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Buddha statues are not idols?.. - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Buddha statues are not idols?..

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
dagon
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby dagon » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:42 pm


chownah
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby chownah » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:00 am


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Kusala
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Kusala » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:52 am

Image

"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

Virgo
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Virgo » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:42 pm

Statues are just ruupa, elements, just like the body of a Buddha is. It is what they represent to us mentally that we pay respect to. The best way to pay respect, however, is to respect the Dhamma.

"He who sees Dhamma, Vakkali, sees me; he who sees me sees Dhamma. Truly seeing Dhamma, one sees me; seeing me one sees Dhamma." - Vakkali Sutta

All the best,

Kevin


chownah
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby chownah » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:36 pm

What is an idol? Got to know what an idol is before you can say something is not.
chownah

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Sekha
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Sekha » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:10 pm

The best way to pay respect to the Buddha is to walk single-mindedly the path to the Deathless he has shown. The rest is just an emotional game with oneself. I have remarked that generally those who are the most attached to paying respect to statues are also those who slack off the most when it comes to actual practice.

We have evidence that representations of the Buddha as a person were not allowed in Buddhist iconography by the time of Asoka. This strongly indicates imo that Buddha statues were forbidden in the early days, and I disagree with the source quoted by Cooran. The reason of this interdiction is simple to understand: to prevent the quest of the Deathless from being replaced by rituals of worship. The reason why the rule may have disappeared from the Vinaya is also easy to understand.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

Jeffrey
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Jeffrey » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:10 am

What evidence of prohibition do we have, Sekha?

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manas
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby manas » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:58 am

Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

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Dhammanando
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:31 am


Jeffrey
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Jeffrey » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:01 am

This is my understanding as well, Ven Dhammanando, but I thought perhaps Sekha had something else in mind.

While on the topic, I wonder if there are commentarial traditions regarding the use of Buddha statues or paintings.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:41 am


Jeffrey
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Jeffrey » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:07 pm

For those who think images are nothing more than images, you might find this of interest, a quote (p181) from the Consecration article (by Donald Swearer) in The Encyclopedia of Buddhism:

The cult of relics, images, portraits, mummified remains,
and other representations of the Buddha and
Buddhist saints reflect a thaumaturgical belief that the
miraculous powers associated with extraordinary spiritual
attainment can be objectified in material form.
Thus, consecration rituals incarnate the Buddha and
ARHATs not primarily as idealized spiritual mentors
and personifications of the dharma but as wonderworkers,
protectors, and grantors of boons. Consecration
rituals, therefore, infuse into these icons a variety
of powers associated especially with the mental and
physical attributes acquired through ascetic practices,
especially meditation.

Since from the outset the Buddha was venerated not
only as a teacher but as a miracle worker, representations
of the Blessed One can be seen in similar terms.
The cult of the power of relics and images should not
be understood as a later, degenerate form of Buddhist
piety but as one of the ingredients of Buddhist belief
and practice from its earliest days. Consecration rituals,
in this regard, can be seen as a practical means by
which this aspect of Buddhism spread and flourished
throughout Buddhist Asia.

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Sekha
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Sekha » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:55 pm

Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

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appicchato
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby appicchato » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:14 am


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robertk
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby robertk » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:58 am

Thanks venerable, I noticed that billboard driving back from the airport in Bangkok last month.

Jeffrey
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Jeffrey » Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:36 am


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Sekha
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Sekha » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:51 pm

Last edited by Sekha on Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

Jeffrey
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Jeffrey » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:20 am

I don't for a moment dispute the idea that texts have been modified over the years. It seems like a fairly large and mostly impossible undertaking, or a huge coincidence, to expunge all reference to Buddha images in all collections in all locations. Jainism and Brahminism were contemporary with Buddhism, and yet the first bits of Indian art are Buddhist. Did these religions also prohibit the making of images of their founders/deities? Or is perhaps this absence evidence of a broader idea regarding religious art?

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Sekha
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Sekha » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:16 pm

Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

Bankei
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Re: Buddha statues are not idols?..

Postby Bankei » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:17 pm

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Bankei


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