Megalomania and Buddhism

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Viachh
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Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by Viachh » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:14 am

Are the mega Buddha statues contrary to the very spirit of Buddhism: the spirit of middleness and measure?

binocular
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by binocular » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:31 am

Viachh wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:14 am
Are the mega Buddha statues contrary to the very spirit of Buddhism: the spirit of middleness and measure?
Surely if you calculated the statistical average size of Buddha statues, based on measuring all Buddha statues in existence, from those that are about 1 cm or less tall, to those that measure in tens of meters, you'd get a nice middle measure.
:woohoo:

Dan74
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by Dan74 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:40 am

If I recall correctly, the Buddha had asked for no statues or images and this was followed for some centuries after his passing. But then people being people, they started making them. There are pros and cons - art can inspire and motivate people to practice.
_/|\_

Viachh
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by Viachh » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:53 am

Dan74 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:40 am
If I recall correctly, the Buddha had asked for no statues or images and this was followed for some centuries after his passing. But then people being people, they started making them. There are - art can inspire and motivate people to practice.
Could there be pros and cons if the Buddha had asked for no statues or images. (Cognitive dissonance)

Dan74
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by Dan74 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:00 am

Viachh wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:53 am
Dan74 wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:40 am
If I recall correctly, the Buddha had asked for no statues or images and this was followed for some centuries after his passing. But then people being people, they started making them. There are - art can inspire and motivate people to practice.
Could there be pros and cons if the Buddha had asked for no statues or images. (Cognitive dissonance)
Whether his wish was that no statues or images are build by his immediate disciples, who should rather concentrate on other things, or built ever, I am not sure. Nor that the Buddha always knew the best possible course of action for eternity.
_/|\_

binocular
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by binocular » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:43 am

Could someone please provide an actual canonical reference for the claim that "the Buddha had asked for no statues or images"?

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Volo
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by Volo » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:54 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:43 am
Could someone please provide an actual canonical reference for the claim that "the Buddha had asked for no statues or images"?
It's a disputed matter. Ven Dhammanando gave once some explanations, see the following topic: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=32666#p485172.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by Sam Vara » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:43 pm

I don't think there was much of a tradition of statuary in the Buddha's time. There is no proscription because it was not thought of.

As such, the "mega statues" can be seen as merely tasteful or distasteful. The important thing is one's attitude towards them. I have known Western monks explain how their refined sensibilities were offended by the garish and intrusive Buddha-rupas they encountered in Thailand and Burma. They grew to appreciate them, though.

confusedlayman
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by confusedlayman » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:37 am

Viachh wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:14 am
Are the mega Buddha statues contrary to the very spirit of Buddhism: the spirit of middleness and measure?
People who delight in statue are addicted to appearance and come under mara
non-agitation is highest peace
living unaffected by other cause and condition to suffering is true bliss
not associating with stupid people is immediate peace
- CL (confused layman)

Viachh
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by Viachh » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:55 am

It looks like a cargo cult.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:03 am

Greetings,

I tend to find the grandiosity of the Dhammakaya sect to be disconnected from the true nature of the Dhamma.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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mikenz66
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Re: Megalomania and Buddhism

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:17 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:03 am
Greetings,

I tend to find the grandiosity of the Dhammakaya sect to be disconnected from the true nature of the Dhamma.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Large statues are everywhere, not necessarily anything to do with Dhammakaya. Like any construction, they can be inspiring, or irritating, depending on your preferences.

These are a couple I've visited a few times...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Buddha_of_Thailand

Image

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tian_Tan_Buddha

Image

The Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong has a particularly inspiring setting, and it faces North, towards China...

There is also a large installation featuring the Heart Sutra nearby: https://www.tourism.gov.hk/wisdompath/en/index.html

Image

:heart:
Mike

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