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 Post subject: iconography
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 7:33 pm 
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Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
I was reading a few things about anicient Indian art and found a few things that interested me. Firstly we all know about the five Buddha's (don't we?) Well the mudra's are used to identify each of them as all have the marks of a Buddha and unless shown in a painting with a specific colour it would be hard to identify them all. So the mudra's are the clue as well as any bodhisattvas shown with them.

Well, I found that Ratnasambhava is often used in statues and paintings to represent Amitabha. This is a modern phenomena not ancient Indian/chinese or japanese. Further I came across a painting of him standing on a lotus decending from his pureland. What strikes me in my limited research on ancient indian art, was at the start of pure land development people (briefly) vowed to attain rebirth in Ratnasambhava's pureland "the glorious" However in the absence of significant sutra's only Akysobha and Amitabha remained with strong devotees.

It's sort of sad really, I doubt the Buddha would mention these other Buddha's if we were not in so way to ask for their assistance in our quest for rebirth in the purelands, it's a shame these buddhas seem to be forgotten :(

Does anyone have any further info on all this? It's facinating!


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 Post subject: Re: iconography
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:46 am 
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Interesting. I've heard from a Chinese Buddhist that Bodhisattva Maitreya's inner court in Tushita heaven used to be a lot more popular than Amitabha Buddha's pure land but due to some political reasons the latter gained more popularity over time.


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 Post subject: Re: iconography
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Quote:
http://cttbusa.org//amitabha/amitabha.htm
In the six periods of the day and night a heavenly rain of mandarava flowers falls, and throughout the clear morning, each living being of that Land, with sacks full of the myriads of wonderful flowers, makes offerings to the hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas of the other directions...

You're not missing anything... :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: iconography
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:09 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Belfast Northern Ireland
plwk wrote:
Quote:
http://cttbusa.org//amitabha/amitabha.htm
In the six periods of the day and night a heavenly rain of mandarava flowers falls, and throughout the clear morning, each living being of that Land, with sacks full of the myriads of wonderful flowers, makes offerings to the hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas of the other directions...

You're not missing anything... :tongue:


I know, but it's very interesting to learn more about the Buddha's and the origin's and early practice of pureland. :namaste:


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 Post subject: Re: iconography
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 2:31 am 
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Location: Singapore
Nighthawk wrote:
Interesting. I've heard from a Chinese Buddhist that Bodhisattva Maitreya's inner court in Tushita heaven used to be a lot more popular than Amitabha Buddha's pure land but due to some political reasons the latter gained more popularity over time.



not sure if it's political. indeed Maitreya, although he is still a Bodhisattva, was/is more popular.
there is a colossus cave caving of Maitreya in Yungang, China.
http://mingkok.buddhistdoor.com/en/news/d/614
Image


Quote:
Yungang grottoes - Cave 13: the colossus of Maitreya
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Worship realized between 470 and 493
The main image is a cross-legged Maitreya, wearing a jeweled crown, a bracelet and a snake-shaped necklace. His right arm is supported from underneath by Vajra. Above the entrance of the south wall are the sculptured figures of seven standing Buddhas, wearing loose gowns with wide ribbons. On each reveal of the window is a Bodhisattva with plump and strong body in exquisite craftsmanship.


and another
Image
China, Gansu Province, Statue of Maitreya Buddha.

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 Post subject: Re: iconography
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 5:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am
Posts: 2776
Quote:
Interesting. I've heard from a Chinese Buddhist that Bodhisattva Maitreya's inner court in Tushita heaven used to be a lot more popular than Amitabha Buddha's pure land but due to some political reasons the latter gained more popularity over time.

Here's some thoughts on this matter...
Quote:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=2512&p=61366&hilit=maitreya#p61366
It's got a lot do to with the complex history of Buddhism in Central and East Asia, which groups of people followed which teachings, and who had the ability to put their favorite teaching into the dominant position.

Amongst the nomadic peoples, such as the Turkic groups, the Mongols, and Jin and Liao, all to the north of China, there was a huge amount of devotion towards Maitreya. The Han later turned more towards Amitabha, for a number of reasons. Many Maitreya devotion groups were downright outlawed - it is easy for a rebellious group to claim that their leader is Maitreya, a powerful move; one can't really do that with Amitabha.

Teachings about Bhaisajyaguru were a bit later anyway, and likewise other Pureland notions, so didn't get the same foot hold. The eastern world of Aksobhya has pretty high entry criteria, so was unlikely to be that popular from the outset.

Quote:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=5524&p=60484#p60484
Some people say,
'In the past, Buddhasimha practiced the doctrines of Maitreya, vowing to be born in the inner court of Tusita but instead he ended up in the outer court enjoying sensual pleasures. So it may not be reliable to be reborn in the Pure Land of Tusita.'
These people do not know that the story of Buddhasimha being born in the outer court was purposely spread by other people with ulterior motives but was never mentioned in the biographies of those who transmitted the doctrines of Maitreya, such as Paramartha, the Tripitaka Master Xuan Zang, Asanga and Vasubandhu.

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