Masterpiece Shakyamuni Buddha with Arhats, Garuda & Naga Kanyas

This is an absolutely beautiful rendition of Shakayamuni Buddha encompassed by an exquisitely carved torana (archway). The amount of detail for such a small piece is just absolutely staggering!  A true work of art!”
Brenda, Dharma Sculpture

Siddhartha Gautama was the son of Shakya King Buddhadana and Green Mahadevi. He was also called Buddha Shakyamuni or The Lion of the Shakya Clan. In the very center of this statue Buddha Shakyamuni is seen meditating in the “earth touching gesture” on an elaborate detailed carved lotus throne with a vajra carving. Below the vajra carving is a Naga (serpent). Nagas are the underworld guardians of treasures and concealed teachings. Shakyamuni is flanked by two of his chief disciples (arhats) namely Sariputra to his right and Maudgalyayana (also known as Moggallana) to his left representing the past and future Buddha.  His face is serene and a peaceful aura surrounds him. His left hand is on his lap holding an alms bowl.

Lord Buddha is seated in front of a torana or archway. Toranas are extremely common in Nepali Newari art.  As the ‘six-ornament’ enlightenment throne of the Buddha, its upper arch is decorated with mythological creatures, Garuda at its top and a pair of symmetrical Naga Kanyas and Makaras below. On its sides are a pair of young gods or devas, two hybrid antelopes or sharabha, two lions and two elephants.

As mentioned above, directly above Lord Buddha is an image of Garuda, the devourer of snakes. Garuda has a human upper body, large eyes, a beak, horns and hair that stands on end as well as bird’s claws and wings. Garuda is regarded as the deity that can cure snakebites, epilepsy and disease caused by Nagas. Garuda symbolizes the space element  and the power of the sun, which can dry up the waters. Therefore Garuda is the natural enemy of snakes , which he devours or controls. It is said that Garuda can detect a snake at a distance, swooping down from the sky to seize and devour it. In a similar manner, Garuda, just like the mind’s spiritual energy, can detect the arising of a snake-like delusion and can eliminate it instantly without any obstruction.

To Garuda’s right and left are Naga Kanyas, (Snake  Women). These engaging figures have a human torso and the body of a snake. The Nagas are serpents who in south and southeast Asian mythology are considered to be rain givers and guardians of the water and the riches of the deep. Naga Kanyas are the daughters of the Nagas. They are the goddesses of the three realms and pour their blessings of water on the worlds of the spirits, animals and humans. Though originally Hindu gods the figures of the Naga Kanyas were appropriated by Vajrayana Buddhism, images of Naga Kanyas appear in Tibetan, Nepalese and other tantric Buddhist art.

Below each of the Naga Kanya’s are Makaras, according to Buddhist tradition, these hybrids originated during the time immediately after the Buddha’s awakening when all hatred vanished from the world. During that time, animals that had been foe and prey mated with each other and produced such offspring as Makaras. Makaras have the lower jaw of a crocodile, the snout or trunk of an elephant, the tusks and ears of a wild boar, the darting eyes of a monkey, the scales and flexible body of a fish, and the swirling tail feathers of a peacock. They are the guardians of the toranas (gateways) and are a symbol of tenacious strength!

This sculpture is a one of a kind statue, handcrafted by the very talented artists of the beautiful Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal!
http://www.dharmasculpture.com/category/new-arrivals.html

Protection Gesture Standing Buddha

Lord Buddha’s hand is held up in abhaya mudra also known as the gesture of protection. The ushnisha, protuberance above his head also referred to as a topknot, symbolizes His wisdom and openness as an enlightened being. The Buddha is always depicted with elongated earlobes, a vestige of his life as a prince, when he wore extravagant jewelry.

This wood sculpture is a one of a kind statue, hand carved by the very talented artists of the beautiful country Cambodia.
http://www.dharmasculpture.com/category/new-arrivals.html

 

Saffron Meditating Cambodian Buddha Statue

This beautiful saffron speckled color Cambodian Buddha statue was recently carved from an antique piece of wood. Lord Buddha has a wonderful serene expression and a faint smile. He is depicted in dhyana mudra which is the mudra of meditation. It is also called samadhi or yoga mudra. This wood sculpture is a one of a kind statue, hand carved by the very talented artists of the beautiful country of Cambodia.
http://www.dharmasculpture.com/category/new-arrivals.html

Buddhist Pilgrimage: Lumbini, Excerpt

After another day of visiting Lumbini we returned to our hotel. This part of this blog entry is not related to the Buddhist Pilgrimage but my dear friend Sanam, he is a calm and gentle sage who is wise beyond his years and actually signed up to go on this journey with me.

