Buddha figure

Buddha figure

I think the reason why Buddhist did not encourage the Buddha figure has got nothing to do with the Buddha is so holy and divine that human beings should not or dare not come their own limited idea of the Buddha’s figure. I don’t think it is because of that. Because ultimately, especially in the Mahayana Buddhism, if you read Diamond Sutra, popularly known as the Diamond Sutra, Vajracchedikā Sutra, Buddha clearly stated how the form of the Buddha is non existent. And not only the form, even the teaching he even asked his disciple, have I, has the Buddha taught? And when the disciple said, no, the Buddha never taught, then Buddha himself praised the student saying: That’s the right answer, this is it. Buddha never taught. So ultimately nonduality, the wisdom of nonduality is utmost important. And to express that nonduality cannot be expressed, cannot be represented, cannot be symbolized, I think in the early part especially the figure of the Buddha was not so much encouraged. But as the time goes by, of course the human mind is becoming more busy, beginning to rely more and more on symbols, then of course there is a lot of Buddhist figures, Bodhisattva figures. But I would still say they are symbolic and they are representing the Buddha’s figure, not really reproducing so to speak, they are representing the Buddha’s figure, but not really reproducing the Buddha’s figure.

Projecting the Dharma, Yale 2008

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