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I understand in Thailand they can confiscate Buddha statues in the customs unless you have a special permit that takes days to be processed and a lot of paperwork.

It is clear that from a "wordly point of view" it is not a good idea to buy and take it away without permission but from a Buddhist point of view: Is there anything wrong with it? Of course I'm talking about a person that will use the statue to worship and will not treat it with disrespect. (Not an antique of course, just a regular statue)

  • AFAIK, that law is in regards to antiques only, and has less to do with Buddhism than with preserving cultural icons (from theft, etc.). – yuttadhammo Mar 29 '15 at 16:24
  • Bhante, that's what I thought too, but reading the law they say any statue larger than 12cm, old or new... I would love to bring one with me to treat with all respect, but I don't want to offend anyone (?) – konrad01 Mar 29 '15 at 16:37
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I think this is because many foreigners buy them to decorate their bathrooms. That has made life difficult for even the genuine foreign Buddhists. But they probably wouldn't stop a monk from taking a statue abroad unless it has antique significance.

  • Right. But is it wrong from a Buddhist's point of view to bring one home? – konrad01 Mar 29 '15 at 16:51
  • Not if you are bringing it for veneration. – Sankha Kulathantille Mar 29 '15 at 16:52
  • Why do you need statues for veneration? The Buddha discouraged making images in his likeness (Ananda Bodhi jataka), and has said that the Buddha cannot be likened to a statue (aprati samo). Venerate the dhamma within you, recollect your generosity, virtue, compassion, dhamma knowledge and wisdom. Practice and develop the satipattana. Let the statues made of corruptible wood and baked clay and trinkets be. – Kaveenga Wijayasekara Mar 30 '15 at 18:40
  • Read about the "Uddesika Cetiya". Your comment is better served as a question. – Sankha Kulathantille Mar 30 '15 at 18:55
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Buddhist's point of view will not care about this type of behavior. At the core Buddhist want you to enlighten yourself through meditation and thought excise and it will tell you not to do bad things that harm others. Bringing a piece stone home does not harm anyone and will likely to remind you to meditate, its a good thing in the eye of the Buddha.

  • ... unless it becomes seen as necessary for meditation or causative of it, because it is, in itself, an empty thing. – Dan Sheppard Mar 31 '15 at 22:17
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Yes it's wrong. Throw away your statues and burn your dharma books.

  • Sorry this doesn't look like a serious answer so I'm deleting – Crab Bucket May 30 '15 at 18:09
  • We've put together some tips and advice for new users here - meta.buddhism.stackexchange.com/questions/1502/… which you may find useful. I appreciate your answer was probably just tongue in cheek to make a point but unfortunately it reads as being unhelpful hence the deletion. – Crab Bucket May 30 '15 at 18:42
  • It's been pointed out by other users that I might have been unfair here by deleting this. So I have undeleted and opened up a discussion thread on the meta site - meta.buddhism.stackexchange.com/q/1561/157 which you would be very welcome to join in on. Previously we haven't welcomed this style of answers but I think it's right to revisit the issue and to discuss further – Crab Bucket May 30 '15 at 21:19
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    Kaveenga got at the intent behind my post with this comment from above: Why do you need statues for veneration? The Buddha discouraged making images in his likeness (Ananda Bodhi jataka), and has said that the Buddha cannot be likened to a statue (aprati samo). Venerate the dhamma within you, recollect your generosity, virtue, compassion, dhamma knowledge and wisdom. Practice and develop the satipattana. Let the statues made of corruptible wood and baked clay and trinkets be. – todji Jun 7 '15 at 18:23

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