Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

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Refugee
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Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Refugee » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:26 pm

From the suttas, we learn that people entering the monastic order (going from home to homelessness) shave their heads. So, it would be reasonable to believe that the Buddha and his disciples had shaven heads. However, the Buddha statues show a "hairstyle" where the hair seems to be gathered into a kind of top-knot. What is the significance of this?
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby bodom » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:50 pm

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


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http://www.ajahnchah.org/

Kenshou
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Kenshou » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:17 pm

I could be wrong but I recall that the hairstyle we often see on Buddha statues is of Greek influence and just kind of caught on. I'll look it up.

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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Refugee » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:17 am

My practice is simply this: Avoid evil, do good, and purify the mind.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:52 am


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Rui Sousa
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Rui Sousa » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:50 am

With Metta

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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Refugee » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:36 pm

Thank you, Kim and Rui Sousa. Your inputs were very informative and has helped me better understand the various cultural influences on Buddhist iconography.
:anjali:
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby nelsonallan » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:49 am

IT will be true that Buddha statues show a "hairstyle" where the hair seems to be gathered into a kind of top-knot. it give so many informative meaning.............................
Nelson Allan

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Bodhisurfer
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Bodhisurfer » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:19 am

I thought that the 'curls' on statues of the Buddha were snails that had covered his head to protect him from the sun while he was meditating - Now that I think of it I cant recall where I got that particular idea from, sadly that hasnt stopped me repeating it many times over the years :embarassed:
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:26 pm

I don't think the Buddha asked his disciples not to depict him in statue- but he did ask Ven Ananda to plant a Bodhi tree so that it may represent him to devotees who came when he wasn't around. However statue worship is done as a mark of faith and gratitude, rather than the idea of worshiping a living god which is the statue itself. Maybe it is Buddha's sense of humour that he showed 'no-one' sitting under a Bodhi tree!

I also read that monks were allowed to have two finger bredths' length of hair. I maybe wrong.

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adeh
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby adeh » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:20 pm

The curls on his head are, I think, a misunderstanding of one of the 32 marks. It says that: the tips of his body-hairs (not head hairs) turn up; the upturned body hairs are blue-black, the colour of collyrium, curled and turned to the right....
In one Sutta in the Sutta Nipaata-the Sundarikabhaaaradvaaja Sutta- he is refered to as shaven and a shaveling: ''Then at the sound of of the brahman Sundarikabhaaradvaaja's footsteps the Blessed One uncovered his head. Then the brahman Sundararikhabhaaradvaaja (thinking), 'The venerable one is shaven, the venerable one is a shaveling,' wanted to turn back, but the thought occurred to him: 'Some brahmans here are also shaven; what if I were to approach him and ask about his descent?' ''

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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Orlando » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:59 pm

According to some traditions it is an actual physical bump on his head, meant to be a sign of enlighenment, called an ushnisha. However I read that in the earliest representations it was probably simply a topknot, and that is later got interpreted as something else. Does anyone know about that?

Re, the Greek influience theory, I can't remember seeing any Greek statues with topknots, or, for that matter, the curious texture consisting of lots of little balls that his hairstyle often has. Not saying there weren't any, but it doesn't strike me as typical.

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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby unspoken » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:58 am

Buddha is a buddha. Defilements had been destroyed completely. But, the monks are not. Maybe they got too attached to hairstyles and cling towards beauty. Maybe for monks tidy and fixing up their hairs do waste times and energies. So better off shave it.

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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Refugee » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:47 am

The top knot could perhaps have been influenced by Hindu or pre-Hindu traditions. See pic below of Hindu God, Shiva:
Image
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:52 pm

Image




HenryDLacklaw
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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby HenryDLacklaw » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:36 pm

Check out statues of the Greek god Apollo. Sometimes his hairstyle looks pretty similar.

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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:56 pm


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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:54 pm


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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:03 am


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Re: Buddha Statues: Hairstyle?

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:16 am

I've heard that the Buddha asked that images not be made of him from several sources, but again no references.
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