Monday, 23 November 2009

The First Buddha Statues


The first statues and busts of the Buddha were made in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan. Their makers were either descendants of Greeks who settled in the after Alexander the Great’s arrival or were influenced by Hellenistic styles. Before any such statues were made, the Buddha was symbolised by the Dharma Wheel or a stupa.

The first Buddhas were made nearly 300 years after his death. Although the holy texts and canons have some information about his looks little is known of their exact authorship and when they were written.

Some statues and heads exist where the Buddha has a moustache which was common on men of high status at that time. Later though the Buddha is always shown clean shaven and without a beard or moustache. In the Pali Scriptures a writing is shown many times which records how the Buddha began his quest for enlightenment.

"So, at a later time, while still a young black-haired young man endowed with the blessings of youth and in the first stage of my life — and while my parents, unwilling, were crying - I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the saffron robe and went forth from my home life to that of being homeless.

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