Image of Buddha?

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Tenma
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Image of Buddha?

Post by Tenma » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:39 am

I've been studying in my AP world history class and so far, I've noticed that the image of the Buddha we think of didn't come up until centuries after his death. How did this image pop out of no where? Also, does that mean we really don't know what he looks like? I noticed that some orthodox traditions prefer not to portray him as he has reached Nirvana and is no longer of this world, but instead as a bodhi tree or his footprints. Any suggestions why this is so? Also, does that mean all the other Buddhas are not in their real image?
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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:46 am

Tenma wrote:I've been studying in my AP world history class and so far, I've noticed that the image of the Buddha we think of didn't come up until centuries after his death. How did this image pop out of no where? Also, does that mean we really don't know what he looks like? I noticed that some orthodox traditions prefer not to portray him as he has reached Nirvana and is no longer of this world, but instead as a bodhi tree or his footprints. Any suggestions why this is so? Also, does that mean all the other Buddhas are not in their real image?

Tashi delek T,

Some time ago the Greec conquered a great part of Afghanistan, Pakistan , the Punjab.
In 327 BC Alexander the Great began his foray into Punjab. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_conquests_in_India
They did not brought their philosphy etc. to Punjab, but integrated there in the existing Religion.
The tall Buddha statue of Bamiyan, is a proof of this Greece statue. It was destroyed unfortunately by the Taliban.
Later they integrated Greece sculpture technics in the Gandhara art and so the Buddha image was born.
If there have been before the Greece invading of the Punjab, Buddhist images is not known to me.
Guess that the most Buddha images are based on the The 32 Two Marks and 80 Exemplifications of the Sambhogakaya
http://buddhism.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT ... 117505.htm
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Gandhara,_testa_di_buddha,_I-III_sec.JPG
Gandhara,_testa_di_buddha,_I-III_sec.JPG (24.39 KiB) Viewed 1033 times
Macedonian Gandhara https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhara )

Bactrian Greek Buddhist artists had been very active in the 2nd or the 3rd centuries BC in the Bamiyan region in West Asia and the Buddha images silhouetted against the vast sandy valley bearing a calm and serene composure may have been an awe-inspiring vision for the travellers who passed by. The images had stood at 112 and 172 feet respectively and were housed within their own chapels.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/120122/Plus/plus_13.html

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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by odysseus » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:18 pm

The image of an "empty throne" is also an image of Buddha without his bodily appearence. It represents that there is no ruler in the Universe.

Otherwise, we all know that he looked very handsome.

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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:47 pm

odysseus wrote:The image of an "empty throne" is also an image of Buddha without his bodily appearence. It represents that there is no ruler in the Universe.

Otherwise, we all know that he looked very handsome.
There are rulers in the countless universa and one important one are the tri Murti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
One rules creation, the other the "maintenance" and the last the destruction of creation.

Empty throne of the wrong self or that the mind is not created, that seems to be for me clear here.
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Tongnyid Dorje
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Tongnyid Dorje » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:50 pm

Actually there is a story of monk, who was about to reach an arahantship and Mara wanted to create him some obstacles. I dont remeber details,just that the monk forced Mara to show him, how Buddha looked like. So Mara transformed himself in to the Buddha and monk started prostrated to him. Mara said that it isnt apropriate. Monk explained, that he is not prostrating to Mara, but to the Buddha. Something like this. May be someone knows better this story... Anyway, from that time we know, how Buddha looks like. :smile:

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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by odysseus » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:54 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
odysseus wrote:The image of an "empty throne" is also an image of Buddha without his bodily appearence. It represents that there is no ruler in the Universe.
There are rulers in the countless universa and one important one are the tri Murti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
One rules creation, the other the "maintenance" and the last the destruction of creation.
Yeah, those rulers are local only. There is no supreme god.

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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:00 pm

odysseus wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote:
odysseus wrote:The image of an "empty throne" is also an image of Buddha without his bodily appearence. It represents that there is no ruler in the Universe.
There are rulers in the countless universa and one important one are the tri Murti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
One rules creation, the other the "maintenance" and the last the destruction of creation.
Yeah, those rulers are local only. There is no supreme god.
This is not so clear to me, please explain it better.

