Ben wrote:Not really to my taste.
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One....on emerging from seclusion in the late afternoon, sat warming his back in the western sun. Then Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, massaged the Blessed One's limbs with his hand and said, "It's amazing, lord. It's astounding, how the Blessed One's complexion is no longer so clear & bright; his limbs are flabby & wrinkled; his back, bent forward; there's a discernible change in his faculties — the faculty of the eye, the faculty of the ear, the faculty of the nose, the faculty of the tongue, the faculty of the body.""That's the way it is, Ananda. When young, one is subject to aging; when healthy, subject to illness; when alive, subject to death. The complexion is no longer so clear & bright; the limbs are flabby & wrinkled; the back, bent forward; there's a discernible change in the faculties.
“I am supreme in the world, I am the highest in the world, I am the first in the world; this is my last birth, there will be no further existence.".
The Pāli version records a declaration made by the newly born bodhisattva on this occasion, in which he proclaims his superiority in the world and his transcendence of future existences, a declaration absent from the Madhyama-āgama parallel.
Thus the mere ability of an infant to speak at birth was in itself not necessarily seen in a positive light. Besides, according to the Pāli Jātaka collection already in two previous existences the bodhisattva was able to speak right after being born.69 Since these instances are not explicitly reckoned as marvels, in the present case the marvel would be the content of his proclamation.
The Madhyama-āgama version differs from the Acchariyabbhutadhammasutta in as much as it only records the seven steps, without any proclamation made at all.70 Nakamura (1980/1999: 18) is probably right when he concludes that “the verse claimed to have been proclaimed by the Buddha at his birth was composed very late.”71....
When considered from the perspective of the didactic function of the Acchariyabbhutadhamma-sutta, the proclamation made by the bodhisattva Gautama may at first have come into being as just another facet in the overall scheme of exalting the Buddha. Yet, this particular marvel has consequences that originally may have been neither intended nor foreseen.
The significance of this proclamation emerges once it is compared with the passages examined in the first part of the present chapter. These passages invariably indicate that the bodhisattva was not yet awakened, anabhisambuddho,
which holds true even in the case of those versions that do not employ the term bodhisattva. Thus, from the perspective of this general consensus among early Buddhist discourses, the bodhisattva would have been able to make the claim that “this is my last birth, there will be no further existence” only once he had become a Buddha. .....
On considering these formulations, it seems safe to conclude that when these descriptions of the Buddha’s awakening came into being, the idea had not yet arisen that already at his birth he knew that this was going to be his last birth. In other words, the proclamation made by the infant bodhisattva in the Acchariyabbhutadhamma-sutta involves a clear shift of a claim, originally made after awakening, to the time when the bodhisattva Gautama had just been born.77
Luke wrote:Ben wrote:Not really to my taste.
They aren't to my taste either. To me they look like an attempt to "Krishna-ize" the Buddha. I'm surprised that they didn't try to depict him holding a flute while they were at it... These pictures look more similar to Hindu art than to Buddhist art to me.
Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings already spread the light of wisdom--no extra physical light is needed! And the Buddha wore a robe of very ordinary cloth--not one of super soft flowing silk!
These pictures also make Buddha look like a giant. I don't know the sutras ever talk about Buddha's height, but I don't think he was 8 feet tall!
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