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Feb 4, 2020 in Review

Buddha

Buddhism is considered one of the main world religions. It has a great number of worshippers. The geographical distribution of Buddhism spreads into many countries around the world. Besides, it has a significant social and cultural impact. Despite the fact that Buddhism is mostly considered the eastern religion, it is highly widespread in the western states. It should be mentioned that Buddhism has many common features with Hinduism. They include karma, reincarnation, Maya, and a tendency to accept a real world pantheistic in its orientation. According to Buddhists’ faith, the only purpose of the worldly life is to reach enlightenment. Siddhartha Gautama is regarded a founder of this religion. Later, this person was called Buddha. There are a great number of monuments and statues dedicated to this person. The purpose of the current paper is to examine the monumental stone Buddha Shakyamuni Seated in Meditation, which is considered one of the classical examples of meditating Buddha’s statues. 

The founder of Buddhism was born in the royal estates of India in about 600 years BC. According to the legend, he lived in luxury fenced off from the external world. Parents protected Siddhartha Gautama from sufferings and pain. They wanted to deprive him of the impact of religion. Despite the fact that his parents protected and loved him, Siddhartha was not happy. In the book Siddhartha Gautama, it is noted that “it took him a long time to find his place in the world” . However, he shortly had a vision of a dead man, a sick man, and an old man. His last vision was a peaceful ascetic monk who rejects comfort and richness. When Siddhartha Gautama saw how he monk was peaceful, he also determined to be an ascetic.

 
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He abandoned his previous life in prosperity and wealth. He wanted to reach enlightenment through asceticism. He achieved a great success in this kind of intense meditation and mortification of his body. In such a way, Siddhartha Gautama became a leader among his contemporaries. Subsequently, he sat under the fig tree to meditate until he could reach the enlightenment. Otherwise, he would die. He had only a bowl with rice. Despite all temptations and sufferings, Siddhartha Gautama achieved a state of enlightenment next morning. In the book Buddhism, it is noted that “this is a state of mind in which a person is freed from everyday demands, confusion, and emotional attachment to things”. Since that time, people started calling him enlightened or Buddha. The aim of every Buddhist is to reach this state of enlightenment  to be closer to Buddha and true faith. In the book Philosophers and Religious Leaders, it is affirmed that “the word ‘buddha’ is not a name but a title meaning ‘enlightened one’”. Thus, it was the beginning of Buddhism religion. The author Christian von Dehsen states that “Gautama spent the rest of his life traveling the countryside, teaching disciples, and creating a Buddhist community”. It was the time when the Buddhism religion started gaining popularity. Siddhartha Gautama’s wish was to attract many people to his religion. In the book, it is stated that “from this desire, the world’s fourth largest religion was formed”. People followed him in search of nirvana and happy life. 

There are many pictures and statues depicting Siddhartha Gautama in a state of mediation. Shakyamuni is regarded the first enlightened person who was visualized. The monument stone of Buddha Shakyamuni is from Indian town Nagapattinam, which is located in the southern part of the country. The monument was constructed in the XII century. This town was a center of Buddhism religion at that time. Nagapattinam was also a cradle of the Hindu Chola Dynasty. These days, the monument is located in the United States. Moreover, it is one of the biggest monuments from stone in America. The monument of Buddha Shakyamuni has all the elements typical to Buddha’s characteristics. Buddha has oblong lobes of the ear and the wheel signs on the palms. There is also an urna on the forehead between the eyebrows. There is a cranial prominence. The prominence is covered with curls in the form of a snail-shell. The Buddha is sitting in the posture of mediation. His hands are resting on the laps. It is called dhyanamudra. It seems that Buddha is wearing absolutely transparent monk dresses. All monuments and pictures of Buddha from the town of Nagapattinam have a common feature. There is a little flare coming from Buddha’s cranium. The flare shows wisdom and life experience. This stone monument is not an exception. There is also flame from Buddha’s cranium. This big sculpture was made of granite. “This monumental sculpture carved out of granite originally would have graced a monastic site at Nagapattinam, which is also well known for its Buddhist bronzes”. In the monument, there is inscription written in the Tamil language. However, this inscription cannot be read as it has been particularly wiped off.

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This monument is extremely majestic. Buddhists and people of other religious from all over the world come to see it. It represents the importance of religion for a modern man and recalls that this person was the founder of Buddhism. There are many statues of Siddhartha Gautama all over the world. However, many of them were destroyed or lost. In such a way, the monumental stone of Buddha Shakyamuni is considered an important treasure for all Buddhist people.

 Siddhartha Gautama is regarded one of the most significant person for the Buddhism religion. In addition to the fact that he is a founder of Buddhism, he founded a great number of notions that are still important in Buddhism. With his example, he showed that enlightenment cannot be found in luxury and wealth. Moreover, he discovered things that later became known as the Four Noble Truths. The first one is to live means to suffer. It is Dukha. The second thing consists in the fact that suffering is caused by desire. It is Tanha. According to Siddhartha Gautama, the third thing is that sufferings can be eliminated by escaping from all affections and desires. The last thing is that it is can be achieved with the usage of a noble way that consists of eight stages. This way consists in the availability of the right opinion, language, intent, effort, acts, mind (meditation), concentration, and lifestyle. Buddha’s teachings were collected in the Tripitaka. In such a way, all religious people who want to follow the way of Buddha’s come to see his stone monument where he with his posture depicts calmness and peace. He shows that all people can find enlightenment if to adhere to Four Noble Truths. 

Buddha was not a god, a son of god, or a prophet. He was a brave man who, just like everyone else, wanted to be happy and he could reach this state of happiness through enlightenment. Since that time, he had many followers and disciples who made monuments and build temples in his honor. The monumental stone Buddha Shakyamuni Seated in Meditation is one of the vivid examples of love of all Buddhists to the founder of the Buddhism religion. 

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