Buddharupas and the real Buddha

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Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby Stephen K » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:23 pm

Was the historical Buddha's appearance identical to how the statues represent him? Did he really have a bump on his head and elongated ears? Just curious.
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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby clw_uk » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:50 pm

My knowledge about this is a bit patchy so I could be wrong but the bump on his head and the elongated ears are supposed to represent wisdom, knowledge etc
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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:11 pm

The 'bump' as you are calling it, is an asetic knot, the Buddha is always represented with hair and if you have lived in the forest for some time without a way to cut your hair it is easier to keep it in the knot as is stll the custom with some ascetics in india with long hair, although it is probably used to show that he is a samana, as for his ears these reprsent his famiys class, Nobles being able to afford luxury would have very ornate jewlery which would exagerate the piercing after long periods of wearing, which is still seen today with some women who have worn large earings all their life in any culture.
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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby James the Giant » Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:57 pm

I have read that all the little bumps or curls of hair all over his head were sculpted there by Greek architects, who came along in the tail of Alexander the Great. They were contracted by temples to make statues, and they put many curls on his head to make the Buddha more familiar to their Adriatic eyes.
There must be a site somewhere saying where all the different features came from. Anyone?
I know that the Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha isn't Gautama Buddha though, that's Hotei, a monk from China.
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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:25 pm

Hi Stefan
Do a search on 'the 32 marks of a great man' at accesstoinsight or via google, and it should present you with a canonical reference which details the 32 physical distinguishing characteristics of a sammasambuddha. I think it is this list which is the basis of Buddharupa design.
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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby cooran » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:05 pm

Hello Ben,

Apart from one or two, the Buddha didn't have all of these marks on his physical body - when you read their description you will see that it would have been an "unusual" sight (to say the least!) if he had had the whole 32. It is what they represent that is important.

32 Marks of a Great Man
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/32marks2.htm

There were no statues or paintings made for hundreds of years - the Buddha, instead was simply represented by symbols.

"This clip traces something of the history of physical representations of the Buddha at Bodh Gaya, beginning with the earliest representation, the Buddha’s footprints in stone. Although Buddhist scholars are divided over whether the Buddha actually prohibited images of himself being made, they agree that early Buddhist art usually used motifs associated with his life or symbols such as the empty throne, the umbrella, the Bodhi tree and the Wheel of Law. Some scholars see the footprints, or Buddhapada, at Mahabodhi as the exception to the rule. Buddhapada are usually associated with the Wheel of Law and at Mahabodhi the stone footprints are enclosed in a circle."
http://australianscreen.com.au/titles/c ... t-1/clip1/

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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:10 pm

Hi Chris
yes, I know. That's why I said that I believed the vast majority of Buddharupas were based on the design in the list of 32 marks of a great man.
kind regards
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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby Rui Sousa » Sun Oct 18, 2009 11:02 pm

James the Giant wrote:I have read that all the little bumps or curls of hair all over his head were sculpted there by Greek architects, who came along in the tail of Alexander the Great. They were contracted by temples to make statues, and they put many curls on his head to make the Buddha more familiar to their Adriatic eyes.
There must be a site somewhere saying where all the different features came from. Anyone?
I know that the Fat Buddha or Laughing Buddha isn't Gautama Buddha though, that's Hotei, a monk from China.


This page has information about the Greek that lived in what is today Afghanistan who became Buddhists, as far as I know the first Buddha Rupas were sculped there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhist_art
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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:14 am

The statues seem to be the result of Greek influence and didn't appear until centuries after Buddha's death. Also, what Ben and Cooran said is correct.
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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby cooran » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:05 am

Also, what Ben and Cooran said is correct.

pssst! Individual .... I'm Chris in this town. :tongue:

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Re: Buddharupas and the real Buddha

Postby Individual » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:37 am

Chris wrote:
Also, what Ben and Cooran said is correct.

pssst! Individual .... I'm Chris in this town. :tongue:

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Oops! :)

By Cooran, I meant Chris!
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