Do you want to know what a Buddha is? Is Buddha real? You are not alone, read on to find out more.
We create and sell beautiful Buddha statues in reconstituted marble and are here to help you by giving you a short history of Buddha and showing how a Buddha statue can enhance your home/garden.
A short history of the classic Buddha.
Around 2500 years ago GAUTAMA SIDDHARTHA, a man who had renounced his princely title to lead a life of meditation, was sitting under a tree. While he meditated he realised the reason for suffering in the world. From that moment of enlightenment he was Buddha and his philosophic teachings have become a world philosophy and religion.
Buddha means Fully Awakened One, so you can understand that there are many versions of Buddha. This is why GAUTAMA taught that there had been other human Buddhas before him.
All the classic Buddhas have the same basic external features as Gautama; a top knot, a mark on the forehead and long earlobes, although there are thoughts, particularly in Brahmin and Pāli folklore that there are up to 32 outward signs of Buddha. Some or all of these features can be represented in art and sculpture. We use some of them in our work as you can see from the pieces on our website.
There are of course other styles of Buddhas and here I am going to de-mystify three of them for you.
Let’s start with the Buddha that isn’t a Buddha
- The Happy Buddha
The most well-known Buddha statue that isn’t Buddha - the Fat Bellied laughing Chinese man that you probably all have seen at some point.
He is the Chinese Master of Zen named POE-TAI HOSHANG who lived between the 6th and 10th Centuries and discovered the Buddha within himself.
He wandered through China without any cares and was perfectly happy. After his death he was worshipped as a God of good fortune. He is thought by some to be one of the reincarnations of the original Buddha and a disciple of Buddha by others. Whichever is the case, he is still thought to be wandering the earth as an expression of the beauty that can be achieved whenever anyone finds his own true nature or “THE BUDDHA WITHIN HIMSELF”
- The Young Monk or Tibetan Buddha.
Tibetan Buddhas are usually but not always depicted as young men .Their features are finer than the fat or happy Chinese version but they are not as athletic as the Classic.
- Balinese Buddha.
Bali is predominantly Hindu but has long had a connection with Buddhism.
Bali Buddhas have a more pronounced second bump to his top knot and they are very often on a throne shaped like a lotus flower, a symbol of purity and perfection.
Way back in the 1990’s when a client asked us “can you make us a Buddha?” we little imagined that we would get as much pleasure from designing and making Buddhas as we do. It’s true that the more you interact with the subject, the more fascinated you can get. And of course the whole subject is deep enough to keep our minds fully occupied while we work on creating, well that’s my excuse for going into the occasional day dream anyway.
What Buddhism teaches.
Now this is also another fascinating area of study but I don’t want you to drop off to sleep dear reader, so here’s a very quick summary.
The teachings of the Buddha are known as Buddhism.
Buddhism is mostly about ending the feeling of pain that all people feel inside. Gautama taught that old age, sickness, death and suffering is a part of everyone's life. He showed through his teachings that you can end craving and suffering by doing good things, not doing bad things, and training one's mind. When you are able to perfect these qualities you will gain enlightenment.
The main teaching is of non-harm and balance – not going too far one way or the other. He taught people to meditate. Meditation is to bring awareness of self and others
Now for the more practical bit. It's what you really wanted to know anyway wasn't it?
Placing a Buddha Statue in your home.
Even if you are not a practising Buddhist, you probably chose your statue so that it could add calm to your home. This is often the reason for having a Buddha in your home, and the space you create around it is a chill out spot. Which is why everyone should have a marble Buddha statue in their house, right?
While the Historical Buddha never stated specifically where to place statues of himself, there are common practices that determine how to position your statue of the enlightened one.
Placing a Buddha statue inside your home so that it faces the front door not only attracts positive energy, but also repels negative forces that can bring evil into the house.
Don’t place your statue on the floor or on a low stool, it’s recommended that it is set on a table or cabinet that is at least 80cm high minimum, eye level is best.
If you want to put a Buddha in your garden, that’s great! Our reconstituted marble statues will cope easily with all kinds of weather.
Although not the usual altar space for the Buddha, a garden can be made acceptable with a couple of tweaks. As with indoors, he rarely touches the ground, hence the lotus throne and he is best placed at eye level. It would be a good idea to set up a small area where you can elevate the statue, if even just symbolically. You could build up a little mound of stones on which to place your marble statue.
We love all the styles of Buddha that we make, our method for making them in reconstituted marble is unique to us and gives us a finish that you really won’t find anywhere else.
Here are some extra links so that you can continue reading and learning.