Zen decoration - The art in Buddhism and Hinduism

The visual arts were extremely important for the dissemination and understanding of Buddhism and Hinduism over the centuries. Through artistic representations in paintings and sculptures enriched with iconographies and sacred symbols, they expressed stories, concepts and purposes for which the figure is intended - be it a Buddha with a certain posture or the personification of a Hindu deity .

The development of a Zen art requires from the craftsman not only a deep knowledge of the history and role played by the deity or the purpose of the symbol, but the assimilation of the intention in each carving and brushstroke, honoring its energy.

Buddhist art is rich in iconographies that act as metaphors for the enlightenment process.

The image of Buddha at the origin of Buddhist art was considered divine, therefore, it was aniconic, without graphic illustration, or manifested in a symbolic way through elements of the Buddhist teachings such as the wheel of dharma ( dhamacakra or wheel of the law), the Bodhi tree , the lotus flower , the footprint of the Buddha ( buddhapada ) and the fu lions .

The sculptures as we know them today, which share Buddha's teachings according to the countenance, the posture and the chanted gesture, were elaborated from the second century AD, whose incorporation of human traits (anthropomorphy) in the figurative representation occurred in reference to the legends and the trajectory by Siddhartha Gautama .

Over time, Buddhist sculptures were perfected and influenced by Greek art, developing a Greco-Buddhist syncretism, so that the work of art reflected, with richness of detail and delicacy, the subtlety and spiritual peace of Buddha . The expansion of Buddhism in the world provided the fusion with other artistic influences and the consequent differentiation of representation in each culture where art acts as a metaphor for its path of enlightenment.

Buddhas with human features appeared in the 16th century. I in reference to Siddhartha Gautama.

Hindu art also brings together a series of icons in the representation of their deities , whose manifested action and the elements that make up the image outline a set of narratives that explore the personality, potential energy and legends attributed to Hindu gods . Deity traits emphasize their divine characteristics of omnipresence and omnipotence.

Hindu sculptures not only convey content from the Vedas and Upanishads , but explore through microcosmic symbolism, always corresponding to the macrocosm, the pursuit of four principles: Kama (pleasure and sex), dharma (ethical life and virtues), artha (wealth and prosperity ) and moksha (liberation and self-knowledge).

The deities of the Hindu pantheon are the manifestations of Brahma, the universal spirit.

The decorative arts are based on the universal principle, Brahma , the supreme entity manifested in different forms so that people can find and access it according to their needs and beliefs. However, religion is considered henotheistic, with the belief in a god accepting the existence of others.

The most important Hindu deities of the pantheon appear in art as Shiva (the destructive force to bring rebirth), Vishnu (the preservation of the universe), Brahma (the creation), Ganesha (the protection) and Dewi or Durga (the warrior, the form active).

The divine representation with human traits shows the essence: the divine is in us.

Both Buddhism and Hinduism embrace the concept that divine power is within each and that to access it one must commit to spirituality . This perception is so present that the deities are constituted with human characteristics, even if more developed, such as the multiplicity of arms and heads, for example, to reinforce their superhuman powers.

Through decorative art, the memories of these cultures rich in symbolism remained present with the development of societies and were transmitted throughout the centuries to the entire world. Mandalas , masks , water fountains and sculptures have been given a new meaning in the interior decoration so that we know how to access the energies and create a Zen space in our own temple, which is our home.

Find in our virtual store refuge and a source of inspiration to help you decorate interiors with purpose!


Milene Sousa - Art & Tune

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