Buddha statues epitomise peace and prosperity. But for a long time for about 4-5 centuries, there was no representation of Buddha. Before this time, Buddhist statues were not popular. Till the 1st or 2nd century AD, there were only stupas, footprints, or Buddha thrones and written descriptions abounded. It was in Mathura that the first Buddha statues were produced. The Buddha statue forms the centre of theology and is depicted in one of the different postures namely standing, sitting in meditation, or supine.
Different Statues and Poses of Buddha
The Buddha depicted in a meditative pose is a powerful depiction of the immortal teachings. Hands nestled in the lap indicate meditation, while their position in the front of the chest suggests the teachings of Dharma. The other hand is held up with a palm facing outwards symbolizing fearlessness or confidence. The Buddha’s ear lobes are elongated which is a symbol of renunciation.
Power of the Laughing Buddha Pose
The Laughing Buddha statues are some of the most popular depictions sold. These statues are the finest to keep at home, averting misfortune and promoting prosperity and good luck. This idol of the Laughing Buddha is highly entertaining, and it alleviates stress and sorrow of the daily life. The Buddha statue needs to be placed on the eastern side of homes to bring harmony and balance. The statue should be placed at eye level, and the idol should be looked upon from below and not above. Buddhist worship is typically known as meditation or practice rather than a focus on ritualism. It is for describing and visualising the powerful meditative calm of the Buddha.
Statues in Buddhist Tradition
In the Buddhist tradition, statues are created to represent Buddha. But Buddha is not equated with god, it is a depiction of a self-liberated, enlightened being. Common Buddhist statues are of Siddartha Gautama. Teachings of his path were used to get over suffering and attain nirvana after enlightenment is attained. Statues of Buddha represent the need for protection and clearing obstacles of the path to enlightening the mind.
Where Buddha Statues Can Be Placed
In cultures where Buddhism is a prime religion, the statue of Buddha can be found in temples, throughout homes and cities. Statues are a source of inspiration and an indication of the religious affiliation. Statues most commonly adorn shrines, and one statue adorns each temple. Practical statues serve as protective symbols or decorations and also serve as adornment for prayer flags and malas. Practitioners of Buddhism visualise a certain Buddha to receive blessings. Visualizing Buddha Padmasambhava, practitioners confer blessings on the whole world. Followers chant mantras and recite these before statues, which are a source of light and peace for practitioners.
Common Images of Buddha
Whether a monk, guru, or practitioner at home, Buddha statues form an important part of the basic Buddhist shrine. The three statues commonly adorning the shrine include the original Buddha Shakyamuni, Green Tara or Buddha of compassion to the right, and Padmasambhava to the left. This Buddha purifies obscuration to enlightening the soul.
About the Author:
This article was written by Krishna Kumar Bansal, owner of CraftVatika. CraftVatika is an online store for authentic Indian handicraft and other Indian products like clothing and jewelry. All of our products are handmade by the expert artisans from across India. We sell jewelry made up of silver and stone, marble decoration item, Indian gifts, brass statues, sculptures and other Indian handicraft.