We’ve gotten so used to seeing the images of the “Laughing Buddha,” which is a Chinese depiction,  both of Budai, or “Cloth Sack,” who is probably not a historical figure,  but named because he wondered around carrying a cloth sack (his worldly possessions) and “Laughing” because,  well,  yes,  because he was ALWAYS Happy, Joyous, and Laughing.  There are other cultural influences involved,  as to why we have terms such as: “A Buddha Belly.” Some have to with Chinese culture,  and that an emaciated figure was a status symbol for someone with,  well,  no status. Where as someone with a Fat Belly was a cultural symbol of Prosperity, and Power.

But the Historical Buddha, AKA Śakyamuni Buddha, Gautama Buddha,  or simply The Buddha (as opposed to simply Buddha,  which can apply to anyone that has achieved the state of Nirvana, Enlightenment,  Awakened,  and in some cases,  Satori and Moksha can imply Full Enlightenment,) as depicted in this image,  shows a very realistic portrait of what the then Bodhisattva Sidhartha Gautama would have looked like,  as he sat beneath the “Bodhi Tree,” after spending 6 or 7 years practicing the austerities of the wandering holy men,  or sadhus,  or ancient,  and modern India (Although the place of his Enlightenment took place in Bodhgaya, India, he was born in what is now, Nepal.)

Sidhartha spent his youth living a most hedonistic life,  but once he caught sight of the reality of old age, sickness, and death.  As well as the sight of a serene sadhu,  which really sent his head spinning! “What is the point of it all…if we’re all going to end up getting old,  sick,  dying,  and then reborn,  only to continue a never ending cycle…like a ferris wheel that you can’t get off of!

So, off he went, trading his princely garb,  for that of a wanderers rags,  Immediately hr swung in the opposite direction, from hedonism,  to nihilism.  He excelled faster than anyone at the vicious austerities.  The idea being that if suffering is the problem,  and is linked to the body,  than learn to embrace suffering…beat down the flesh,  in order to free the Soul.

Well after 6 or 7 years of this,  sometimes eating one piece of rice per day, and beating on his body…his hair and teeth falling out from malnutrition,  it dawned on him that this was NOT the answer to his question,  the solution to his bedevilment.  Upon tis realization,  he asked a young woman for some food,  it was something like Kheer,  a traditional Rice Pudding,  and with this food,  he felt a new burst of energy and determination,  and sat down beneath the shade of this lovely tree,  not far from the river,  determined to stay seated,  in deep Samadhi,  or single-pointed focus,  from which he delve into the states of exalted consciousness with which he had become very adept with during his years as a sadhu.

On the next edition of “The Price is Right” we will discuss just what occurred on that most auspicious of all nights in the history of the World. But for now,  the point is, well,  the point is all in the title: What the Buddha likely looked like upon his Nirvana, and the Discovery of the Middle Way.

About Dharmamitra Jeffrey Stefani

ABOUT Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani: Myers-Briggs Personality Type: INFJ Meditation + Dharma Teacher; Mindfulness-Based Therapy; Only Here, Now: Awake-to-Oneness; Filmmaker/Video Producer, Photographer, Editor, Traveler, Public Speaker, Author, Nature-Lover, Outdoor Leadership + Education, Wilderness Medicine Medical Physiologist (Human) Modern Psychoanalyst Lean Startup Founder + Managing Director of: OPTIMIZED Digital Marketing, LLC (A True Buddhist Right-Livelihood Business) Organic SEO + Local SEO Search Engine OPTIMIZED Content Campaigns, Strategies + Tactics; Relationship UnMarketing; Social Media Engagement; Brand/Customer Loyalty Programs Web 3.0 + Digital Marketing WordPress Website Design + UXE ODM, LLC’s Office Address: OPTIMIZED Digital Marketing, LLC 512 E 11 Mile Rd Suite 300 Royal Oak, Michigan 46067 United States ODM, LLC’s Office Phone Number: +1 (248) 425-1821 ODM, LLC’s Office Email: Info@OptimizedDigitalMarketing.com ODM Website: http://OptimizedDigitalMarketing.Com http://BuddhistInsight.Org •Twitter Accounts: @DharmamitraJeff (Dharma Account) @JeffreyStefani (Work Account) OPTIMIZED Digital Marketing, LLC; Organic Search Engine Optimization + Local Search Engine Optimization; SEO Content Strategy + Campaigns • Facebook Profile: Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani • Facebook Pages: † Sharing The Buddha-Dharma: Triratna Buddhist Community: Detroit-Royal Oak † OPTIMIZED Digital Marketing, LLC (ODM) •Google+ Profile: Dharmamitra Jeff Stefani •Google+ Pages: † “Buddhist Insight” † OPTIMIZED Digital Marketing, LLC (ODM, LLC) Why Content Marketing, Organic-SEO, Local-SEO, SEM, SMM + WordPress Integration?! GREAT Question! OPTIMIZED Digital Marketing, LLC (ODM, LLC) is a part of the “New Earth,” “Awakening Global Consciousness Movement”... A True “Buddhist Right-Livelihood Business” ... “Relationship UnMarketing” = TOTALLY UNLIKE TRADITIONAL MARKETING... It’s All About Relationships, EQUAL + FAIR PRACTICES, Having an Interactive Voice + Brand Online Marketing = “The Great Equalizer”... That Levels the “Virtual Playing Field” Buddhist Right-Livelihood Business [Don’t be silly and think that “Digital Marketing” is in-and-to-itself something superficial, unethical, or At ALL "Inherently Bad”... I help Buddhist, Non-Buddhist, For-Profit, Start-Ups, Local and Small-Medium Sized Businesses, Organizations, Non-Profits, Anyone or Anything That IS an Ethical Organization (They need SEO just as much, if not MORE So, than the Big Companies!) May ALL KNOW Joy, Love, Wellness, Success, and Freedom from Suffering...by KNOWING the *Causes* and *Conditions* of Joy, Love, Wellness, Success, and Freedom from All Suffering! 🙏💚😌 Mettā, Sati, Karuna, Upekkhā... Peace and Love ALL! ~The Dharmakaya

Posted on November 6, 2012, in Austerities, Be Her Now, BLOG, Buddha, Buddhism, Carpe Diem, Chan, Dharma, Eternalism, Freedom, Happiness, Health, Hedonism, How to Meditate, India, Life & Death...., Life of the Buddha, Meditation, Mindfulness, Nihilism, Quotes of the Buddha, Sadhu, Spirituality, Taoism, The Meaning of Life, TRUTH, Wellbeing, Zen and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think people like misrepresenting and misunderstanding the buddha and other enlightened beings throughout time…it gives them some distance from the heart of the message…most people I know think of “fat buddha” or “laughing buddha” and those characterizations are easy to dismiss, easy to ignore…but this man who you and I know a little more about (you more than I for sure) was someone who could not be so easily cast aside..he was very serious about the work…anyway, I’m just glad you’re spreading the truth.

    Is this image copyrighted?

  1. Pingback: Self Portrait: Nirvana « Reply2Julian

  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken Buddha « everyday gurus

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