- What is local ruler
- What / who is a surpreme God ?
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by odysseus » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:28 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote: - What is local ruler
- What / who is a surpreme God ?
I meant a local ruler is a god somewhere who rules his planet.

A supreme god claims he is the creator of the Universe. That's the reason for the empty throne: There is no creator god sitting on the throne.

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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:51 pm

odysseus wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote: - What is local ruler
- What / who is a surpreme God ?
I meant a local ruler is a god somewhere who rules his planet.

A supreme god claims he is the creator of the Universe. That's the reason for the empty throne: There is no creator god sitting on the throne.
Thanks for your reply.

If i understood it well, then there is no Surpreme God who can claim he is the creator of the Universa, whereas the Hindhus claim Brahma would create this all.

Ok that i can follow easy.

- What is then in your vision /opinion the "cause" of this creation ?
- Do you believe in the big bang theory ?
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by muni » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:20 pm

I am wondering how “Buddha” would teach regarding statues-Images. Isn’t it said the Perfect Buddha Body is not to find in an image? Diamond sutra?

Even the images or statues with the expression, the mudras are inspiring, the meaning of “Buddha” cannot be captured in an image.
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Tiago Simões » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:29 pm

odysseus wrote:I meant a local ruler is a god somewhere who rules his planet.

A supreme god claims he is the creator of the Universe. That's the reason for the empty throne: There is no creator god sitting on the throne.
Actually, the reason the throne appears empty in early buddhist history is the same reason Jesus was also depicted with an empty throne, it was disrespectful in ancient India, and Jewish society to portray a teacher/God in statues/paintings. Hellenistic/Roman culture was the polar opposite.

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Grigoris
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:53 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:They did not brought their philosphy etc. to Punjab, but integrated there in the existing Religion.
Where do you come up with this stuff? The first officially Buddhist king of Bactria was Menander and that was in 155BC, some 100 years after the establishment of the Bactrian empire, originally a Hellenic empire. The conquerors brought their art, music, religion and culture with them when they established themselves. Yes, over time, their culture and religion changed, incorporating Buddhism, "Hinduism" and Zoroastrianism, but to say they did not bring their philosophy etc... is 100% untrue, especially when you look at the Hellenic influences on the art. Most representations of Buddha are based on Hellenic forms, before the Hellenes Buddha was never depicted pictorially or in sculpture.
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kalden yungdrung
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:16 pm

Grigoris wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote:They did not brought their philosphy etc. to Punjab, but integrated there in the existing Religion.
Where do you come up with this stuff? The first officially Buddhist king of Bactria was Menander and that was in 155BC, some 100 years after the establishment of the Bactrian empire, originally a Hellenic empire. The conquerors brought their art, music, religion and culture with them when they established themselves. Yes, over time, their culture and religion changed, incorporating Buddhism, "Hinduism" and Zoroastrianism, but to say they did not bring their philosophy etc... is 100% untrue, especially when you look at the Hellenic influences on the art. Most representations of Buddha are based on Hellenic forms, before the Hellenes Buddha was never depicted pictorially or in sculpture.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I meant mostly conquerors convert the occupied country to their belief, like Muslims and Christians. The Greece did not do that, like you explain, they integrated themselves with Buddhism etc., that was remarkable.

Sure they took their art etc. with them to Bactria and that can be seen in the art of Buddhist statues like that from Bamiyan , which was destroyed partly by the Taliban.

- What do you think did the Greece import the 5th element Aither, from the Buddhist emptiness philosophy?
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Tiago Simões » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:52 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
I meant mostly conquerors convert the occupied country to their belief, like Muslims and Christians. The Greece did not do that, like you explain, they integrated themselves with Buddhism etc., that was remarkable.
The greeks (or most of the Classical world) didn't really have a "religion" like it is thought of today, instead worshiped a loose collection of major and minor local gods, these cultures imported and exported gods like honey. That's why buddhism spread.

