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Questions tagged [art]

Buddhist artistic practices including mandalas, statues and stupas. Buddhist art typically depicts Buddha, Bodhisattvas or other historic or mythic figures. Also includes objects used for ritual such as vajras or bells.

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Are there pictures/paintings of Nirvana?

I´m writing an article about pictures of the afterlifes/havens in different religions. But I wasn´t able to find pictures/paintings/artworks that picture Nirvana on the internet. So my question is: ...
Amelie's user avatar
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13 votes
8 answers
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Buddhist view on Art and being an Artist

I am wondering what is the buddhist view on Art and especially being an Artist? Meaning someone who creates something with an aesthetic quality that may or may not reflect the reality and express ...
Mejzlosh's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
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Theravada Buddhism and Art

In Mahayana Buddhism we can see various artistic expressions: Thangka and Songs of Milarepa in Tibetan Buddhism, Chinese and Japanese art also were influenced heavily by Buddhism. Is there any forms ...
asolodoff's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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Why do Buddhist Stupas have various shapes?

I came across a gallery of Stupas from around the world and it made me wonder why some of them differ in shape considerably. Do they express different aspects of Buddhism or is the source of ...
Rabbit's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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Who is the laughing Buddha?

Given that Gautama Buddha was an ascetic until shortly before his enlightenment and several Dhammapada verses reflect a moderate attitude toward food, such as: Verse 7: He who keeps his mind on ...
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7 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the reasoning for making a buddhist statue out of gold?

The Golden Buddha, officially titled Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon, is the world's largest solid gold statue. What is the justification for such a statue? By justification I mean, what reasons ...
user70's user avatar
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the symbol sometimes depicted on images of the Buddha which looks like a swastika?

I often look up images of the Buddha online to use as desktop backgrounds for pc or phone. I've seen quite a few images that show a symbol that looks like a swastika on the Buddha's chest. What is the ...
Robin111's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
364 views

Hair of the Buddha

How much is known to support, to refute, or to expand upon the following viewpoint? The Buddha shaved his head like all his bhikkhus. Supposed reasons to backup this viewpoint are: There are ...
Anthony's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why did physical representations of the Buddha only start to appear a few centuries after his death?

Prior to around the 1st century CE, Buddhist art tended not to depict the Buddha himself, instead preferring to depict relics/symbols of the Buddha, such as his footprints, or the Bodhi tree. That ...
senshin's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why is an emaciated Buddha rarely represented in art?

Surely The Buddha appeared quite emaciated when he realized full enlightenment. Why is an emaciated Buddha rarely represented in art?
PaPa's user avatar
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4 answers
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What is the meaning of the lotus?

On the altar when entering a Buddhist temple I see the Buddha sitting on a lotus, but frankly I do not understand the symbolic meaning of the lotus image? Everywhere you look in the temple you see ...
iCrazybest's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
24k views

Popular culture portrayal of Buddha statues [duplicate]

I have seen Buddha statues in western pop culture that portray an obese man as the Buddha. During my experience with Buddhism I have seen many more statues of the Buddha as a slim man, usually with ...
Patrick Sebastien's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
2k views

Does Buddhism kill creativity?

My decrease in creativity does most likely not have anything to do with my feeble meditation attempts, because it is natural to have ups and downs, even when it comes to creativity. But still, ...
inzenity's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
387 views

Body feels like crying

After stressful events that I'm unaccustomed to, or after strenuous workout, my body feels as if it wants to cry. I am unable to produce the tears to "cry it out", but my body feels it. This started ...
Rhonda's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
331 views

Should Buddhists use statues with an imagined likeness of the Buddha for veneration?

Should Buddhists use statues with an imagined likeness of the Buddha for veneration? The Buddha discouraged making images in his likeness (Kalinga Bodhi jataka), and has said that the Buddha cannot be ...
Kaveenga Wijayasekara's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Did the Buddha discourage antropomorphic representations of himself?

The first anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha appeared centuries after his death (see this related question). Buddhist art then was "aniconic", insofar as the Buddha was only represented ...
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4 votes
4 answers
583 views

Do artists/entertainers accumulate positive merit when people enjoy their craft?

A painter whose painting hangs in a public museum, a writer that has their works checked out of the library frequently, a singer with melodies that calm the mind, and a comedian that gets people ...
hellyale's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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Why does the Buddha appear androgynous in some depictions?

In quite a few depictions of the Buddha in artwork, he appears androgynous. Does this represent something significant in terms of a Buddhist message or ideal, or is this just an artistic style?
Robin111's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
502 views

What are the karmic consequences of writing horror / fantasy fiction?

Once I heard that Edgar Allan Poe is still being "haunted" by his creation, his Raven, because countless readers all over the world keep feeding energy to it, like a tulpa that never dies. Many ...
Ericson Willians's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
105 views

Ancient Indian sites, where Jataka stories are illustrated through sculpture and painting?

I know that many Jataka stories are illustrated, through sculpture and painting, in ancient Indian sites like Sanchi, Bharhut, Ajanta etc. I have found some of them in various books and websites. What ...
Soumen's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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What is a Mudra and what do they mean?

In Buddhist iconography the figures are illustrated or depicted with various hand gestures. The symbolic hand gestures are called mudras. What is the significance of a Buddhist mudra? What are the ...
DharmaEater's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Buddhist architecture - Stupa/Chorten

Stupa/Chorten, Pagoda, Vihara are places to achieve peace. But I never thought that those places are graves. I found this, Symbolism of the Stupa/Chrten: The perfect proportions of the Buddha’...
Swapnil's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
187 views

Can an art career distract from the Buddhist path?

