Identify this Buddha
October 6, 2009 8:44 PM   Subscribe

BuddhaFilter: Where is this, who made it, and how big is it?
posted by Joe Beese to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
 
From here: A Big Lord Buddha Statue, outside a Hotel on Esan, Japan.
posted by tellurian at 8:56 PM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


More.
posted by tellurian at 8:58 PM on October 6, 2009


Technically it's a Reclining Buddha, a specific depiction of Buddha that represents this story:

"The giant Asurindarahu wanted to see the Buddha, but was reluctant to bow before him. The Buddha, while lying down, presented himself as much larger than the giant (this is why Reclining Buddha statues are so big). He then showed him the realm of heaven with heavenly figures all larger than the giant. After all this, Asurindarahu, the giant, was humbled, and made his obedience to the Buddha before leaving."
posted by sharkfu at 9:00 PM on October 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's another contemporary example of gigantic Buddhist kitsch.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:39 PM on October 6, 2009


@sharkfu: Isnt the reclining Buddha a depiction of him dying?
posted by the cuban at 3:30 AM on October 7, 2009


This one in Bangkok comes to mind.
posted by ptm at 6:31 AM on October 7, 2009


Isnt the reclining Buddha a depiction of him dying?
That's how I understood it too - it's is parinirvana I thought.
posted by Abiezer at 6:56 AM on October 7, 2009


the cuban: "@sharkfu: Isnt the reclining Buddha a depiction of him dying?"

I'm not an expert, but I believe the key is the position of the right arm. If it's fully supporting the head of the Buddha, the statue represents Buddha resting. If the right arm is lying next to the body, then it means Buddha has passed away and entered Nirvana.
posted by sharkfu at 7:48 AM on October 7, 2009


This is pretty definitive on the question of what it represents.
The statue represents Shakyamuni Buddha — the historical Buddha — at his death at 80. It is said that when the Buddha knew the end was near, he asked his disciples to prepare a couch for him in a grove, then reclined on his right side, facing west, with his head propped on his hand.

On the last day of his life, instead of just turning ashen, he kept teaching. So, despite their decadent aura, the statues embody — as it turns out — the devotion to duty that the Buddha displayed at the last gasp.
posted by desjardins at 7:49 AM on October 7, 2009


sharkfu: OK, it could be the difference between "preparing to die" and "already dead," but I cannot recall an image of the buddha with the right hand lying next to the body.
posted by desjardins at 7:54 AM on October 7, 2009


@desjardins: Here's what I understand to be reclining buddha (arm up, eyes slightly open) and here's what I understand to be Buddha entering Nirvana (arm down, eyes closed).

Again, I'm certainly not a Buddhism (or art history) scholar, so I'll gladly be corrected.
posted by sharkfu at 8:08 AM on October 7, 2009


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