WHAT THE BUDDHA LIKELY LOOKED LIKE, AT THE TIME OF HIS NIRVANA
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.
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 austerities, Bodhgaya, Bodhi Tree, Bodhisattva, Budai, Buddha, China, Chinese, Cloth Sack, Death, Dhamma, Dharma, Dhyana, Enlightenment, Eternalism, Gautama, Hedonism, holy men, India, Laughing Buddha, Middle Path, Middle Way, Moksha, Nepal, Nibbana, Nihilism, Nirvana, old age, sadhu, sadhus, Samadhi, Sangha, Satori, sickness, Sidhartha, ŚAKYAMUNI. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.