujato.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/on-the-32-marks/

:anjali:

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

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:25 pm
by bodom
Have a look through this thread as well:

viewtopic.php?t=4918

:anjali:

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

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:37 pm
by Nicolas

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

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:55 pm
by rightviewftw
Afaik first "images" that we have are on coins dated ~100BC
It is largely believed that the Buddha had himself prohibited his images, though there is not much support for this apart from a passage from the Vinaya of the Sarvastivadins, assumingly there is a passage where: "Anathapindika asks the Buddha if images of him are not allowed to be made, may they not at least make images of Bodhisattas?" And The Buddha allows making images of the Bodhisattas.

I personally don't keep images or statues anymore, finding it somewhat offensive even.

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

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:56 pm
by cookiemonster
In the suttas, I recall reading that the Buddha's skin appeared golden, he had dark hair & blue eyes, that he was on the thinner side (legs like/as slim as deer's legs?), and that he otherwise looked like every other monk in the darkness (a visiting King could not discern which monk was the Buddha when he was sitting among the other members of the Sangha).

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

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:46 am
by salayatananirodha
We have a few canonical descriptions from the buddha or those who happened to observe him. Some of the marks may be subtle or undetectable to the untrained eye, but his eyes were blue, he had black hair, he was bald, and he had a fuzzy white mole in between his eyes. The marks are explained in DN 30 as the auspicious results of previous good deeds.

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

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:17 am
by diamind
rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:55 pm
Afaik first "images" that we have are on coins dated ~100BC
It is largely believed that the Buddha had himself prohibited his images, though there is not much support for this apart from a passage from the Vinaya of the Sarvastivadins, assumingly there is a passage where: "Anathapindika asks the Buddha if images of him are not allowed to be made, may they not at least make images of Bodhisattas?" And The Buddha allows making images of the Bodhisattas.

I personally don't keep images or statues anymore, finding it somewhat offensive even.
Your telling me Buddha talks about bodhisattvas in the pali cannon?

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

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:42 am
by rightviewftw
diamind wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:17 am
rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:55 pm
Afaik first "images" that we have are on coins dated ~100BC
It is largely believed that the Buddha had himself prohibited his images, though there is not much support for this apart from a passage from the Vinaya of the Sarvastivadins, assumingly there is a passage where: "Anathapindika asks the Buddha if images of him are not allowed to be made, may they not at least make images of Bodhisattas?" And The Buddha allows making images of the Bodhisattas.

I personally don't keep images or statues anymore, finding it somewhat offensive even.
Your telling me Buddha talks about bodhisattvas in the pali cannon?
I have not read the Vinaya of Sarvastavadins but the Sutta do state that the Buddha talked about himself as Bodhisatta prior to attainment of Buddhahood, here are a couple examples;
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

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

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:42 am
by Sam Vara
diamind wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:17 am
rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:55 pm
Afaik first "images" that we have are on coins dated ~100BC
It is largely believed that the Buddha had himself prohibited his images, though there is not much support for this apart from a passage from the Vinaya of the Sarvastivadins, assumingly there is a passage where: "Anathapindika asks the Buddha if images of him are not allowed to be made, may they not at least make images of Bodhisattas?" And The Buddha allows making images of the Bodhisattas.

I personally don't keep images or statues anymore, finding it somewhat offensive even.
Your telling me Buddha talks about bodhisattvas in the pali cannon?
The Buddha refers to himself in such terms:
The Blessed One said, "Monks, before my self-awakening, when I was still just an unawakened Bodhisatta,
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

Some translators render "Bodhisatta" as "one intent on awakening", but it looks as if the meaning is clear. In the Jataka Tales it is used regarding previous births, and in the suttas it normally refers to the Buddha's life in this world before he became enlightened.

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

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:16 pm
by diamind
Aloka wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:44 pm
Hi diamind,

I don't think anyone can know for sure what the Buddha looked like around 2,500 years ago. This is short article written by Ajahn Sujato "On the 32 Marks" :

/sujato.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/on-the-32-marks/

:anjali:
Did Buddha ever talk about the previous Buddhas? Or future Buddhas and how they looked?

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

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:46 pm
by salayatananirodha
diamind wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:16 pm
Aloka wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:44 pm
Hi diamind,

I don't think anyone can know for sure what the Buddha looked like around 2,500 years ago. This is short article written by Ajahn Sujato "On the 32 Marks" :

/sujato.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/on-the-32-marks/

:anjali:
Did Buddha ever talk about the previous Buddhas? Or future Buddhas and how they looked?
https://suttacentral.net/en/dn14

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

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 2:18 am
by pitakele
Buddha's answer...
One who sees the Dhamma sees me;
one who sees me sees the Dhamma.

Yo dhammam passati, so mam passati.
Yo mam passati, so dhammam passati


https://suttacentral.net/sn22.87/en/bodhi

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

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:43 am
by Kusala
diamind wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:40 pm
Are there any descriptions of how the buddha looked in the cannon? Where does this familar image of buddha come from?
We can't really say what the historical Buddha actually looked like. Buddhist scriptures provides some clues, but modern day Indian genetics can sort of help us put the pieces together.

This late Indian actor, his granddaugther, and holy Sadhu are vestiges of the ancient Aryans. The blue eyes, black hair, tall stature( I read somewhere that the Buddha was between 6ft and 6ft7).

Image

Image

Image

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

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:22 pm
by diamind
Did buddha ever say NOT to make images of him?