What exactly is the aim of the image consecration ritual in Theravada? Is it intended to accomplish something in the Buddha image, in the participants, or both? Is it just a commemoration of the Buddha? Does it make a statue spiritually potent like a relic? Does it affect the merit of offerings? Is it perceived differently in different Theravada countries? Do the commentaries say anything about it?
I have been wondering about this for some time.
Thank you to the person with the patience and the knowledge to answer this for me.
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.
Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.
Dhammapada v. 183/14.5