Welcome to Buddha Statues Now!
We offer a wide selection of Buddha statues that will add peace and tranquility to your home or meditation center. The designs of our Buddha sculptures are the same as the Buddhas found in shrines and temples around the world.
Our objective is to provide a wide selection of poses and mudras that will satisfy both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Therefore, classic Buddha statues are not all we offer. Additional themes include a wide selection of bodhisattvas and also ritual items. Come and see for yourself as you browse our Buddha statue gallery.
Who Is The Paramount Buddha Statue?
Shakyamuni Buddha, also known as Gautama Buddha was the original Buddha, therefore his statue is one of the most important statues for your home. The original Buddha walked the earth in the 6th century BCE. The actual birth date and date that the Buddha died are actually not certain, thus we only have approximations to go by.
There is a some of confusion in the world about the use of Buddha statues. In Buddhism, the Buddha statue is not an object of worship. Instead it is a symbol that offers a sense of direction or a focus point for meditation.
A Buddha statue can also be inspirational to devotees because it can inspire them with the Buddhist virtues that they represent. The objective for Buddhists is to follow the Dharma path to enlightenment. This does not entail worshiping a god which is the norm in Abrahamic religions.
How Do You Know It’s A Buddha Statue?
Unfortunately, it is very easy to get confused when selecting a Buddha statue for home. Alas, there are many different statue variations and meanings. The most significant Buddha statue is of course the statue which represents Gautama Buddha. However, there are many, many different Buddhas and bodhisattvas that are represented in Buddhist sculpture. Although some statues that are widely referred to as “Buddha” statues are really not even Buddhas! The most common of these misperceptions surrounds a Chinese deity called Budai.
“Budai” Statues or Happy Buddha Statues
In Chinese folklore, Budai is a figure whose name means “cloth sack”. This is because of the cloth sack full of his few possessions that he was always seen carrying. Budai is considered to be a Buddhist deity but was also a monk that lived in Zhejiang China during the 10th century.
The Happy Buddhas are very distinct from other Buddha statues because Budai is commonly depicted as having a big belly and is always laughing. Paradoxically, laughing Buddha is commonly confused with Shakyamuni Buddha. The laughing Buddha was certainly not the original Buddha. Nonetheless, he was considered a symbol of contentment and also a symbol of good and loving character.
Budai is a Mahayana Buddhist deity. This version of Buddhist teachings is more modern and can be considered less conservative than the traditional Theravada teachings. As a result, Nirvana is made accessible to a wider set of Buddhists instead of only a select group. It follows that the Laughing Buddha is more welcoming and symbolizes that the average person can become enlightened.
These Buddha statues are sometimes depicted holding fans which grants wishes. Additionally, it is said that rubbing his belly will bring wealth and good luck to you. Sounds a bit like Santa Claus? However, Budai preceded Santa so it is the other way around.
These are mortals who followed the Dharma path and could have entered nirvana. However, they elected to stay in the earthly realm to assist others to obtain enlightenment. A very popular bodhisattva in East Asia is named Guanyin. She is associated with compassion and she is highly venerated by Mahayana Buddhists. It is generally accepted that Guanyin originated as the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Similar to the laughing Buddha, Guanyin does not look anything like Shakyamuni Buddha. In many geographies that practice Buddhism statues of Avalokitesvara have feminine features. However, Avalokitesvara is often depicted as either male or female to show the transcendence of gender. Additionally, Avalokitesvara can be depicted with many arms and many heads. Additionally, in China, Guanyin may have roots in Taoism and not only Buddhism.
Whether Avalokitesvara is depicted as a male or female can depend largely on which culture the statue originated from. For example in Chinese Buddhism Avalokitesvara is depicted as the female figure Guanyin.
However, in Cambodia Avalokitesvara is depicted as the male figure Lokesvara. The most profound example of this is evident at the 12th century Bayon Temple in Cambodia. This is where over 200 serene smiling Buddha Statues are found depicting the face of Lokesvara.
What is the meaning of a Buddha Statue?
Buddha statues come in many different shapes and forms. For example, the Buddha can be standing, walking, sitting or in a reclining posture. Reclining Buddha statues notwithstanding, the Buddha is usually depicting gestures with his hands that are called mudras.