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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:47 pm

tiagolps wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote:
I meant mostly conquerors convert the occupied country to their belief, like Muslims and Christians. The Greece did not do that, like you explain, they integrated themselves with Buddhism etc., that was remarkable.
The greeks (or most of the Classical world) didn't really have a "religion" like it is thought of today, instead worshiped a loose collection of major and minor local gods, these cultures imported and exported gods like honey. That's why buddhism spread.
Is worshipping Gods not a religious act ? These Greece Gods had temples , a sign of religion.

Buddhism was spread by the countless discussions /debates the Buddha Shakyamuni won from his opponents .
The king was mostly here the judge, the looser party joined the winning party.
Here the Buddha always won those debates and so Buddhism became great and widespread.

King Millinda embraced the Buddhist faith. Maybe he became an Arhat.
The Greece develloped Buddha statues were spread via the trade routes, and via the monks who understood the Dharma.
So in this way, the Greece contributed in the spreading of Buddhism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milinda_Panha

Since Bactria the Greece in Athens, had instead 4 elements , 5 elements.
Is at the time of Socrates , Buddhist philosophy in Athens known ?
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Tiago Simões
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Tiago Simões » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:56 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:Is worshipping Gods not a religious act ? These Greece Gods had temples , a sign of religion.

Buddhism was spread by the countless discussions /debates the Buddha Shakyamuni won from his opponents .
The king was mostly here the judge, the looser party joined the winning party.
Here the Buddha always won those debates and so Buddhism became great and widespread.
Like I said they had an import/export religion, wherever greek/Roman culture went it took its gods with it, and got some new ones.

For example this is Vajrapani, seems familiar?

Image

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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:02 pm

Greeks didn't have a centralized formal religion like today's Catholicism and EO. But they had some quite well-established cults in Temples, cities, and especially mystery cults, that functioned quite the way formalized religions does today. With doctrines, complex rites, plus the idea of salvation on the after-life etc.
We just cannot know details about them because it was considered sacrilegious to write down about Temple's rites, especially the related to the mysteries! The name "mystery" being self-explanatory!
We have more reliable resources on the Roman counterpart!

I know for example that normally Shiva was associated with Dionysius in Gandharan culture! They brought much of their religion and culture with them!
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

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Malcolm
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:07 pm

Grigoris wrote:but to say they did not bring their philosophy etc... is 100% untrue, especially when you look at the Hellenic influences on the art.
Not to mention Hellenistic influence on Astrology, logic, and so on.
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Tiago Simões
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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Tiago Simões » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:08 pm

Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:Greeks didn't have a centralized formal religion like today's Catholicism and EO. But they had some quite well-established cults in Temples, cities, and especially mystery cults, that functioned quite the way formalized religions does today. With doctrines, complex rites, plus the idea of salvation on the after-life etc.
We just cannot know details about them because it was considered sacrilegious to write down about Temple's rites, especially the related to the mysteries! The name "mystery" being self-explanatory!
We have more reliable resources on the Roman counterpart!

I know for example that normally Shiva was associated with Dionysius in Gandharan culture! They brought much of their religion and culture with them!
For example the Mithraic mysteries.

Image

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Re: Image of Buddha?

Post by Nyedrag Yeshe » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:15 pm

tiagolps wrote:
Nyedrag Yeshe wrote:Greeks didn't have a centralized formal religion like today's Catholicism and EO. But they had some quite well-established cults in Temples, cities, and especially mystery cults, that functioned quite the way formalized religions does today. With doctrines, complex rites, plus the idea of salvation on the after-life etc.
We just cannot know details about them because it was considered sacrilegious to write down about Temple's rites, especially the related to the mysteries! The name "mystery" being self-explanatory!
We have more reliable resources on the Roman counterpart!

I know for example that normally Shiva was associated with Dionysius in Gandharan culture! They brought much of their religion and culture with them!
For example the Mithraic mysteries.
Yes, some of them may have held beliefs on rebirth and metempsychosis like the Orphic Mysteries, and Pythagorean philosophy!
“Whatever has to happen, let it happen!”
“Whatever the situation is, it’s fine!”
“I really don’t need anything!
~Tsangpa Gyare Yeshe Dorje (1161-1211)
ओं पद्मोष्णीष विमले हूँ फट । ओं हनुफशभरहृदय स्वाहा॥
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔ ཀརྨ་པ་མཁྱེན་ནོ།

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