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Buddha and Symbolism

Buddha And Symbolism

All of South East Asia celebrates King Shuddodana’s son The Enlightened one or the Buddha. In fact the term ‘Buddha’ is now synonymous with spirituality. The Great Sage and savior of humanity left behind more for man to comprehend after his Nirvana, than mere enshrined relics. Today, the name of Gautama Buddha spearheads a whole line of symbolism. It is believed that having images, statues or any kind of impression or symbol associated with the Great Sage actually shields the person from all harm and ill-fate. The symbols, including statues, both indoors and outdoors, are believed to infuse the family with renewed faith in providence and influences potential minds to take to religious/spiritual life. Images of a prince who spent a very secluded life, surrounded by only beauty, add to the aesthetics of the home or office. Today the Great One is a symbol of peace, love, hope and good luck.

Who was Buddha?

One of Ancient India’s luminous kings, King Shuddodana ha the privilege of fathering The Enlightened One. Prince Siddhartha, his actual name, grew up as a strong, handsome youth, well-trained in warfare and fine arts. At the age of 16 he married the beautiful princess Yashodhara. However, unable to satiate the inner thirst for the redemption of the inevitable consequences of ‘being’ – birth, physical and mental ailments, old age, and death, Buddha embarked upon a self-ordained path. As time passed, and filled with pain at the sights of an old man, the critically ill and the funeral pyre, he meditated on the Truth of Life. The sage’s renunciation of all the pleasures of the flesh gave him the most peaceful look that is still captured by artists on images, sculptures, paintings and jewelry, in essence.

The impressions of the enlightened soul that have stayed on with us and are captured in our enwfound sense of aesthetics include:

• Giving up on the fine things in life – wife, newborn son Rahul, thick locks of hair and rich clothing.
• Practice of self-mortification and severe austerities.
• Sitting in peaceful meditation and incessant sharing of knowledge.
• Attaining the state of the Buddha which means ‘The Enlightened One’ or ‘He who is Awake’.

Buddha and Symbolism

There are a number of arts and crafts designed around the buddha statue. A tour of India and other regions across South East Asia unravels the mystique and symbolism associated with the Great Soul. There are vast collections of statues, sculptures and figurines that mark various phases of the Life of The Enlightened One. Art work and exhibits reflecting the cultural heritage that has emerged out of Buddhist symbolism is popular even across Europe and other Western nations today. The art form is seen among exhibits of Chinese deities and Thai art and culture.

Buddhist art, like the Great Sage, is timeless in appeal and distinct in aesthetic genre. The characteristics, postures and variations are seen as a source of knowledge. This exclusive art form continues to thrive across geographical boundaries for the universal appeal in his teachings and potential in his Eight Fold Path.

Today, buddha is more than just the name of a Great Sage. It is a term synonymous with symbolism and good-will. Art arising out of the life of the Enlightened One is a thriving home décor appeal factor.

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