Reclining Buddha statues are a depiction of the original Buddha (lying on his right side) as he is preparing to leave the earthly realm and enter paranirvana. Thus, he is not using a mudra. Although standing, walking and seated Buddha statues are always using mudras.
There are over 100 different mudras that have various meanings which help to define the different Buddha statues. Each of these poses illustrates some significant event in the past life (lives) of the Buddha.
Some examples include:
(1) Abhaya Mudra (protection)
(2) Dharmachakra Mudra (teaching)
(3) Dhyana Mudra (meditation)
(4) Bhumisparsha Mudra (calling the earth to witness)
(5) Vitarka Mudra (Intellectual Discussion)
(6) Varada Mudra (Boon Granting of Charity Mudra)
The protection mudra can be expressed with either the right or left hand. The palm is flat and faces forward away from the body. Additionally, the deity expressing the mudra can also be holding something in the same hand. For example, the Tara statue below holds the stem of a lotus flower between her index finger and thumb. She is expressing the Abhaya mudra with her left hand and her right hand expresses the Varada mudra.
Moreover, the statue using the mudra can be seated, standing or walking. The mudra signifies protection and overcoming. Thus, it represents both reassurance and fearlessness. Both bodhisattva and Buddha statues presenting the Abhaya mudra are very common in Buddha sculptures. This is because it represents important fundamental concepts of Buddhism.
The origins of the Abhaya mudra are derived from Buddhist folklore. The anecdote behind this mudra is that Gautama Buddha once stopped a charging elephant by raising his hand in this manner. It has since been used to inspire fearlessness and perseverance in devotees.
After the Buddha achieved enlightenment it is believed that he gave his first sermon to a companion in the Deer Park of Sarnath. The right hand is depicted palm facing outward with the index finger touching the thumb. This gesture forms a small circle which symbolizes that the “wheel of Dharma” has been set in motion. The left hand is turned inward and the index finger and thumb of the left hand join to touch the circle. Additionally, the mudra is always displayed at chest level to indicate that it comes straight form the Buddha’s heart.
This mudra was used by the Buddha for his final meditation under the Bodhi Tree. It is always preformed in a seated position with the back of the right hand resting on the palm of the left hand. The backs of both hands are resting in the practitioners lap with the thumbs of both hands touching to form a triangle. The Buddha sculptures display this mudra in order to symbolize peacefulness and calm. Although Buddhist adherents cannot have a Bodhi tree in their meditation rooms, this Buddha statue will make a useful focus point to find inner peace and calm after a long day.
On the eve that the Buddha was to obtain enlightenment a demon called Mara appeared and tried to dissuade the Buddha. The Buddha used meditation to regain confidence and after meditating all night he was able to fight off the evil temptations of Mara. The Buddha then called on the earth goddess to witness his triumph over evil.
This mudra is preformed in the sitting position only with the left hand in the lap and the flat palm open and facing upwards. The right palm is facing inwards and is draped over the right knee with the fingers pointing towards the ground. Thus, the Buddha is calling the earth to witness the truth at the moment he obtained enlightenment. As a result, it is said that the earth goddess then rung her hair and created a flood which washed away the demon Mara. This mudra is exclusive to Gautama Buddha.
The Vitarka mudra is somewhat similar to the Dharmachakra mudra in that the right hand is held close to the Buddha’s chest. The right hand is also held palm facing outwards with the index finger touching the thumb forming a circle. The circle symbolizes the constant flow of energy signifying that there is no beginning or end, only perfection. The left hand is depicted with palm facing upwards and it is placed in the lap.
This Buddha statue shows the importance of teaching, discussion and intellectual debate. Triumph of darkness over light requires the subjugation of ignorance and it is an important virtue featured in Buddhist teachings. Therefore, discussion and intellectual debate are important tools that will prevent individuals from turning inwards and possibly blocking out the light of the Buddha’s teachings.
Boon granting or charity mudra is one of the most common mudras expressed by Buddha statues. The palm is flat and facing forwards away from the body. Additionally, this mudra can be expressed by either hand although the right hand is most common. Furthermore, the statue can be seated, standing or walking. Buddhas and bodhisattvas use the Varada mudra to express the granting of a boon such as knowledge or compassion. For example, Bhaisajyaguru commonly uses the mudra to express granting the boon of medicine.
Additionally, Tara statues use the mudra to express their unwavering compassion and the rewards of enlightenment to faithful practitioners.
