Buddhist Art

If I ask many of you how you came in contact with Buddhism and how you began to develop some kind of impression about the tradition, I suspect that for many of you, the first contact with this tradition has been through Buddhist art.

Many times I see little images of the Buddha in the offices of people who are not particularly religious. Sometimes the fat little images you see in China. Sometimes the more elegant images that come from India. Whatever the style of the images, they show that they have some kind of respect or connection to the Buddhist tradition and they show it through Buddhist art.

Our job in these series of articles is to comment on this tradition of Buddhist art. We will understand how Buddhists have expressed the Buddha through visual media. We will see what is the function of these images in Buddhist life. We will also study the different types of images so that we can begin to recognize them when we encounter them.

  • Buddhist Shrines: Early in the Buddhist tradition, we don't find statues or images of the Buddha, but holy places that are connected with the presence of the Buddha.
  • Buddhist Worship: How are you going to worship at a Buddhist Shrine?
  • The Power of Images in Buddhism: What is the meaning of these images of the Buddha? In what sense do these images represent the Buddha?
  • Images of the Buddha: What are the types of Buddhist images?

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