Archives for posts with tag: enlightenment

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W220xL300mm, China

The title of this wood block print is called “Buddha of the West Sky”, referring to Siddhattha Gotama of India.  The idea of the West Sky is complex, in the early days the sun is believed to be a godly object; raising from the east, watching us on the day and going away and setting on the west.  It is believed that while we sleeping the sun will be watching over in the west sky.  With Buddhism introduced to China from India, a country to the south west, India, the West Sky, is the place where the truth, the important scripts are.  Monks, notably Xuanzang (depicted in the novel the Monkey King), went to India to find enlightenment.  The West Sky symbolizes a cleansed soul and mind, a nirvana world.

W150xD120xH370mm, Thailand

This is a Buddha statue in the Bhumisparsha Mudra posture, with his right hand resting on knee while reaching toward the earth and the left hand lies on the lap facing upward.  This gesture is also known as the “earth witness” which is the most iconic image of Buddhism.  This gesture symbolizes unshakability and steadfastness; the legend goes just before Siddhartha Gautama was enlightened to become the Buddha, demon Mara called upon his armies of monster to attacking, hoping to scare him away from his meditation under the bodhi tree.  Siddhartha stayed unshaken and  continued his mediation.  The demon claimed the enlightenment for himself and called for his monsters to give witness to his superior spiritual achievements, Mara then asked Siddhartha if anyone could give witness for him.  Siddhartha simply extended his hand to reach the ground and the earth responded and giving witness for him.  Mara was defeated at his own challenge and vanished.  The next day Siddhartha Gautama enlightened to become the Buddha himself.