When we arrived in Lumbini, a few days ago, we found this sweet but sick little puppy. He was all alone, had mange, was cold and had no food. Sanam made him a little brick house with straw and newspaper. We then got some warm milk and bread and cared for him daily. This evening the puppy was no longer eating. At first he seemed to be doing better but sadly he did not make it.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Sanam cut his head scarf and wrapped part of it around the little puppy to keep him warm. He also made a small sign written in both English and Nepalese that read “feed me I’m a puppy and I’m homeless”. There are guesthouses all around so he did this in the hopes that others would care for him after we left.

It made me so very sad to say the least. Sanam said, “at least his departure will be a comfortable one”, and it was. He was warm, cared for and loved.

For free information regarding Buddhist Pilgrimage Tours and Nepal Trekking Tours please contact Sanam directly at: [email protected] | +9779849550120 or visit www.nepaladventureteam.com

Buddhist Pilgrimage: Lumbini, Birthplace of Lord Buddha

Images from left to right: 1) The grand and moated Sri Lankan Monastery contains statues and elaborate, colorful murals depicting the life of Buddha. 2) The Royal Thai Monastery was constructed in gleaming white marble and is designed in Thai style architecture. 3) A shrine inside the Myanmar Golden Monastery, a beautiful golden monastery that takes one on a journey to Myanmar. It stands as a symbol of peace and prosperity. 4) Wall mural of Buddha in dharmachakra mudra with disciples in the Mahabodhi Society Temple India, also located in the Lumbini Monastic Zone. 5) Lotus Flower Ceiling Mural, Mahabodhi Society Temple India, Lumbini Monastic Zone 6) World Peace Pagoda 7) Maya Devi Temple 8) Gate 5 Entrance, Lumbini Monastic Zone 9) Maya Devi Temple

Today we embarked on our Buddhist circuit tour from Kathmandu, Nepal. Our first stop is Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, which is said to be the foundation of world peace. Lumbini is located in the western Terai region of Nepal and it is a significant site for all Buddhists and peace lovers throughout the world. Our journey began by bus in Kathmandu at dawn. The bus ride from Kathmandu to Lumbini was quite comfortable although it was 8 hours long!! From early morning to early evening, pilgrims from various countries perform chanting and meditation throughout this expansive area.

The actual holy site of Lumbini is bordered by a large monastic zone in which only monasteries can be built. There are no shops or restaurants and only one hotel. The area is separated into an eastern and western monastic zone, the eastern having the Theravada monasteries and the western the Mahayana and Vajrayana monasteries. There is a long water filled canal which separates the western and eastern zones with a series of brick arch bridges along the way.

Lumbini is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is known for its ancient values. The Mayadevi temple is the greatest attraction in Lumbini among all the holy sites of the Buddha.

Buddhism has a magical power to transform the lives of people forever. This power of transformation is beautifully illustrated in the life of Emperor Ashoka. After witnessing the bloody battle of Kalinga in Orissa, India, he dedicated his life to Buddhism. He didn’t only embrace Buddhism out of compassion but he spearheaded the mission of spreading the Buddha’s message of peace across his vast empire, reaching further to present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka albeit Buddha’s travels were confined within the boundary of Nepal and India.

The essence of Buddhism is embodied in the concept of the four-noble truths and the three-jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) via the eight-fold path to salvation and peace. Anticipating his death in his 80th year Buddha urged his followers, especially his chosen disciples, Sariputra and Ananda to continue his work after his imminent mahaparanirvana. Lord Buddha asked them to visit the four important places in his life, Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, and Kushinagar as a reminder of his arduous journey in achieving its ultimate goal.

The Buddhas teachings, spiritual struggle, attainment of enlightenment, great meditations and message of peace and non-violence are as relevant to our life and times today as it was in his day.

http://www.dharmasculpture.com/category/featured_products.html

http://www.dharmasculpture.com/category/tibetan-nepali-statues.html

Dharma Sculpture’s Buddhist Pilgrimage

Buddhism is a philosophy followed by nearly 500 million people in the world. Though the concentration of Buddhist followers is high in south and southeast Asia, followers of Buddhism are scattered all over the world. They visit different Buddhist sites and learning centers, enhancing their knowledge of Buddhism and paying homage at places related with the life of Buddha. Buddhist followers treat sites associated with Buddha with great respect. Buddhist circuit tours that connect sites related to the life of Buddha scattered over Nepal and India are already popular among Buddhist travelers and tourists alike.

The Buddhist circuit is a route that follows the footsteps of the Buddha from Lumbini in Nepal where he was born, through Bodh Gaya (India) where he attained enlightenment, to Sarnath (India) where he gave his first sermon and Kushinagar (India) where he attained paranirvana after taking his last breath. The iconic route only includes places where the Buddha spent time and these places have important sites and monuments, all of which are over 2,500 years old and are revered by all Buddhist followers. The Buddhist circuit is an important pilgrimage destination for people practicing Buddhism, as well as other travelers interested in history, culture or spirituality.

