A Buddha is a person who has awakened from the sleep of ignorance and understands things as they are. A Buddha is a person free from all faults and mental interferences and knows everything from the past, present, and future. He has immense compassion and is unconditionally unbiased with all living beings.
The founding Buddha was Siddhartha Gautama and he was born in Lumbini which is currently called Nepal. He was born in the sixth century B.C. to a large family called the Shakyas. His father ruled the tribe and was known to be poor and living in the outskirts of town. Interestingly, the name Siddhartha means “he who achieves his aim” and Buddha means “enlightened one or awakened one.”
Buddha statues represent the morals and virtues of the Buddha they portray. For many, this can be inspirational and guide them to live a more virtuous life. Those who use Feng Shui believe that a Buddha statue can influence chi energy. Some people may use it as a meditation aid while others may use it as a stylish decoration.
The representation of the statues depends on the mudras or postures to determine what the meaning of that Buddha statue is. There are over one hundred mudras that make each statue unique.
The Buddha statue may also be standing, walking, seated, or reclining. A standing, walking, or seated Buddha always has a mudra. A reclining statue (laying on his right side) does not use a mudra. It is depicting the original Buddha as leaving the earthly realm.
They can also be arranged in sets to compliment each other. For example, three protection Buddhas would represent the virtues of a Buddha (wisdom, a limitless form of a body, and compassion.) So, you would have the Shakyamuni elevated in the back and place the three bodhisattvas in the front. A bodhisattva is one who has not reached becoming a Buddha at that time, but their path is set upon becoming one. All Buddhas were once bodhisattvas before reaching enlightenment. You may also see two together. This is usually a Buddha with a bodhisattva on the right or left side. It is up to the person and their inspiration as to which one is placed with Shakyamuni.
There are also rules of etiquette regarding a Buddha statue. The statue must be placed at least two and a half feet off the ground. It should never sit on the floor. It should also not be placed in a bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom. It’s best to place a Buddha in the direction of the front door. By doing so, it will attract positive energy when you walk in the room while deflecting negative energy back outside. It should be placed so that it is the first thing you notice when you enter from the outside.
There are so many Buddhas with so many mudras that there is always one out there for your inspiration. If you are interested in learning more and purchasing a Buddha statue, Navadurga Handicrafts and Singing Bowl House can help you find what you are seeking. They are located at 1415 Park St. in Alameda, Ca. You may also shop from their website www.navadurgasingingbowl.com and have it delivered right to your door.