I have aspired to be an artist since adolescence. I saw a Studio Ghibli movie and wanted to create that same magical feeling in others. However more recently, I think I have may have aspired only to ...
user3299074's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
155 views

What is Buddhism "for" (in favor of)?

Aside from ending suffering, encouraging compassionate action and leading one to nirvanna, is there anything that Buddhism promotes, or says is good? The reason that I ask is because in another ...
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2 votes
1 answer
4k views

Buddhism Thervada Tattoos

I'd watched show Tattoo Hunter of Dr. Lars Krutak on Discovery channel. And he had Buddhist tattoo by Thervada monks. There was an Elephant, Tiger and Crocodile tattoos. And who had those tattoos they ...
Swapnil's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
367 views

Buddha statue of European/white likeness?

Do Buddha statues exist that portray Buddha as a person of white or European likeness? Where would I find them? (Not sure what other than "white" or "European" to call it; you are free to correct me.)...
Madoc's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
120 views

What is spiritual aspect of art in Buddhism?

The Tibetan monks draw elaborate and intricate sand mandalas, as well as very complex thangka paintings. There is calligraphy in Zen Buddhism. I want to ask what is the spiritual aspect of art that ...
The White Cloud's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
112 views

Seeking explanation of this image's iconography

I came across the following image on China's Taobao online shopping site and was hoping someone could explain the content. (the seller could not) The central figure is Shakyamuni Buddha, that much is ...
Drew's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
3 answers
180 views

About the Buddha tasting vinegar

The Vinegar Tasters is a very interesting subject in Chinese art. It depicts Confucius, the Buddha and Laozi tasting vinegar. A common interpretation is the following: Confucius is depicted with a ...
Ergative Man's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
214 views

What is this picture?

Even after referring to several books I simply cannot understand what this picture is depicting. I am not a Buddhist and am hence finding it difficult to decipher. I found it on this page, whose ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the link between calligraphy and Zen?

Often the Zen books I've read such as Zen Mind Beginners Mind are illustrated by calligraphy oftentimes by the author themselves. Also Zen figures such as the hermit and poet Ryokan are also known for ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
42 views

Where are the main collections of digitized Buddhist art online?

I have found the himalayanart.org website, which has the kind of art I am looking for, things like religious paintings, mandalas, etc. Where are the most digitized high-res buddhist art records kept ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 655
2 votes
1 answer
250 views

Rules for creating thangkas?

In this article the author discusses the problems of the commercialization of creating thangkas. Nowadays thangkas are created quickly and sold to tourists in shops in the streets of Lhasa. I was ...
THelper's user avatar
  • 1,479
2 votes
2 answers
816 views

What is the reason for attributing Lord Buddha's statues to days the of week?

Image courtesy of ThaiSmile.jp Visiting Buddhist temples, I often notice several statues of Lord Buddha. As far as I understand, they represent different Boddhisattvas. However, these statues are ...
Be Brave Be Like Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
954 views

What is the significance of Reclining Buddha Statue in Laos compared to other countries in Asia?

Hello regarding the reclining Buddha statue here in this link http://www.buddhastatuesnow.com -- What are the differences between this and other reclining statues in Asia? I have seen several and ...
Edwin's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
230 views

Why is there Hindu gods in this decorated wall in the Vihara of Bhaja

I am a student of art and I am studying on Buddhist art .In the Vihara of Bhaja there is a decorated wall with two important gods of Hindusim, namely Surya and Indra. It refers to the Shunga period. ...
saeed's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
508 views

Examples of early Buddhist art

I was reading that early Buddhist art doesn't actually depict the Buddha. Instead it shows an empty space, a dharma wheel or a footprint where you would expect the Buddha to be shown. It was only ...
Crab Bucket's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
112 views

Is there poetry in Pali, and where can I read it, in translation and in original?

Is there poetry in Pali, and where can I read it, in translation and in original? If so, who are the most important Pali poets, and is anyone still writing in it?
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
196 views

How can fiction writing be best used for achieving enlightenment?

It seems that many fiction writers were very wise, including those, who had little or no access to spiritual teachings (e. g. the Strugatsky brothers). Allegedly, in Japanese culture non-spiritual ...
Glory to Russia's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
133 views

Does depicting Jesus as an Arahant show that Buddhism is inclusive and compassionate?

I came across a book about the 500 Arahants, and it briefly mentioned that Jesus is depicted as an Arahant in a particular temple in China. After spending some time Googling, I found out that it's ...
viptrongproz98's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
97 views

Possible to attain happiness without support, through art?

Is it possible to attain happiness without support, through art, not overt meditation? I'm not really an expert on any art, but take the question (somewhat) seriously.
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1 vote
2 answers
260 views

Pagoda's symbolism of yogi's progress to Nirvana

This page shows each feature of a pagoda symbolizing the steps to Nirvana. In Discourses on Satipatthana Sutta, S. N. Goenka mentions a similar symbolism on how the pagoda relates to the Maha ...
Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
102 views

Buddhist Perspective on Value, Sentiment, Attraction?

Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure describe pleasure based on information. To further elaborate original artwork is worth more than a duplicate, how we get attached or less attached to a person on ...
Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
109 views

what is memesis from a buddhist perspective?

What is the Buddhist view regarding mimesis? Mimesis is imitation of nature. How might a Buddhist explain it? At first glance, mimesis seems to be a stylizing of reality in which the ordinary ...
blue_ego's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
82 views

Need to know more about this art

This was a birthday gift I received a couple of weeks ago. I'm trying to figure out where it came from, what the images mean, and about how old it is. It's at least a hundred years old.
BeePot's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
151 views

Street art interpretation in predominantly Buddhist country

I have wanted to ask someone who is not familiar with a Buddhist culture how they might interpret this street art, which is generating controversy in a predominantly Buddhist country.
Sandah Aung's user avatar