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I found this statue...

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:55 pm
by MindTheGap
... in a thrift store. Not sure who it represents. Seems to be from Thailand (it's only poly resin)


Image

Sorry for the small picture. As best I can tell:

Upper left hand holds a lotus or an utpala
Upper right hand holds a sutra (?)
Middle left hand holds a conch (?)
Middle right hand holds a mace.
Bottom left and right hands rest on the knees, palms up. (I think - he was broken when I found him)
Sitting in the lotus position
Drape across the left shoulder. Right shoulder exposed.

Not really familiar with Thai iconography, so that's why I'm not sure about what he's holding.

I think it's Buddhist (Theravadin), but I suppose it coud be Hindu. Or something someone just made up for the tourist trade.

Can anybody identify who this is?

Thanks! :namaste:

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:48 pm
by crazy-man
i think the statue is not original, only modern style for tourist.
thai style buddhas
http://www.buddha-images.com/

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:38 pm
by MindTheGap
Yep... That's kinda what I thought. :thanks: :smile:

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 9:25 am
by gohonzon
Tourist market souvenir.

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:08 am
by Grigoris
Could be a, until recently unknown, Buddha made especially for you! ;)

You could easily research the significance of each hand seperately using Beer's book

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:44 pm
by Kim O'Hara
The style looks Thai but I've never seen extra arms on a Thai Buddha. :shrug:
You may get a more informed opinion on the other Wheel (see link at the bottom of the page) but so far no-one here has been terribly excited about it.

:namaste:
Kim

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:48 pm
by MindTheGap
Kim O'Hara wrote:The style looks Thai but I've never seen extra arms on a Thai Buddha. :shrug:
You may get a more informed opinion on the other Wheel (see link at the bottom of the page) but so far no-one here has been terribly excited about it.

:namaste:
Kim
:good:

Yeah, me either. Multiple arms seems to fit more with the schema of Mahayana Buddhism rather than Theravadin Buddhism. I think the multiple arms represent the capacity and ways a Buddha / Bodhisattva can show compassion to sentient beings. Theravada (from a Mahayana point of view) focuses more on obtaining Arhatship to lead oneself to eventual enlightenment.

Thus have I been schooled. :reading:

I do often wonder what the Theravadin response to that assessment is. I need to write a post about that and see if I can start a conversation. :thinking:

Actually, I wonder if Thailand even has a Mahayana sangha. :group: I've always gotten the impression that Thailand is pretty much strictly Theravadin.

Actually, I don't think I've ever noticed the link of which you speak. I will check it out. Thanks for the info!

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:43 pm
by MindTheGap
Sherab Dorje wrote:Could be a, until recently unknown, Buddha made especially for you! ;)

You could easily research the significance of each hand seperately using Beer's book
Also :good:

I've already done some research into Tibetan iconography (Would like to learn to paint Thangkas someday). Imagery on this statue is somewhat obscure. May post some close-ups of each hand and see what you think.

When I first found him, my first thought was, "That sort-of looks like Avalokiteśvara...". Maybe if I have that resonance with the image, Avalokiteśvara is whom it represents to me. I could easily find a small rock crystal and add a small rosary of seed beads to the statue. The mace seems inappropriate, but :shrug:

I want to give him a special place of honor in the house because I found him so discarded and abused. :consoling: :anjali: I have a very nice, very large picture of the Dalai Lama hung in my house. Would like to place an image of Chenrezig above it. That would be a very honorable place. :smile: BUT - neither do I want do dishonor the Dalai Lama with something that might be inappropriate.

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:24 am
by Kim O'Hara
MindTheGap wrote:Yeah, me either. Multiple arms seems to fit more with the schema of Mahayana Buddhism rather than Theravadin Buddhism. I think the multiple arms represent the capacity and ways a Buddha / Bodhisattva can show compassion to sentient beings. Theravada (from a Mahayana point of view) focuses more on obtaining Arhatship to lead oneself to eventual enlightenment.

Thus have I been schooled. :reading:

I do often wonder what the Theravadin response to that assessment is. I need to write a post about that and see if I can start a conversation. :thinking:
Better to ask them - Dhamma Wheel - than us, but if you do ask here, it should be in Open Dharma.
The short answer is that your view is the conventional one but is over-simplified - as you may know, of course.
MindTheGap wrote:Actually, I wonder if Thailand even has a Mahayana sangha. :group: I've always gotten the impression that Thailand is pretty much strictly Theravadin.
It is.

:namaste:
Kim

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:32 am
by MindTheGap
So... this is interesting...

