Gautama Buddha Old Age Art/Suttas: Request for Help

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Gautama Buddha Old Age Art/Suttas: Request for Help

Postby Dom » Sun May 18, 2014 3:14 pm

Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to read this topic. After looking through the search function I was unable to find what it was I was looking for, and google images was also unable to help me.

For the benefit of my own practice, I am looking for either artistic renditions of Gautama Buddha during his later years or suttas that describe either the physical descriptions or the limitations of the Buddha's body due to old age.

As far as images, I've really only been able to find art of the Buddha where he looks 25-35 with the complexion of a supermodel, and even depictions of his parinibbana show him to look very youthful in comparison to other people around the age of 80 years. Many suttas I've read discuss the powers of the Buddha, but I'd like to look for more after finding the Jara Sutta: SN.48.41

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara's mother. Now on that occasion the Blessed One, on emerging from seclusion in the late afternoon, sat warming his back in the western sun. Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, massaged the Blessed One's limbs with his hand and said, "It's amazing, lord. It's astounding, how the Blessed One's complexion is no longer so clear & bright; his limbs are flabby & wrinkled; his back, bent forward; there's a discernible change in his faculties — the faculty of the eye, the faculty of the ear, the faculty of the nose, the faculty of the tongue, the faculty of the body."

"That's the way it is, Ananda. When young, one is subject to aging; when healthy, subject to illness; when alive, subject to death. The complexion is no longer so clear & bright; the limbs are flabby & wrinkled; the back, bent forward; there's a discernible change in the faculties — the faculty of the eye, the faculty of the ear, the faculty of the nose, the faculty of the tongue, the faculty of the body."


If anyone has information about things related to this and is willing to help me, it would be appreciated very greatly.

Thank you for your time
Dom
 
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Re: Gautama Buddha Old Age Art/Suttas: Request for Help

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun May 18, 2014 3:21 pm

Yeah, adherents tend to do that; to make their founder appear eternally young, handsome. Numerous suttas report the Buddha being bald, being called a shaveling, yet nearly all statues (all?) show him with hair. And yes, he did get old, sick, and died.

See: http://buddhisma2z.com/content.php?id=310
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Re: Gautama Buddha Old Age Art/Suttas: Request for Help

Postby Dom » Sun May 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Thank you for the link; I'm going to search that site and keep looking.

And thank you for being an admin and maintaining this site; it's been very beneficial to my personal practice.
Dom
 
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