Author Topic: Buddha Statue  (Read 4806 times)

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Offline JustinianPrima

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Buddha Statue
« on: June 21, 2008, 02:04:05 AM »
Hi I have a question. Perhaps someone may point me in the general direction on the forum if this was already discussed. And if it was, please forgive me for repeating:

But I've noticed on a few Buddha Statues, that the Buddha is holding his right hand in a fashion freakishly close to that of the Sign of the Cross. Does this have any significance?


« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 02:18:19 AM by JustinianPrima »
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Offline Αριστοκλής

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2008, 04:05:43 AM »
Yes, it does, but not as you think. Seems later Buddhist art was greatly affected by Hellenistic influences from Alexander's conquests in Bactria and northern India, and later, Christian art which followed.
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2008, 09:44:22 AM »
Hi I have a question. Perhaps someone may point me in the general direction on the forum if this was already discussed. And if it was, please forgive me for repeating:

But I've noticed on a few Buddha Statues, that the Buddha is holding his right hand in a fashion freakishly close to that of the Sign of the Cross. Does this have any significance?

Yes, the hand gestures have significance, but it is not related to Christianity and predates it historically.  There are a variety of mudras that is positions of the hands and fingers that have meaning in Buddhism and Hinduism.  The word means "seal" or "sign" and is from Sanskrit.

I am not Buddhist, nor an expert on the finer points of the mudra  but the right hand looks to me to be a variation on the "Teaching" or "Exposition" mudra and this is supported by the eyes being open.  The mudra in Sanskrit is Dharmachakra Mudra, translated as "Teaching Mudra; Turning the Wheel of Law Mudra" Tenbourin-in in Japanese.  The Vyakhyana Mudra; "the Exposition of the Dharma Mudra" is Setsubou-in or Seppou-in

Here is a page on mudras relating to Japanese sculpture:
http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/mudra-japan.shtml

Ebor
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Offline Keble

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2008, 10:53:04 AM »
It's not clear exactly which mudra we're seeing here, as it appears to be an atypical form. Besides the dharmachakra, it might also be the vitarka or (less probably) the karana. I'd say the statue is modern and perhaps Taiwanese, so we're getting to the point where talking about Hellenistic influences are a little beside the point.

But one can find examples:

And why? Because these came from 1st-2nd century Gandhara, which is where Alexander's attempt on India washed up! Some of the stuff from this area and period is hard on my brain, because you can almost see the Asian and Hellenistic influences fighting for position in the figures.

Some people want to claim that this influence goes as far as East as (for instance) the colossal Amida buddha of Kamakura. This strikes me as a huge stretch, as the only even vaguely Hellenistic influences I see in the latter are that it is fairly realistic and that it has the characteristic fine folding of the fabric. The posture of the meditating Amida is about as rigidly non-Hellenistic as one can get. And of course, when you start down this road you get the people who claim that Christianity is influenced by Mahayana Buddhism.


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« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 10:54:11 AM by Keble »

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2008, 01:12:13 PM »
Christian mudras. Show these mudras to a Tibetan Buddhist, and see what he/she says. :angel:

« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 01:13:10 PM by Jetavan »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2008, 01:13:04 PM »
But I've noticed on a few Buddha Statues, that the Buddha is holding his right hand in a fashion freakishly close to that of the Sign of the Cross. Does this have any significance?
The hand position in the Orthodox form of blessing is:
Index finger extended:......................(Greek Letter "I")
Second finger slighly bent:................ (Greek Letter "C")
Thumb crossing the bent third finger:.. (Greek Letter "X")
Ring finger slightly bent:....................(Greek Letter "C")

"ICXC" is the abbreviation for "IECOYC XPICTOC" ("Jesus Christ")
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Offline JustinianPrima

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2008, 01:25:15 PM »
The hand position in the Orthodox form of blessing is:
Index finger extended:......................(Greek Letter "I")
Second finger slighly bent:................ (Greek Letter "C")
Thumb crossing the bent third finger:.. (Greek Letter "X")
Ring finger slightly bent:....................(Greek Letter "C")

"ICXC" is the abbreviation for "IECOYC XPICTOC" ("Jesus Christ")

Yes, I did notice the difference after a closer look. Thanks!
I didn't mean to excite the Buddhists :)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 01:27:05 PM by JustinianPrima »
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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2008, 02:32:18 PM »
I believe there was some comparison to the hand postures at http://ecumenicalbuddhism.blogspot.com if I remember correctly.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2008, 05:53:33 PM »
Christian mudras. Show these mudras to a Tibetan Buddhist, and see what he/she says. :angel:
Okay, smarty pants! :-*
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2008, 11:16:24 AM »
Yes, I did notice the difference after a closer look. Thanks!
I didn't mean to excite the Buddhists :)

No excited Buddhists here. Just historical, relgious and art information provided at the drop of a post.  ;)

I am curious as to where the statue is located.

Ebor
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Offline JustinianPrima

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2008, 08:38:47 PM »

Quote
I am curious as to where the statue is located.




I have no idea actually. I was watching 'The Last Sumurai' yesterday and noticed a similar statue in the movie and was intrigued. Then I did a quick yahoo image search and found this.
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2008, 08:44:37 PM »
That movie was filmed in New Zealand, Japan and California and the statue you posted definitely read to me as being Japanese/Chinese in style, though I repeat that I am not an expert.  But I can see the difference between say, Indian and Japanese art for example.  :)  Do you recall what scenes you saw the statue in the movie?  I'm interested in checking it.

Ebor
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Offline JustinianPrima

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Re: Buddha Statue
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2008, 08:58:26 PM »
That movie was filmed in New Zealand, Japan and California and the statue you posted definitely read to me as being Japanese/Chinese in style, though I repeat that I am not an expert.  But I can see the difference between say, Indian and Japanese art for example.  :)  Do you recall what scenes you saw the statue in the movie?  I'm interested in checking it.

Ebor

It was about the middle of the movie while "Nathan Algren" was being held captive by the Samurai. There was a monologue or soliloquy by Algren in his memoirs regarding the 'dicipline and spirituality' of the Samurai.
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