Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

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daverupa
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby daverupa » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:16 am

Funnily enough, weren't(/aren't?) cigarettes a common gift for Thai forest bhikkhus? It would make that picture pass muster, since the Buddha doesn't seem to be drinking.

:juggling:

("At that time, the bhagavat had a straight flush." ...maybe not.)
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:07 am

I think this photo should repair some of the bad impression of Westerners being disrespectful towards Buddhist symbols:

U.S. Embassy Vientiane:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton placing lotus flowers on a Buddha statue at Ho Phrakeo.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... =1&theater
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:55 pm

This version of the Buddha Bar is definitely more "tasteful" but it would still upset the KnowingBuddha group:

http://dsc.discovery.com/life/pump-up-y ... phers.html


However, I really quite enjoyed the Nietzsche's Will To Power Bar:

When your Wille zur Macht is a-flagging or you're just a little tired of transvaluating all values, try these! Nietzsche's Will To Power Bar transcends good and evil, it establishes new ideas, and escapes the constraints of Judeo-Christianity. Oh, and it's chewy, too! And not only is this fruit and nut bar delicious, its incredible, interactive packaging is like a nihilist's playground. Open the clasp and discover Nietzsche puzzles, trivia, and 12 steps to becoming an Ubermensch. There's even a cut-out Nietzsche mustache -- show us a Cliff Bar that has one of those! God might be dead, but flavor lives on thanks to our incredible Nietzsche's Will To Power Bar.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: "Yummy!"

On the side it says: "Übermunch" :D

http://www.philosophersguild.com/Will-to-Power-Bar.html

:rolleye:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Fitz
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Fitz » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:01 am

I think that respect for Buddha images can be an important part of practice. Personally, reciting the refuges and the five precepts daily in front of a Buddha statue has always reminded me to act morally and keep up meditating. The fact that monotheist religious symbols are generally treated with more respect is worrying, but I'm more worried that all this activity opposing disrespect of the image of the Buddha is distracting energy from actually practicing.

What are you going to do to stop a person from disrespecting Buddha images that is in line with non-harm and metta and letting go? Protests seem like they would cause anger, or else be motivated by anger. Legislation and police force should clearly be off the table. Asking very nicely and educating is the only possible way, but I doubt that would deflect any profitable business venture or reach mainstream culture in any signifigant way.

In the end, putting all this energy into having others respect Buddha images would be trying to control circumstances out of our control, and will end up in dissatisfaction and (to definitively tie this back to the Dhamma) suffering.

-Fitz

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Doshin
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Doshin » Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:45 am

Fitz wrote:I think that respect for Buddha images can be an important part of practice. Personally, reciting the refuges and the five precepts daily in front of a Buddha statue has always reminded me to act morally and keep up meditating. The fact that monotheist religious symbols are generally treated with more respect is worrying, but I'm more worried that all this activity opposing disrespect of the image of the Buddha is distracting energy from actually practicing.

What are you going to do to stop a person from disrespecting Buddha images that is in line with non-harm and metta and letting go? Protests seem like they would cause anger, or else be motivated by anger. Legislation and police force should clearly be off the table. Asking very nicely and educating is the only possible way, but I doubt that would deflect any profitable business venture or reach mainstream culture in any signifigant way.

In the end, putting all this energy into having others respect Buddha images would be trying to control circumstances out of our control, and will end up in dissatisfaction and (to definitively tie this back to the Dhamma) suffering.


:goodpost:

Thank you, well said/written.

I have been planning to formulate a post in this tread for some time, now I don't have to.

