|Divine Religious Art – The Statue of Buddha|
Many Buddhist statues display charitable smiles, and although it¡¯s common for people to call them statues of Buddha, in reality there are several different names as well as different roles for each statue. Buddhists recognize images of Buddha through what is held in the statues hand or which symbolic animal Sits with the statue.
Just as it took 500 years for portraits of Christ to become widely accepted, there were also opponents to the statues of Buddha.
Before statues of Buddha were created, Buddhists worshipped the tomb of ¡®Sakyamuni Tathagata¡¯. Sakyamuni Tathagta¡¯s legend is one of charity and virtue, which celebrates the spiritual path which
Sakyamuni underwent to become Buddha.
When Mahayanist Buddhism appeared in 100BC, Buddhists recognized ¡®Sakyamuni Tathagata¡¯as a divine and supernatural being, and Buddhists began to worship the statue of Buddha. The primary statue of Buddha was influenced by the formative arts of Greece. The statue of Buddha was created in the province of Kandra as well as that of Matura in India.
The pedestal is a prop for the statue of Buddha, and there are three different kinds of pedestal –the lotus seat, the square shaped- Su Mi seat (which means the mountain of Su Mi), and the Sang Hyeon Seat which is covered with a vestment. Pedestals were constructed from stone and wood.
There are three types of halo - ¡®Du Kwang¡¯, ¡®Sin Kwang¡¯ and ¡®Keo Sin Kwang.¡¯
¡®Du Kwang¡¯ is the ray of light which appears behind the head of the Buddha, and
in China this is the most popular halo. ¡®Shin Kwang¡¯ is a ray of light appearing under the head.
¡®Keo Sin Kwang¡¯ is a ray of light that appears over the whole of Buddha. In general, statues of Buddha show ¡®Keo Sin Kwang¡¯, although some statues of Buddha show ¡®Keo Sin Kwang¡¯ as well as ¡®Du Kwang¡¯, with a lotus sculptured inside the halo.
Ways of Appreciating the statue of Buddha
It¡¯s important to appreciate Korean cultural heritage, putting aside any prejudice against
the statue of Buddha. It¡¯s possible to appreciate a famous work of occidental art without being familiar with the Christian religion. Similarly, those who aren¡¯t Buddhists can still appreciate the beauty of the statues of Buddha. Moreover, let¡¯s appreciate not only the sculpture of Buddha but also the eternal holy religion that people from any class, poor and rich, have worshiped for several millenniums.