How Can One Tell Which Buddha Statue Depicts ?
Every culture has their own way of practising their religion like Hindu practice Murti Puja, Chanting. Muslims go to Mosques to offer prayers. Christians go to Church and have Holy Cross at their home.
In the same way in Buddhism people have statues at their homes to offer their prayers, flowers and Chant with beads. The practice of making Buddha Statue in human form is said to start from the First century AD. World’s oldest Buddha Statue is approximately 1,900 years from the Kushan Empire found in Jamal Garhi, present-day Pakistan. From the First century to the twenty-first century AD, Popularity of Buddhism rose along with the increasing popularity of Buddha Statues.
Due to which in the modern day world we can see and find Buddha Statues in different Mudras, colours, materials, expressions around us. But what do all the different Buddha statues depict ? What is their significance ? How can we identify them? You can find all this information in this article.
To know more about them keep reading.
Different Types of Buddha Statues
Buddhism is being embraced by a large number of people. We can find that every region has their influence on the design, colour and mudra of Buddha Statue which results in a huge variety of buddha statues around us. Here we will talk about a few Popular Brass Buddha Statues and what they depict.
Meditative Buddha Statue
Lord Gautam Buddha is the Founder of Buddhism. He got enlightenment from Meditating under the Boda tree. In the meditative buddha statue, lord buddha sits in Lotus or double lotus position with right palm over left one with palms facing the sky. The Brass Buddha Statue in which lord buddha is shown in Dhyana Mudra is said to be the time when he was meditating under the Boda Tree before he got enlightenment. This statue depicts the meditating on the Dharma and attaining the path of rightful goodness.
Sleeping Buddha statue
The sleeping buddha statue is said to signify the moments before the greatest demise of Lord Buddha. In Buddhism it is believed that only after a soul attains enlightenment, it can enter the ‘Parinirvana’. Parinirvana is made up of two words Pari and Nirvana, Pari translates as ‘beyond’ and Nirvana means enlightenment. Together they translate as a place where the soul is free from the endless circle of life and death. The Mahaparinirvana depicts the demise of Gautam Buddha after which he will enter into the Nirvana of Afterlife. In countries like Thailand, Tibet and other places of South Asia Lord Buddha is shown lying on his right side with head resting on a pillow or his hand. In India, Sri lanka, Nepal and other South Asian Regions Lord buddha is shown in sitting position with his head resting on his knee.
Medicine Buddha Statue
Praying to the Medicine Buddha Statue originated from Buddhism in Tibet, it is also a very popular practice in China and Japan as well. We can find earliest mention of medicine buddha around 7 century in Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍuryaprabharaja Sutra or famously known as Medicine Buddha Sutra. He is known for his healing abilities, medicinal knowledge and his twelve vows. We can differentiate the Medicine Buddha Statue from others by observing his hands. In the Brass Buddha Statue of Medicine Buddha his left hand holds a bowl of herbs and right hand rests on his knee. It is believed that chanting the name of medicine buddha blesses the person with good health, prosperity and higher spiritual enlightenment.
Buddha Head Statue
The Buddha Head Statue is a modern contemporary work of art. The purpose of creating the Buddha Head is to symbolise his wisdom and his knowledge of truth. When we look at the Brass Buddha statue we can find that it consists of many things which have their own significance. Starting from his head Lord buddha had long curly hair when he was a child. When he went out in search of truth he cut off his long hair which symbolises he left his royal status. Here in this statue his head is neither shaved nor fully grown long hair which shows that he is still transitioning from gratification of desire to practise austerity to find enlightenment. His eyes neither fully open nor totally closed which shows that he has power to see both realms – the materialistic world and other spiritual worlds. Many times an Urna or Third eye is shown which shows that he has reached enlightenment. After which we can see that lord buddha always has his serene smile which teaches us to face the challenges of life – pain and sufferings without letting it affect us.
His long ears show his royal decree that he has left. In early times royalty would wear heavy jewellery on their ear which would result in sagging of ears or them getting longer. Here in this picture of Brass buddha head we can see that he is still adorned with jewels which show that he has yet to find enlightenment.
Lord Buddha’s overall expression is that of inner peace, tranquillity and compassion. Which inspires us to control our emotion and not let it dictate our decision despite the pain and suffering of human life.
In the End
Here, we have given you a brief depiction of various Buddha statues and their significance. We hope that you found this helpful and got to know a lot of things about different types of Buddha Statues present around us. So the next time when you see a Buddha statue you will know what he is trying to convey and learn from their significance and his teachings.