Are these traditional Buddha images?

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philosopher
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Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by philosopher » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:43 am

They are being sold as Buddha images, but I'm wondering if they are traditional. If so, what is their historical context / significance?

https://www.wayfair.com/decor-pillows/p ... g5045.html

https://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/T ... earchidx=2 >> Is this a "resting Buddha"?

:anjali:

paul
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Re: Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by paul » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:15 am

No. They are modern adaptations of Mahayana traditional poses where sometimes the leg is raised. The first one is wishful thinking as nibbana would never be achieved in that position. The second one is a pose never adopted by the Buddha, as he instructed that sleeping should be done in the lion position. The leg is never raised in Theravada sculptures.

paul
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Re: Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by paul » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:31 pm

There is a Thai activist organization founded by Acharavadee Wongsakon dedicated to protecting the proper use of Buddha images:

“The commercialization of Buddha images and Buddhism symbols have been spreading fast in the past decades, following rising popularity the use of exotic and Asian artifacts in architecture, leading to deterioration of the religion and its essence.”

https://www.knowingbuddha.org/dos-and-donts

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by AgarikaJ » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:29 am

paul wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:31 pm
There is a Thai activist organization founded by Acharavadee Wongsakon dedicated to protecting the proper use of Buddha images
... and then, why would you be attached to a certain 'look' the Buddha would need to have?

Might he not have been sitting as such, looking at a sunset? Might he not have been resting thus after a long hike?
Are they even displaying the Buddha, or not merely a person with the hair cut to what was once a fashion in a remote part of Northern India?
Is it not just our mind making this out as the depiction of a person, or is it not an amalgate of plastic or clay?
Is there even such a thing as clay or a mind?

I would put forward, that not cultural appropriation or improper depiction is an issue which afflicts Theravada, but a lacking in concentrating on the real questions.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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StormBorn
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Re: Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by StormBorn » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:45 pm

AgarikaJ wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:29 am
paul wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:31 pm
There is a Thai activist organization founded by Acharavadee Wongsakon dedicated to protecting the proper use of Buddha images
... and then, why would you be attached to a certain 'look' the Buddha would need to have?

Might he not have been sitting as such, looking at a sunset? Might he not have been resting thus after a long hike?
Are they even displaying the Buddha, or not merely a person with the hair cut to what was once a fashion in a remote part of Northern India?
Is it not just our mind making this out as the depiction of a person, or is it not an amalgate of plastic or clay?
Is there even such a thing as clay or a mind?

I would put forward, that not cultural appropriation or improper depiction is an issue which afflicts Theravada, but a lacking in concentrating on the real questions.
From AN 1.174:
“One person, mendicants, arises in the world unique, without peer or counterpart*, incomparable, matchless, unrivaled, unequaled, without equal, the best of bipeds. What one person? The Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. This is the one person, mendicants, who arises in the world unique, without peer or counterpart, incomparable, matchless, unrivaled, unequaled, without equal, the best of bipeds.”
Here, the Pali word is "appatimo." Patimo means counterpart, image, figure, statue.
“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one—himself.”

philosopher
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Re: Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by philosopher » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:57 am

StormBorn wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:45 pm
AgarikaJ wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:29 am
paul wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:31 pm
There is a Thai activist organization founded by Acharavadee Wongsakon dedicated to protecting the proper use of Buddha images
... and then, why would you be attached to a certain 'look' the Buddha would need to have?

Might he not have been sitting as such, looking at a sunset? Might he not have been resting thus after a long hike?
Are they even displaying the Buddha, or not merely a person with the hair cut to what was once a fashion in a remote part of Northern India?
Is it not just our mind making this out as the depiction of a person, or is it not an amalgate of plastic or clay?
Is there even such a thing as clay or a mind?

