Making_of_a_Buddha_Image - 5 Tl'-?oNG: - MAKIIVCi. of...

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5 Tl'-?oNG: - MAKIIVCi. of 8LIJ)DN.q IMAGE 1.8 A STORY OF A BUDDHA IMAGE fhe legend of the Buddha does nol end with his death. As we have just seen, -elics and the stiJpas enshrining them were a means of remembering the auddha after Ilis parinirvaoa, but they were not the only ones. A.c:, centers of Buddhist pilgrimage developed and Buddhist devotional art flourished, devo- tees found additional ways of recalling the presence of the Blessed One. At first. in art, he and the places where he had been were represented by sym- bols such as footsteps, thrones, trees, wheels of the Dharma, and the like, but eventually. dher a number of centuries, anthropomorphic images and statues of him came to the fore. Scholars have much debated the issue of when (probably around the first century c.£.), where (probably in northwestern India), and by whom the first images of the Buddha were rn'lde, but Buddhist legends did not hesitate to assert that depictions at him had aheady been fashioned during his lifetime. Thus the famous sandalwood ill1'~I]e of King UdrayaQa is said to have been carved by artists so that people could venerate it while the Buddha himself was absent in one of the hf:rlvens, preaching the Dharma to his mother and the assembled deities. Such ali image was clearly seen as a substitute for the Buddha in his absence and was itseillhought \<1 be "alive" in a variety of ways. Stories are told of its standing up, fJleaching the Dharma, making converts, and so on. In the following tale. the image featured is also a sandalwood image, but one made by King Pasenadi of Kosala so ~hat the inhabitants of ~ravasti will have something to worship when the Buddha is out of town. As the story makes clear, however. the Image is destined to become something more than that once the Buddha becomes pertlldnently "absent" in parinirvana. One day, the Blessed One, seeing some persons in this world who were ready for conversion, left the great Jetavana monastery and went to their country in order to preach to them. Just then, however, King Pasenadi of Kosala decided to vl::;it the Buddha. Together with his men, he took some perfumes, garlands, and other things needed for worship, left the city and, in the midst of 0 large entourage, went to the fetavana. Not
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course ASIA 70B at San Jose State University .

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Making_of_a_Buddha_Image - 5 Tl'-?oNG: - MAKIIVCi. of...

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