The Meaning Attached to Different Buddha Statues

Relevant categories: Buddha Statues


Buddha statues

Before you buy Buddha statues, it is important that you have a good idea about the different poses and their meanings. Instructively, each of the different poses is related to an event in the life of the Buddha. As such you may find Buddha statues in more than 100 poses also known as attitudes or asana. In each of the postures, you will find a definite hand gesture known as Mudra. Generally, the carvings on sale represent highly revered statues enshrined in some of the biggest Buddhist temples across the world.

The following are some of the meanings attached to the Buddha statues you are likely to come across:

1. Protection Buddha (Overcoming Fear)

Meditation Buddha statue

This kind of Buddha statues is depicted by a seated Buddha with a raised, outward-facing right hand. First, this is a protection Buddha, since the raised, outward-facing hand represents a shield. It also represents overcoming fear, given the protection provided by the Buddha. Apart from the seated posture, the Buddha can also be presented in a standing position. It could have an extended left hand or one with the palm resting on the lap. Apart from signifying courage, the statue protects you against anger, delusion, and fear.

2. Meditation (Serenity or Calming) Buddha

Seated compassion Buddha statue

The Buddha in meditation is good for those looking for calm and peace in their lives. You can also buy these Buddha statues is you need to improve your meditation skills. These statues are great if you wish to establish a serenity corner or room in your house. Here, you can sit calmly for some time and unwind. These statues depict the Buddha with hands on the lap, legs crossed, and face up. The Buddha’s eyes could be partially or fully closed.

3. Earth-Touching Buddha (Calling the Earth to Witness)

Marble standing Nepalese Buddha

This Buddha pose is mostly found in Thai temples. Apart from the Buddha’s legs being crossed, the right hand has an inward-facing palm and points to the ground. These kinds of Buddha statues depict the Buddha’s six-year journey to enlightenment. According to the story, an attempt was made by Mara (demon of illusion to dissuade from taking the final steps to enlightenment. After meditating the whole night, the Buddha overcame his temptations and fears. In the process, he called on the Earth Goddess who swept Mara in flood waters.

4. The Nirvana (Reclining) Buddha

Reclining Buddha statue

In this statue, the Buddha is lying down just before he died and entered the state of nirvana. The cause of his death is thought to be as a result of eating spoilt pork from an almsgiver. It is said that the Buddha went straight to nirvana without going through the birth-death-rebirth life cycle. These Buddha statues show him lying on a resting table on the right-hand side.

5. Medicine Buddha

In most paintings, the Medicine Buddha spots blue skin. The right hand of the statue faces downward with the finger pointing to the ground and the palm outward-facing. In the left hand is a bowl of herbs. The left band rests on the lap. Tibetans believe that the work of this Buddha was to deliver knowledge of medicine to humans. The outward-facing right hand symbolizes granting a blessing. If you are seeking good health, the Medicine Buddha is a must.


Large bronze Buddha statue

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