I would put forward, that not cultural appropriation or improper depiction is an issue which afflicts Theravada, but a lacking in concentrating on the real questions.
From AN 1.174:
“One person, mendicants, arises in the world unique, without peer or counterpart*, incomparable, matchless, unrivaled, unequaled, without equal, the best of bipeds. What one person? The Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. This is the one person, mendicants, who arises in the world unique, without peer or counterpart, incomparable, matchless, unrivaled, unequaled, without equal, the best of bipeds.”
Here, the Pali word is "appatimo." Patimo means counterpart, image, figure, statue.

I'm a bit confused now. I read in another thread that the Buddha explicitly said that no images of him were to be made (if I recall correctly). Why is it then that there are always Buddha images even in orthodox Theravadin monasteries?

I think this is the thread that I had read: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32666&p=487315&hil ... es#p487315

Edit: The above was not the thread that I had recalled, but it still mentions the aniconism and historical emergence of Buddha statues.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:23 am

philosopher wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:57 am
I'm a bit confused now. I read in another thread that the Buddha explicitly said that no images of him were to be made (if I recall correctly). Why is it then that there are always Buddha images even in orthodox Theravadin monasteries?

I think this is the thread that I had read: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32666&p=487315&hil ... es#p487315

Edit: The above was not the thread that I had recalled, but it still mentions the aniconism and historical emergence of Buddha statues.
I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you find yourself drawn to Buddha statues, and think they would be a useful aid in your practice, then go ahead and get one. Think of all the accomplished practitioners who have had them, and their use through millennia of tradition. You might want to start off with a cheap one, and incorporate it into your practice with a genuinely open mind. Don't get attached to it, bu just see how things go from there.

philosopher
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:48 pm

Re: Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by philosopher » Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:26 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:23 am
philosopher wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:57 am
I'm a bit confused now. I read in another thread that the Buddha explicitly said that no images of him were to be made (if I recall correctly). Why is it then that there are always Buddha images even in orthodox Theravadin monasteries?

I think this is the thread that I had read: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32666&p=487315&hil ... es#p487315

Edit: The above was not the thread that I had recalled, but it still mentions the aniconism and historical emergence of Buddha statues.
I wouldn't worry about it too much. If you find yourself drawn to Buddha statues, and think they would be a useful aid in your practice, then go ahead and get one. Think of all the accomplished practitioners who have had them, and their use through millennia of tradition. You might want to start off with a cheap one, and incorporate it into your practice with a genuinely open mind. Don't get attached to it, bu just see how things go from there.
Thank you; I appreciate the advice. I'm quite drawn to lotus images and have many various ceramic and metal lotuses, lotus paintings etc. But I think an actual Buddha image might help with some of the devotional practices. I will give it a try as you've suggested. :anjali:

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AgarikaJ
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Re: Are these traditional Buddha images?

Post by AgarikaJ » Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:26 am

philosopher wrote:
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:43 am
They are being sold as Buddha images, but I'm wondering if they are traditional. If so, what is their historical context / significance?

https://www.wayfair.com/decor-pillows/p ... g5045.html
Maybe a small addition: at least the first of the two statuettes you listed is actually labelled as a Bodhisattva.

Which, in a Theravadan context would strictly mean the life of the historical Buddha prior to enlightenment. In a Mahayana context, this ideal is developed much further (actually one of the main differences).
https://info-buddhism.com/Bodhisattva-I ... muels.html

Still, even in a Theravadan context, I would not understand why there would have to be only the seven canonized postures of the Buddha (for each day of the week; http://www.buddha-images.com/seven-days.asp), if there has to be a depiction of him at all.

I have a quite delightful little statuette of a "Buddha" with a frogs' head in my cupboard, and whenever I look at it, it reminds me to refrain from idolizing and to separate the thoughts of Buddha as an individual (even an enlightened one) and the Dhamma.

Buddha statues could and should merely be used as a training help during meditation, a focal point towards which one might direct their concentration (and then it matters little what posture this statue might depict or even what kind of head it has). Empty space right in front of the nose tip actually fulfills much the same purpose.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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