_/\_
Knowing about dhamma, does not imply knowing dhamma

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Kim OHara
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:15 pm

gavesako wrote:I think this photo should repair some of the bad impression of Westerners being disrespectful towards Buddhist symbols:

U.S. Embassy Vientiane

OT: screen shot of another image from that site.
Screen shot US embassy.jpg
Screen shot US embassy.jpg (195.88 KiB) Viewed 974 times


Facebook does some pretty funny things without even trying! :tongue:

:namaste:
Kim

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:58 pm

Buddhists outraged at Buddha's images on shoes
PTI Aug 2, 2012
WASHINGTON, USA -- The Tibetan and the Buddhist community are outraged at a California-based company for promoting a range of shoes with the Lord Buddha's images.

http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php ... 29,0,0,1,0
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Ytrog
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Ytrog » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:22 pm

I think that for all the disrespectful use there might not actually be a disrespectful intent. The owner of a coffeeshop (shop where they sell marijuana, not coffee) might in his ignorance think the effect of the drug he is selling is similar to Nibbana and place a statue there to express that. I heard a owner of such a shop say that once on television. Such use might actually make someone curious about it's origins and nudge them in the right direction although that was not the intent of the one that placed it there.

I hope that I'm not repeating everything that has been said here, because I didn't read all the pages.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:25 am

Report from the KnowingBuddha group:


Success, no Neglect

Since our organization, Knowing Buddha has sent many letters including emails to pressure 21st Living Art who makes the Buddha arm chair and the Buddha head chair and we also sent the letters to the furniture association, Design association, Chamber of commerce and Thai embassy including Minister of Foreign affair to ask help to stop making such an unacceptable chair including giving the information how to properly act to Buddha image.

Since we have seriously continued working on this case. Soon we got a good response from the Minister of Foreign affair that the 21st Living Art had sent the letter of apology that they were sorry that they had upset a lot of Buddhists and disrespected the Buddha and they also promised that they wouldn’t make these products anymore.

Thanks the Minister of Foreign Affair for seriously working for us and thanks everyone for great support.

And this is a great success of us, Buddhists who never neglect what should be corrected.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:37 pm

This sign produced by the Knowing Buddha organization can now be seen displayed at Bangkok airport in order to warn all arriving visitors and stop them from treating Buddhist symbols disrespectfully:

Welcome to Buddha Land

Disrespect Buddha sign Bangkok airport.jpg
Disrespect Buddha sign Bangkok airport.jpg (44.04 KiB) Viewed 319 times


http://www.knowingbuddha.org/

:buddha1:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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mikenz66
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:15 pm

Can someone explain the "No Buddha Head" admonition? Is that suggesting that reproductions of heads alone are forbidden?

:anjali:
Mike

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gavesako
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby gavesako » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:01 pm

Severed Buddha heads normally come from looting ancient temples, they were carried away as trophies because the looters could not carry away the whole statues. That is how they made their way to the West and into museums as well. Traditionally only complete Buddha-rupas are made, not ony Buddha heads.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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mikenz66
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:03 pm

Hi Bhante,

Thanks for that clarification. I do have some recently made heads that one of my Sri Lankan students brought back from Sri Lanka a couple of years ago, hence my question.

:anjali:
Mike

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samseva
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby samseva » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:27 am

I always thought those Buddha heads looked weird. I bust is not too bad, but having only a head laying around in someone's garden or living room makes no sense at all. It looks more macabre than anything else.

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mikenz66
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:55 am

Yes, they are not my preference, but I don't "leave them lying around". They are usually up on a shelf...

:anjali:
Mike

DaijinJim
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby DaijinJim » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:17 am

After reading the posts on this subject, it set me wondering at some of the answers that condone the practice of using Buddhist imagery as decoration. It is true that letters of the Sanscrit alphabet (or any letters of any alphabet are in essence empty ) But a sanscrit letter on a lotus throne or a giant J on a cross would carry some religious meaning to many. I read that Buddha wouldn't care so whats the problem. Well certainly not a problem for the Buddhas. I guess the problem lies in that as a general rule, the disrespect of these symbols, Buddhist or otherwise add to the suffering of others.

Coëmgenu
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Re: Respect for Buddha images and offensive use of symbols

Postby Coëmgenu » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:48 am

On the subject of questionable use of depictions of the Buddha....

There's actually a marijuana paraphernalia dispensary down the street from where I live in Whitby, Canada, that is called "The Laughing Buddha", which has a large picture on its door of a Chinese-style "heavy" Maitreya depicted taking a hit off a bong, seeming very jolly as he does so.

I'm not offended by much but I'll admit I did a double-take there.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo
Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ
Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.


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