Friday, 5 June 2015

The Reclining or Sleeping Buddha

In Buddhism, we may have seen huge Reclining or Sleeping Buddha statues in Buddhist Temples and Monasteries. In truth, Buddha and Bodhisattvas do not have any true form or shape. However due to Sentient Beings like us live in this material world, Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, print of images on paper, cloth, metals casting, stones carving and etc are present throughout the world in a way to remember the qualities of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas though the Enlightened ones had never request nor ask their followers to built nor make one. In the ancient time, images and statues of the past Buddha had paralleled existed during the Shakyamuni Buddha's time. In another way of saying, the images and statues are a personification to abstract inspiration, calmness, enhancing stronger faith in their teachings while we are gazing at them, however we should put forth our sincerity, honesty and truthfully in the practice and cultivation the Buddha path.

There are two different meanings for the Reclining Buddha Statues and to understand the differences we may have to take note the importance of the right arm position. We noticed the right hand is supporting the head as below in the picture, this signifies that the Buddha is resting and is related to the story of the Buddha and the Giant Asurindarahu who wished to see the Buddha but did not want to bow down before him. The Buddha then appeared larger than the Giant Asurindarahu while lying down and then showed him all of Heaven and all of the heavenly figures that were larger than him, the Giant Asurindarahu thus humbling him. Reclining Buddha Statues are frequently very large, and this is possibly related due to the significance of size in this story. This is also the Buddha Image that represents the day Tuesday.

When we noticed the right hand is just below resting on the palm, the picture above, this is The Nirvana Buddha or Reclining Buddha. The Nirvana Buddha reclining posture depicts the Historical Buddha in the last moments of his life on earth, prior to the Buddha dying one last time before entering Nirvana. The ParaNirvana is the term when referring to the life of The Buddha. This is the most "Auspicious" posture of Blissfulness. In his Last Message of the Great Lord Buddha:  'When I am gone, my Teachings shall be your Master and Guide.' 

The parting words of the Buddha:
'Appamadena Sampadetha Vaya Dhamma Sankhara'.
'Work diligently. Component things are impermanent.'

Source : Buddhist Wisdom Hall Group