Since we are currently in Nepal visiting our artists and procuring new statues we saw this as a good opportunity to visit all of these most holy Buddhist places. We will visit the main four mentioned above but not in that precise order. First we will visit Lumbini in Nepal, then Kushinagar, Bodhgaya and Sarnath (located in India). We will be posting updates on our blog daily as we reach and visit each destination.

Hand Painted Copper Shakyamuni Buddha Statue


This is lovely rendition of Shakyamuni Buddha! Lord Buddha has a serene expression and a hypnotizing gaze in his eyes.

The Buddha Shakyamuni, at the moment of enlightenment, invoked the earth as witness, as indicated by the fingers of his right hand, which spread downward in bhumisparsha mudra, “the earth touching gesture”. As the Buddhist sutras narrate, the sun and moon stood still, and all the creatures of the world came to offer respect to the Supreme One who had broken through the boundaries of egocentric existence. All Buddhist art celebrates this moment and leads the viewer toward the Buddha’s experience of selfless and unsurpassed enlightenment.

Buddhist art pictures the Buddha in numerous manifestations, but always as a model of human potential, never as a historically identifiable person. All forms of the Buddha, however, are commonly shown seated on a lotus throne (as seen here), a symbol of the mind’s transcendent nature.

“Be a light unto yourself,” Buddha Shakyamuni declared at the end of his life. Become a Buddha, an awakened being, he urged, but never a blind follower of tradition.

This Buddha statue has the distinguishing marks that designate his celestial status, such as the cranial bump (ushnisha) and the conspicuous mark in the middle of his forehead (urna). He wears a distinctive robe elaborately decorated with elegant flowing floral motifs. In the back of the base is the wheel and deer emblem. The Buddhist emblem of a golden eight-spoked wheel flanked by two deer represents the Buddha’s first discourse, which he gave in the Deer Park at Sarnath, near Varanasi. This discourse is known as the ‘first turning of the wheel of dharma’, when the Buddha taught the doctrines of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Noble Path to five Indian mendicants.

As a symbol of the Buddha’s teachings a gilded three-dimensional wheel and deer emblem is traditionally placed at the front of monastery and temple roofs, from here it shines as a crowning symbol of the Buddhadharma. This emblem similarly appears over the four gateways of the divine mandala palace.

There are 2 separate pieces to this statue: the Buddha and its double lotus base. This copper statue is fully gold plated with 24k gold and then hand painted. The face of the Buddha is painted with a 24k gold mixture. The gold is crushed into a powder and then made into a paste. The gold paste is mixed with an organic paint mixture then used to paint the most important part of any Buddha statue; the face.

Burmese White Marble Buddha Statue

Carved from a single block of white marble and painted with gold leaf and other pigments, Lord Buddha is seated on a lotus throne in “adamantine position” (vajrasana) with his legs crossed and the soles of both feet turned up. His hands are in the gesture of Bhumisparsha mudra (earth touching gesture).

This beautiful white marble Buddha has a serene facial expression. After the Burmese capital was moved to Ava in 1636 during the Second Empire of the Toungoo dynasty (1551-1752), Buddha images were increasingly made of marble with a smooth finish on the surface and minimum decoration, rendering the image with a simple and pure appearance.
http://www.dharmasculpture.com/category/burmese-buddha-statues.html

Avalokiteshvara Amoghapasha Buddha Statue

This very rare and unique finely modeled Buddha is decorated with hundreds of small Buddhas and elephants throughout. Lord Buddha is depicted standing in a straight pose on a square base, dressed in a short dhoti secured with a pendant belt. His eight radiating arms holding a vajra, ax, sutra, monkey, chakra, rosary (malas), kundika (vase) and phurpa, his broad face surmounted by a tall crown with a diminutive Amitabha nestled in his chignon. Amoghapasa represents a tantric form of Avalokiteshvara and is particularly popular in Nepal, where he is regarded as the tutelary deity of the Kathmandu Valley. A special rite, performed on the eighth day of the moon’s brighter two weeks of each month was dedicated to him, and it is possible that this sculpture was the focus of such a ritual.

In this eight-armed form, Avalokiteshvara is known as Amoghapasha, “he whose noose is unfailing,” after the noose (pasha) he uses to remove impediments to enlightenment. The complexity of casting a multi-armed figure attests to the sophistication of the metal workers. A very unique style of Khmer art!
http://www.dharmasculpture.com/category/new-arrivals.html

Buddha Quotes

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha