The first time I read this story, I was so surprised that I too have the same feeling, I so love to look at the Buddha images/statues.My daughter bought Buddha statues from Japan/India/Phillippines for me as gifts.
The most beautiful Buddha statue at Wat Dhammabucha San Antonio,Texas:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sariputta ... 20&dir=asc
Vakkali: His True Love For Buddha
[Thai Dhammapada,Thai Version]
He belonged to a brahmin family of Sāvatthi and became proficient in the three Vedas. After he once saw the Buddha he could never tire of looking at him, and followed him about. In order to be closer to him he became a monk, and spent all his time, apart from meals and bathing, in contemplating the Buddha's person. One day the Buddha said to him, "Vakkali! What is there to see in this vile body? He who sees Dhamma, Vakkali, sees me; he who sees me sees Dhamma. Truly seeing Dhamma, one sees me; seeing me one sees Dhamma." . But even then Vakkali would not leave the Buddha till, on the last day of the rains, the Buddha commanded him to depart. Greatly grieved, Vakkali sought the precipices of Gijjhakūta. The Buddha, aware of this, appeared before him and uttered a stanza; then stretching out his hand, he said: "Come, monk." Filled with joy, Vakkali rose in the air pondering on the Buddha's words and realized arahantship.
The Apadāna account is similar. It says that the Buddha spoke to him from the foot of the rock. Vakkali jumped down to meet the Buddha, a depth of many cubits, but he alighted unhurt. It was on this occasion that the Buddha declared his eminence(Etadagga) among those of implicit faith(saddhādhimuttānam).
In the Pārāyanavagga the Buddha is represented as holding Vakkali up to Pingiya as an example of one who won emancipation through faith.
***His resolve to become chief among the saddhādhimuttas had been made in the time of Padumuttara Buddha, when he saw a monk also named Vakkali similarly honoured by the Buddha.
Love Buddha's dhamma,