Iconographies and meanings of Buddha images

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We have already mentioned the spiritual essence of Buddhist art as well as demonstrated the importance of its role as decorative art for the dissemination and assimilation of the teachings of Buddhism . In the same way, we explored the differences of mudras in Buddha sculptures and how they can convey different messages according to hand gestures .

However, all this content that we make available to demonstrate the value of Zen art is still very small compared to the richness of spiritual symbolism and the complex iconography of Buddha images that vary in Buddhist history according to the aspect of philosophy, local culture, reading of the artist and the purpose of Buddhist art - devotional, ritualistic or decorative .

The iconography that forms the image of Buddha varies according to the branch of Buddhism.

the artistic representation with human features, which evoke a sense of its presence in the world, it is a later figurative art in Buddhism , figuring in the 2nd century AD. Previously, presence was contemplative and associated with visual symbols or arts with symbolic functions that demonstrate representational systems and spiritual concepts.

Once in physical form, Buddha offers the opportunity to meditate on his story on the way to Nirvana and the teachings of his divine wisdom achieved with enlightenment . Asanas and mudras offer accessible understandings, yet the full depth of Buddha carving lies in the 32 Lakshanas or bodily attributes that evince aspects of his spiritual character as he stages his enlightenment.

The Buddha image with human features evokes his presence in the world.

The most prominent Lakshanas in the arts of Buddhist temples are: the wheel of law or wheel of dharma ( dharmachakra ) underfoot symbolizing the Buddha's 8 Noble Paths (right thought, action, understanding, speech, way of life, mindfulness, right effort and concentration); curly hair referencing high intelligence; the bindu at the height of the frontal chakra (third eye) evidencing spiritual perception and visualization of the absolute; and the protrusion ( ushnisha ) that represents the conquest of the wisdom that accesses enlightenment .

The lotus flower is also present in Buddha's iconography to demonstrate purity and spiritual growth; as well as the mudras with their specific orientations and the asanas ( yoga postures) standing or sitting in meditation showing the moments of their history. Another relevant attribute displayed on the Buddha's head are the elongated lobes , used to demonstrate his material detachment (to the excess of jewels that weighed down his ears) and his abnegation to the old monarchical life.

Curly hair, bindu , ushnisha and the elongated earlobe enrich Buddha's iconography.

The image of Hotei , popularly known as the Fat Buddha (or Smiling Buddha and Budai), is mistakenly associated with the historical Buddha Siddhartha Gautama . However, even though it presents some of its symbolic traits and its buddhic wisdom , the presence of the protruding belly symbolizing satisfaction, abundance and benevolence represents one of the seven Japanese gods of luck ( Shichi Fukujin) .

In Chinese Buddhism , Hotei is one of many manifestations of Maitreya , the Buddha of the future , illustrated as a usually smiling bald Buddhist monk - personifying the virtue of happiness - who is considered the 5th Buddha in Buddhist eschatology, who will come into the world to succeed Gautama Buddha .

The fat Buddha is considered one of the manifestations of Maitreya , the Buddha of the future.

Although figurative statues do not fully reveal the importance of colors in Buddhist iconography , they are very significant in Buddha images and best known when manifested in the figures of Amitabha (red), Sangye Menla or Medicine Buddha (blue), Maitreya ( green) and Shakyamuni Buddha (yellow).

The colors white, yellow tones (or oranges), red tones (or pinks), black (or blue tones) represent the four activities of tantric practices intertwined with the nature of the Buddhas : peaceful, growing, powerful and wrathful. Green suggests carrying out all the practices that arise from the combination of the four colors and four activities. The color of the Buddha is extremely important in understanding its essence and purpose.

The colors of iconography are important for understanding the nature of the Buddha.

Western artistic styles were also major influencers of changes in Buddha sculptures over the centuries, such as Greek, for example, in the representation of the monastic robe with trim and Greek toga aesthetics. And despite so many aesthetic transformations, the soul of Buddhist art remains unchanged to help harmonize the environment and find balance and well-being.

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Milene Sousa - Art & Tune

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Evelina Belyrami
Evelina Belyrami

Achei muito interessante,pois muitas pessoas não sabem destes significados.

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