Kaji wrote:It is best to obtain a statue or image of a Buddha or Bodhisattva at a Buddhist temple, in person. Great if you could ask a monk or nun to empower/bless the statue or image so that it won't be as easily occupied by some spirit/ghost/other lifeform being.
For a statue or image of a Buddha or Bodhisattva to be proper, the dimensions and other details should be in accordance with sutra.
Once you have brought home the statue or image, the place that you put it (preferably a Buddhist altar) should best be prepared in a special way, e.g. cleansing with Great Compassionate Dharani/water. If unsure, ask a monk or nun to come do it at your place for you, if possible and practical.
Now this is from what I have learned in Chinese Buddhism. The proper practice in your tradition might vary.
infinitywaltz wrote:Have you looked here yet?
remm wrote:I have heard people mention the whole 'spirits/ghost' dwelling in a statue to receive offerings, but to be frank--why not just let them? The purpose of having an image is for devotion and to show respect towards the Buddha's and Bodhisattvas. If living beings can benefit from my offerings, then why not, right? Buddha's and Bodhisattva's don't sit there and gobble up our offerings, why not actually let a being that can benefit from offerings.. benefit from it? Remember the purpose to have an image of the Buddha or Bodhisattva is to inspire respect and devotion within the practitioner.
With the spirit/ghost dwelling in a statue or image to receive offerings, personally I prefer not to offer them the chance to do that. I do not want to encourage them to commit the act of taking what is not given. I would prefer them to use the statue or image in the proper way, that is, as a reminder and inspiration to practise Buddhism.
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