Identities of Different Buddha Statues
This figure is believed to be a celestial Buddha and appears as a prominent figure in the doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism. Additionally, Amitabha is a principal figure in Pure Land Buddhism and is thought to possess an unimaginable amount of merit. Some characteristics associated with Amitabha include longevity, pureness of perception and deep awareness of the emptiness phenomenon.
Amitabha Buddha was believed to have previously been the bodhisattva named Dharmakara. The Amitabha accumulated this collection of merit during his countless bodhisattva lifetimes. Amitabha is an iconic figure in the Mahayana sect of Buddhism in East Asia and is known as “The Buddha of immeasurable life and light”. This Buddha statue is usually carved for religious purposes.
Standing & Seated Amitabha
This Buddha statue can depict Amitabha seated or in a standing position. The seated Amitabha is usually depicting the meditation mudra and is sometimes also holding the lotus flower in the flat of his palms. When standing the mudra depicted is the left arm bare and extended downward with the thumb and index finger touching. The right arm is held upright with the palm facing outward and thumb and index finger touching. This is the teaching or wisdom mudra and it symbolizes that the teachings of Buddha are available to everyone. These Buddha statues reveal the sincerity of Amitabha because his right hand is held near his heart. Additionally, sometimes Amitabha is displayed alongside Guanyin and Mahāsthāmaprāpta.
Bhaisajyaguru or Medicine Buddha
It is believed by Tibetan Buddhists that the Buddha is to be credited for granting the knowledge of medicine to mankind. The mudra that this Buddha statue is depicting is 1) the back of his left hand resting in his lap with palm upwards holding a bowl (presumably filled with medical herbs). 2) the right hand is draped over his right leg with palm outwards. The right hand is of special significance because it is an open gesture that indicates the Buddha is granting the knowledge of medicine to mankind. This Buddha statue is believed to calm your spiritual ills and grant you good health.
This popular statue is a future Buddha who is believed to be the successor of Gautama Buddha. It is believed that the bodhisattva will appear in the future to achieve enlightenment and teach mankind the true Dharma. Unfortunately, the prophecy foretells that Meitreya will return at a time when the world has fallen into disarray and has forgotten the original dharma. Therefore, the Maitreya will need to reteach the dharma to mankind.
The most significant of all the large Buddha statues in the world is located in Sichuan Province, China. It is named the Leshan Buddha statue and it is sculpture based on Maitreya.
Compassion Buddha Statue
This Buddha statue is also known as the 4 armed Avalokitesvara or Chenrezig. Compassion Buddha is actually a bodhisattva that is said to embody the compassion of all the Buddhas. The Bodhisattva of Compassion has taken an oath not to rest until all sentient life is saved from continuous rebirth and obtains enlightenment.
Compassion Buddha is known and beloved by all Buddhists. Therefore, Compassion Buddha has different names in different regions. The Sanskrit word for the Bodhisattva of Compassion is Avalokitesvara in India, but it is the same reincarnation as Guanyin in China, Chenrezig in Tibet or Lokesvara in Cambodia. Additionally, Compassion Buddha can also appear as either masculine or feminine e.g. Guanyin is feminine and Lokesvara is masculine.
Compassion Buddha is believed to have forgone enlightenment to bridge the gap between the Shakyamuni Buddha and the final Buddha of the future – Meitreya Buddha. Avalokitesvara is said to have exploded after realizing the immensity of the task that lies ahead. Amitabha put Chenrezig back together again. As a result, Chenrezig can be depicted with 4 arms or even a thousand arms and a eleven heads. The extra arms and heads are used by Chenrezig to be able to work faster and to observe the suffering of sentient beings more effectively.
Three Buddha Statues
The common decorum in a Buddhist shrine is to have not only one, but 3 Buddha statues. In the middle is Shakyamuni Buddha, on his left side is Padmasambhava Buddha and on the right is Green Tara. Padmasambhava is a Buddha who walked the earth in the 8th century, long after the original Buddha. This Buddha is said to clear all obscurity from the path to enlightenment. On the other hand, Tara is a bodhisattva who was born out of compassion.
Bear in mind that this arrangement of Buddha statues can have different variations. However, it would be considered a common arrangement in a Vajrayana Buddhist Shrine. Thus, if you are in a region that practices Theravada or Mahayana Buddhism then there may be a different arrangement or perhaps only a Gautama Buddha statue.