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Links Related to Nepalese Buddha Sculptures

The Life of Buddha in Legend and Art

"...The young prince Gautama Siddhartha was born into the ancient Sakya clan...he learned in a few days the sciences suitable to his race...Intrigued by his first encounter with old age...Four weeks after he began meditating under the Bodhi tree...on the night of a full moon, Sakyamuni attained enlightenment…"
The Life of Buddha in Legend and Art

Buddha - A Hero's Journey to Nirvana

"The Buddha's journey to spiritual awakening or 'Nirvana,'... perfectly mirrors the ... progressive development of a hero... Not at ease with his immediate environment... a constant unease gnaws at his heart, prompting him to question the very nature of his existence. This inner strife is the first inkling that a greater destiny lies ahead of the potential hero... Buddha was born an ordinary mortal. His path to fulfillment... was a journey full of exciting experiences and mistakes made. He learned from each of his mistakes, making it a springboard for all future, and finally the ultimate success... each of us... is capable and deserving of Nirvana, having a potential Buddha hidden in us..."
Buddha - A Hero's Journey to Nirvana

Evolution of the Buddha Image

"...the first ever image defined by humanity was not a thing chiseled to a likeness, but such likeness was only discovered in it...the image of the Divine, discovered or made, and its worship, were quite in vogue much before Buddha's days...Buddhist themes first make their appearance in...a number of monolithic pillars surmounted with animal capitals aiming at invoking man's reverence for all creatures, which was the prime thrust of Buddhism...the mind of the Buddhist sculptor, which had so far wrestled between the 'image' and the 'non-image', had at last discovered 'one' in the 'other', that is, the motif in man and the man in motif...it is yet a matter of debate whether (the) early...images were sculpted at Mathura or in Gandhara region...Gandhara images of Buddha are more akin to Greek models, whereas Mathura images show a continuity of its own indigenous tradition...During over 2500 years of its emergence the Buddha image has always been growing and evolving and is today the most loved and preferred image for a drawing room, irrespective to whom and to which land it belongs"
Evolution of the Buddha Image

Mudras of the Great Buddha: Symbolic Gestures and Postures

"...symbolic sign based finger patterns taking the place, but retaining the efficacy of the spoken word, and are used to evoke in the mind ideas symbolizing divine powers or the deities..."
Mudras of the Great Buddha: Symbolic Gestures and Postures

Putting The Ocean in a Bowl - The Origin of the Buddha Image

"The Buddha image...has constantly been under debate as to its origin and evolution...Some believe that the first Buddha image had come into being during the lifetime of the Buddha himself...For most scholars however...he earliest Buddha images come from around...some five hundred year after Buddha's Mahaparinirvana...early Buddhist art...sought to represent him by a number of symbols, or material motifs, which had remained associated with him...These motifs, the empty throne and stupa in particular, depicted rather, and with utmost thrust, only Buddha's absence, as it was in his absence that his devotees realized the presence of their Master...the artists, working as per the Buddhist tradition itself, saw Buddha more in the Dharma rather than in a human form...Even during the subsequent late phase...not a single Buddha image...has so far come to light, which does not depict one aspect or the other of the Dharma...It does not so much portray the Buddha as it does the Dharma..."
Putting The Ocean in a Bowl - The Origin of the Buddha Image

The Life of Buddha and the Art of Narration in Buddhist Thangka Paintings

"In its characteristic unique way, Buddhist thought divides the eventful life of its founder into twelve glorious "events." These defining incidents of his life are given visual form in densely packed sequences narrated in a special genre of paintings... These artworks not only delineate Buddha's gradual progress towards spiritual enlightenment, but also present a visual depiction of a vast number of abstract philosophical notions underlying esoteric Buddhism..."
The Life of Buddha and the Art of Narration in Buddhist Thangka Paintings
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