Buddha is the Enlightened One who taught his followers, the Buddhists, to do good deeds and how to be free from misery.
What are Buddha’s teachings?
Buddha taught us to realize the 4 Noble Truths, which are misery, the cause of misery, the cessation of misery and the path of how to end the misery.
What is the difference between Buddha and Jesus Christ or Mohamed?
All religions teach us to be kind and have compassion. But Buddha also taught us how to break through the circle of misery which consists of being born, being old, being sick, dying, facing the ever changing nature of life and all things.
What is the core of Buddha’s teachings?
1. Refrain from all kind of sins.
2. Do good deeds.
3. Purify your mind.
How can you purify the mind? And why is the mind considered dirty?
The mind is considered dirty or impure because human beings always react with emotions such as anger, hatred, desire, craving and aversion. These emotions only make the mind unhappy.
A purified mind looks clean and feels good.
In order to purify the mind Buddha taught us to stop reacting emotionally. It means to just acknowledge without reacting, which requires a certain knowledge. This knowledge can be reached by the “Vipasana Meditation”.
Why does Buddha’s image always look so peaceful and harmonious?
Because his mind is free from anger, hatred, craving and aversion. He defined such emotions as the cause of misery. And since he is free from them he has a calm heart and is compassionate, which is reflected in his image.
We often find that Buddha is not treated with respect. Many people over look the feelings of billions of Buddhists around the world.
Why is the image of Buddha so important?
When Buddha was still alive he never asked his followers to make statues or worship him in images. Instead he taught us to not have any attachment to anything – not even himself. Buddha said that the best way to worship him was to follow his teachings. And that after he passed away, after his “Nippana” or “Nirvana”, his teachings would take his place.
100 years later some of his followers wondered how Buddha looked. They prayed to an angel who used to meet Buddha. Then the angel appeared in Buddha’s image, and so the first Buddha statues were created. Since then Buddha statues have become a key element for most Buddhists around the world are reminded of his compassion, kindness and his teachings and feel the highest regard for him.
Some show respect, others behave with ignorance.
This summary might help you understand how you (should) can treat Buddha’s images appropriately.
Pay respect with body and/or mind.
To pay respect to Buddha doesn’t mean one has to be a Buddhist. If one behaves with respect towards the father of a friend, one should treat Buddha likewise, for he is worshipped as the enlightened father.
Body language respect can be shown by “Wai” (Worship).
Respect of the mind can be shown by your attitude.
If you don’t want to pay respect at all at least do not look down on Buddha.
If you see a picture, amulet or statue of Buddha in inappropriate places such as a walk way floor, in a toilet or on a chair,
please help to place it in a proper place up high such as on a shelf or higher.
If you are a Buddhist inform those who have the wish to know about Buddha.
If you are not a Buddhist, just give the person who might ask
“Who is Buddha ?” The simple answer that
"Buddha is the Enlightened One who taught the Buddhists to do good deeds the same way God does".
1. Do not treat Buddha badly.
If you cannot pay respect to Buddha at least do not treat the image of Buddha badly. Nobody should look down on or treat badly someone 's father. Buddhists respect Buddha as the religious father. All leaders of religions are regarded with respect. This should also be applied to Buddha.
2. Do not place Buddha images in inappropriate objects or places.
Buddha images should be placed away from objects of daily use such as handkerchiefs, napkins, towels, rags or cleaning item . Also do not use for the lower part of the body shoes, underwear, skirts including all sorts of toys and furniture etc.
True Buddhists who see a Buddha image placed with objects as mentioned will feel very unhappy and may become subject to conflict arising from such situations.
3. Do not place images or statues of Buddha as if they were furniture or decorative objects.
For example don’t place a Buddha statue in the middle of a table.
Don’t place a Buddha statue in the toilet.
Don’t place Buddha statues in bars or restaurants.
4. Do not treat Buddha as merchandise.
You might wonder why there are merchants even in some Buddhist countries who treat Buddha statues or images without respect and sell them like furniture. That is a reflection of human nature. In every society there are good and bad people. Bad people don’t care about anything except their own benefit: but the true Buddhist will feel ashamed of that.
In some countries you may see shops selling Buddha statues in various sizes.
These may be considered acceptable because the buyers are Buddhists
who acquire statues and images to place in the temple or other appropriate places with the intention to respect them.
5. Do not use Buddha’s name in a disrespectful way.
For example in a movie a dog’s name is “Buddha”.
There is an ice cream shop
named “Buddhi Belly” and a bar called “Buddha Bar”.
6. Do not under any circumstance make fun of Buddha statues or images.
For example there is a movie poster which shows a man sitting on Buddha’s shoulders.
7. Do not tattoo an image of Buddha onto the body.
Please help us stop all disrespectful acts toward the Buddha through his images and symbols that is occuring and increasing heavily and regrettably around the world.