oldest, dateable depiction of the Buddha in human form

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Queequeg
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Re: oldest, dateable depiction of the Buddha in human form

Post by Queequeg » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:32 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:29 am
Actually I did an interesting assignment on the origin of the Buddha image. It is often said that the reason the Buddha wasn’t at first depicted in human form was suggestive of his transcendent or elusive nature. However Sue Huntington (I think it was) said that many of the early, ‘aniconic’ depictions of devotees bowing to an empty seat, were actually depictions of visits to places of pilgrimage and sites that were associated with the Buddha. Coomaraswamy also said that it took generations for the traditional producers of iconic forms to work out how to depict the Buddha, as there was no existing pattern, for obvious reasons.
I don't think Huntington's thesis is widely shared.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Wayfarer
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Re: oldest, dateable depiction of the Buddha in human form

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:10 pm

Perhaps not, but I found it persuasive. Copy here for those interested.

Actually one of the points I noted in my assignment on this topic, was the irony of there being controversy about something that doesn't appear (namely, the image of the Buddha in the early iconography.) A debate about 'the significance of the absence of something' is just so utterly Buddhist. :smile:
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Queequeg
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Re: oldest, dateable depiction of the Buddha in human form

Post by Queequeg » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:57 am

Well, Huntington might have something. She might also be overstating her case.

https://books.google.com/books?id=Lb6fAAAAMAAJ&dq

Pretty strong argument against Huntington.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Wayfarer
Former staff member
Posts: 4841
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: oldest, dateable depiction of the Buddha in human form

Post by Wayfarer » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:35 am

Interesting, thanks, will read.
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

Malcolm
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Re: oldest, dateable depiction of the Buddha in human form

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:06 am

Grigoris wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:36 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:26 pm
As above, the dominant culture of Bactria, etc., was Persian.
Maybe, but you haven't really provided any evidence.

The ruling strata though, were definitely Hellenistic.
Read a history devoted specifically to Central Asia.

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