Buddhas & Statues
The path of enlightenment
As we search for happiness, it would appear that we externalise our objective and seem to find happiness in a new car or new love, perhaps it is a promotion at work or a holiday we have always dreamed of. The problem would appear that it is this externalisation and chasing of our desires to find fulfillment that is perhaps the cause of our unhappiness in the first place. Unfortunately almost any happiness found in this manner is short lived, due to the craving and striving, which upon attainment of our inner most wish, simply find another desire that we must have. Perhaps this just shows we need to find a true method for gaining happiness.
There are many stories depicting the Buddha and his teachings, but it seems that chronological data is difficult to come by. The man born Siddhartha Guatama was a sage and later became known as Buddha. It is believed that the most general outline of his life, birth, maturity, renunciation, search, awakening and liberation, teaching and death are accepted as true, however there doesn't seem to be any specific dates of his birth or death. A little like the Christian faith, the stories and following religion were taught orally and were not written down till around 400 years or so after his death. The Buddha was seen to be a man, but according to belief was a perfect man and one that sat higher than both people and gods as the gods were still prone to anger, avarice and other so called sins, whereas Buddha had reached a place of enlightenment and was above such things.
As a symbol in the modern age Buddha represents our higher selves, the ascended being within. We may pray to Buddha, or perhaps surround ourselves with his image in the hopes that some of his wisdom may be imparted or perhaps as a reminder to be a better human being. Seeing his likeness may be enough to give us patience, courage, wisdom, compassion or even a profound sense of possibility in ourselves and others. No matter what you believe there are many ways to enlightenment. Perhaps the first step is simply to listen to yourself and just maybe Buddha can help you to find your inner voice. Just remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (proverb by the Chinese philosopher Laozi).
Some of Buddha's famous teachings
- You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger
- Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared
- The mind is everything. What you think you become
- To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others
- Three things can not hide for long: the Moon, the Sun and the Truth
- If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone. There is no companionship with the immature
- Look within, thou art the Buddha
- If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good
- Pain is certain, suffering is optional
- As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life
- People with opinions just go around bothering one another
- Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most
- Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else
- Every human being is the author of his own health or disease
The different depictions of Buddha
Commonly seen styles of Buddha in statues and paintings include the reclining Buddha, the seated buddha and the standing Buddha. There are also the emaciated Buddha and the fat laughing Buddha, which is thought to be a depiction of a chinese monk, but even so, it still possesses the intrinsic wisdom of the Buddha and his teachings. There are also some common traits that are depicted in Buddha statues, like the long ear lobes denoting superb perception and the protuberance on the top of his head denoting superb mental acuity.
Hand gestures or mudras commonly used
- The mudra of 'discussion' is the hand gesture of discussion and transmission of Buddhist teaching. It is done by joining the tips of the thumb and the index together, and keeping the other fingers straight
- The mudra of 'wisdom' is done by touching the tips of the thumb and the index together, forming a circle, and the hand is held with the palm inward toward the heart
- The 'earth witness' mudra of Gautama Buddha is one of the most common iconic images of Buddhism. It depicts the Buddha sitting in meditation with his left hand, palm upright, in his lap, and his right hand touching the earth
- The Karana mudrā is the mudra which expels demons and removes obstacles such as sickness or negative thoughts. It is made by raising the index and the little finger, and folding the other fingers
- The 'gesture of fearlessness' represents protection, peace, benevolence and the dispelling of fear. In Theravada Buddhism, it is usually made with the right hand raised to shoulder height, the arm bent and the palm facing outward with the fingers upright and joined and the left hand hanging down
- The 'meditation mudra' is the gesture of meditation. The two hands are placed on the lap, right hand on left with fingers fully stretched, palms facing upwards; in this manner, the hands and fingers form the shape of a triangle
- The 'generosity gesture' signifies offering, welcome, charity, giving, compassion and sincerity. It is nearly always shown made with the left hand. It can be made with the arm crooked and the palm offered slightly turned up or in the case of the arm facing down the palm presented with the fingers upright or slightly bent
If you would like a particular style of Buddha and you cannot find it, let us know and we will do our best to source it for you. There are many different wood finishes along with resin and other materials to choose from.
Beautifully carved and finished statues
We source a large range of wooden statues and cater for most things. From animals to angels and depictions of love and affection, these hand crafted designs will make a wonderful addition to your home. They come in various sizes and stains and if you cannot find what you are looking for then we do everything we can to source it for you through our vast network of importers and suppliers.