How do Buddha statues differ?

Buddha statues
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If you are new in Buddhism then it might surprise you to know that there are more than one type of Buddha. For example – Gautam Buddha, Laughing Buddha, Medicine Buddha,Meditation Buddha, Jewel Buddha and many more.

So the question might arise: how many types of brass buddha statues are there? Well, it is a difficult question to answer as there are many Buddha statues as there are many depictions of them. If we ponder deeply about it we can say that Buddhism is divided into three main branches which are Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism.

 We will have a short overview on all three types of buddhism to get a better understanding of different types of Brass Buddha Statues.

Three Branches of Buddhism

  • Mahayana Buddhism – Mahayana Buddhism is one of the largest forms of buddhism. The word Mahayana literally translates as the Greatest vehicle. So together they mean the great vehicle of buddhism. 

In this form of buddhism Lord Buddha is seen as a celestial being who had descended on Earth to lead people back to godhood.

  • Vajrayana Buddhism –  The word Vajrayana is a Sanskrit word which means the vehicle of Thunder bolt. It is an evolved form of Mahayana Buddhism which is also called Tantric Buddhism. The tantric buddhism seems to be an amalgam of ancient Hindu vedic text and Mahayana Buddhism or some people believe that it is more closely observed from Tibetan buddhism. 
  • Theravada Buddhism – The Theravada Buddhism is the oldest and earliest branch of Buddhism. Which is why it is also called the Way of the elders. The followers of Theravada Buddhism believe in the old ways of enlightenment that were followed by Buddha to achieve enlightenment .

Types of Brass Buddha Statue

  • Medicine Buddha – Medicine Buddha is one of the major Bodhisattvas in Tibetan Buddhism. He is known for his compassion for the poor souls who are suffering on Earth due to their past karma. He is known for his 12 vows which are the foundation of his realm called Eastern pure Land of lapis lazuli.

 Some of the famous vows of Medicine buddha are : 

  • Anyone who suffer from diseases and chronic ailments if they chant my name will get free from it
  • All being born with disability, if they chant my name then they will be reborn in my realm without any disability and they will be healthy.
  • All the souls if they are reborn in my realm of Eastern pure land then they will be considered equal to buddha with all 32 marks.
  • The people who chant and pray to me will not face any prejudice and experience a worry and trouble free life.
  • Sleeping Buddha – The early forms of buddha statue revolve around the life incidences of Lord Gautam Buddha who is founder of Buddhism. The sleeping Buddha statue shows the last moments of Gautam Buddha. The demise must not be seen as something sad but more like a lesson that no matter what and who is concerned the change is inevitable. 
  • Meditative Buddha –  The Meditative Buddha Is called Amitabha. The word Amitabha means Infinite Light which is why in Tibetan Buddhism, the Meditative Buddha is called the Buddha of infinite light. He is known for his 48 vows he made unless until he fulfils it he may not achieve enlightenment. 

Some of the important vows are as follows : 

  •  If he attains Buddhahood then his realm will be free from evil demons, spirits and negative energy.
  • The people and spiritual beings will be of Colour of gold or he will not attain perfect enlightenment.
  • If all the beings in his land do not have power of mind reading and know the thoughts of all the beings they come across then he will not attain perfect enlightenment.
  • All the people in ten directions wish to be born in the Pure west Land, then chanting or even thinking about my name ten times will be enough for them to be reborn in my land, if not then I may not attain perfect enlightenment.
  • If all the people who are born in my realm do not have all 32 identity marks of a great man then I may not attain perfect enlightenment.
  • Buddha Head : If you roam in the market then the most common form of buddha statue that you will come across is the head of Lord Buddha. It is not an ancient form of Buddha Statue but rather it is relatively new compared to its other counterparts. The Lord Buddha’s head is a modern representation of pure wisdom, knowledge of a spiritually higher being. 

In the End

We have talked about different types of Buddhism, Buddha Statue & their meanings. In different types of buddhism we got to know about Theravada Buddhism, Vajrayana buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism. Then we talked about some of the popular Buddha statues that we see on a regular basis around us.

Hope it was informative for you! 

Thank you for Reading Till the end.

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