I found out that Avalokiteshvara Is venerated in Thailand as Nātha, also known as Lokesvara. With six arms:

Image

Maybe my recognition of the statue as being Avalokiteshvara wasn't so far off the mark after all... :shrug:

Seems odd, but he is venerated in a Theravadin context, apparently. Not sure how that works out. More research to follow...

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:48 am
by Virgo
MindTheGap wrote:So... this is interesting...

I found out that Avalokiteshvara Is venerated in Thailand as Nātha, also known as Lokesvara. With six arms:

Image
Well Thailand was once a Vajrayana country. Also many people venerate Hindu gods as well while identifying as Buddhists. For example, there are many shrines to Brahma, Ganesha, etc. Most Thais don't make a distinction because they do not know any better. Thais are also constantly getting the blessings of monks and folk magic users. You see khmer influenced magical protections everywhere, and amulets made by monks for all sorts of purposes, there is also veneration of the King, the Queen, ancestors, and so on. Tons of Thais leave offerings out for spirits. Also the King is named after Rama, the Hindu Avatar. There are places and roads named after Hindu gods, and spirits.

Kevin

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:19 am
by MindTheGap
From the website "Virtual Vinodh":

http://www.virtualvinodh.com/wp/vishnu-in-buddhism/
Though, Thailand is currently a Theravada nation – Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism dominated for a quite a period of time.
Apparently, Lokeshvara came into Thailand and the Theravada tradition through the Khmer from Cambodia, and the Mahayana from Sri Lanka. Lokeshvara was adopted as a Dharma protector by the Thai Buddhists. I found several references to that effect in Google Books, but they don't allow you to copy and paste. :(

Huh. How about that! Who knew?

(well, the scholars, I guess, but I meant that as a turn of phrase)

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:44 am
by MindTheGap
Oh, thanks Virgo! You must have posted that while I was busy googling :lol:

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:27 am
by Grigoris
MindTheGap wrote:Oh, thanks Virgo! You must have posted that while I was busy googling :lol:
Thai popular religious culture is full of Hinduism. As a Muay Nak and Muay Thai Kru we pray and make offerings to Hanuman before fights for protection (he is considered the patron God of Muay Thai fighters), do ritual dances which draw on Hindu mythology (especially the Ramayana), etc...

Half the "Buddhist" amulets portray Hindu Gods, especially Vishnu, Brahma, Hanuman and Rama.

Mahayana was HUGE in this region. Consider the huge Mahayana complex's in Cambodia, Indonesia, etc...

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:11 pm
by MindTheGap
Yeah, some of the material I read said that some of the Hindus took Avalokiteshvara (as Lokeshvara) as an Avatar of Vishnu. Some of those influences crept into the Thai Theravada tradition.

I guess, all I'm saying is that it could be a statue of an emination of Avalokiteshvara. Or a tourist trinket. Depends on how you want to look at it. That's the most important part, I guess. :)

Still might give him a mala and a crystal (gem). I don't think he'd mind. :)

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:04 pm
by Takoda
Interesting.

I came across this website with many antique statues that are found in private collections. As you scroll down the page you can see numerous variations as to the number of heads and arms. Descriptions of the statues are also given.

https://himalayanbuddhistart.wordpress. ... load=nokia

Kind Regards
Takoda

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:23 am
by DharmaCraft
I'm not sure, but I've heard it is illegal to export Buddha statues from Thai. What a funny side.

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:34 am
by jkarlins
As Grigoris and Virgo have said, the influences there are many.

To conflate multiple arms with the Mahayana is not correct. Not sure exactly where this comes from, but Thai religion is extremely rich and complex. Deities venerated include bodhisattvas from China and elsewhere like Kshitigarbha. I believe monks and leursis are pretty much constantly generating new spells, charms and amulets as they are inspired by visions, and the desire for money. So the magical side is extremely active and influential in terms of the popular religion's evolution.

Thailand is generally Theravada, but even to say this is too simple. It's so complicated, and varies by region, by family, and is changing at this very moment.

I was never a huge fan of many deity shrines or statues, especially the fancy ones, they give me kind of a headache.

Oh, and anyone with info about exporting statues would be cool. I'm visiting soon, and may bring back one or two for my home. And I know I could google it but won't.

Jake

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:48 am
by tingdzin
It's illegal to export Buddha-images from Thailand, but you can find just about anything you want in Nepal, if you look enough.

Re: I found this statue...

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:01 am
by Fortyeightvows
it's not illegal, you just have to get a certificate before you take it through customs