Buddha Statues Meanings. Buddha Touching The Earth Statue

Published: 06th July 2010
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Buddha statues can convey many different meanings depending on the pose, and the associated hand gesture, or mudra. In Thai temples, the most common pose has the legs crossed, with the left hand in the lap and the palm facing upwards. The right hand rests on the right knee, with the fingers pointing downwards and touching the earth.

This pose is called the "earth touching", or "calling the earth to witness" mudra, and refers to the Buddha's enlightenment.

Buddha means "awakened one" or "enlightened one". Although a number of people have earned this title, it generally refers to the spiritual teacher Siddhartha Gautama who founded the Buddhist faith.

He was born a prince of a small kingdom in Nepal in northern India. During his early years he led a very privileged life and was sheltered from any knowledge of human suffering. At the age of 29, he left the palace to meet his subjects and was distressed learn of the suffering caused by old age, disease and death.

He embarked on a life as an ascetic to try to find an answer to suffering caused by the human condition. With a group of five others, he tried to find enlightenment through deprivation.

He became so weak from starvation that he almost drowned in a river while bathing. Realizing that deprivation was not the true path to enlightenment, he conceived the Middle Way, a balance between deprivation and self-indulgence.

After accepting a little rice from a village girl, and went to sit under a Pipal tree (sacred fig) and vowed not to rise till he found the truth.

The demon Mara sought to prevent him gaining enlightenment, and sent visions of beautiful maidens to distract him. Buddha called the earth to witness that he would not be tempted from his chosen path.

After meditating for 49 days, he is said to have achieved "enlightenment", he became awakened to the true cause of human suffering. From then on he was known as Buddha, the enlightened one.

Buddha statues represent calmness and purity of thought, and can bring a feeling of peace and tranquility to any home or garden.

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