Buddhapada instead of Buddbarupa?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Buddhapada instead of Buddbarupa?

Postby Jayantha-NJ » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:36 pm

I have been going through a bit of a change in my practice since finding out about the buddhapada a few months back. I am wonder if anyone has been to a monastery or buddhist center where there is no statue of the buddha but only the original image buddha, his feet.

Its generally accepted that there were no images of the buddha, at his request of course, for nearly 500 years after his parinibbana and that it was due to greek influences that the first statues were made. i have never been a big fan or had an attachnent to the need for an altar or statue. Infact i gave up an altar two years ago.

Anyways i know it wont be popular but I think the buddhapada deserves a comeback. It makes more sense to me and fits more in line of what i see as the original practice.

if/when i become a monastic i dont think i will even have a buddha statue in my kuti but a buddhapada, as a reminder that the buddha was here and of his teaching.

Btw for those who dont know what im talking about:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddha_footprint

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Re: Buddhapada instead of Buddbarupa?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:44 am

Or to simplify it even further, just a Dhamma-cakka without even a footprint.

Remain with the Dhamma as an island, the Dhamma as your refuge, without anything else as a refuge.” Samyutta Nikaya 47.13 and also at Digha Nikaya 26

After enlightenment the Buddha said, “Let me then honor and respect and dwell in dependence on this very Dhamma to which I have fully awakened.” Anguttara Nikaya 4.21
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Re: Buddhapada instead of Buddbarupa?

Postby nalinJ » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:10 am

Jayantha-NJ wrote:Its generally accepted that there were no images of the buddha, at his request of course, for nearly 500 years after his parinibbana and that it was due to greek influences that the first statues were made.


Dear Jayantha-NJ

I agree with you.

You mentioned that Buddha requested not to create his images. Do you know when Buddha made this request? Are there any references about what he said?


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Re: Buddhapada instead of Buddbarupa?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:34 am

I don't know of any passage where the Buddha said not to make images of him, but he did say to the Venerable Vakkali, “He who sees the Dhamma, sees me. He who does not see the Dhamma, does not see me (yo kho dhammaṃ passati so maṃ passati; yo maṃ passati so dhammaṃ passati).”

An image of the Buddha's footprint is no different to an image of the Buddha's head or hands, or his whole body. It just serves to remind us of the Buddha. If properly used and understood for what they are, representations of the Buddha or his Dhamma are not a hindrance for understanding the truth. They are just fingers pointing to the moon. Look at the moon, not the finger.

Buddhist Wisdom
Buddha Images
186. Images and pictures of the Buddha are just imitations of the physique of the Buddha.
187. Burmese sculptors make Buddha’s images in Burmese style; likewise Chinese and Indian sculptors carve in their own styles. The real intention is to make people think of the Buddha and adore him even more.
188. Images, pictures, and pagodas conceal the real Buddha; sermons conceal the real Dhamma; shameless monks conceal the real Saṅgha.
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