What Does a Buddha Sculpture Mean?

What Does a Buddha Sculpture Mean?

What Does a Buddha Sculpture Mean?

The statue of Buddha is considered to be a mascot for the Buddhist faith. Since ancient times, people have held awe and reverence for it as a subject of meditation and source of inspiration.

In Buddhism, it is a symbol of enlightenment, which can be attained by conquering egoism and the wants of the material world. The sculpture conveys the message that one must first find inner serenity via the process of introspection.

History of Buddha Iconography

In India, the country that is considered to be the birthplace of Buddhism, artistic depictions of the Buddha initially emerged some time between the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D.

Artistic depictions of the Buddha began to emerge in Thailand and Laos around the same time that Buddhism began to expand throughout Southeast Asia.

It was not until centuries after the death of Siddhartha Gautama that the first icons of the Buddha were constructed, and it was never the intention of these icons to portray the man's physical characteristics in any way.

Instead, each image is meant to convey a certain aspect of Buddha's philosophies and teachings. Because of this, we might say that these icons have a life of their own or a spirit.

It is necessary for the artists who sculpt the statues to be in a state of spiritual connectivity in order for the statues to accurately convey the essence of the Buddha's teachings.

Buddha Sculpture FAQs

What does the Buddha statue symbolize?

The Teaching Buddha statue is meant to symbolise enlightenment, comprehension, and the realisation of one's potential. The image of the Teaching Buddha depicts the period of the Buddha's life after he attained enlightenment and delivered his first sermon.Is it disrespectful to have a Buddha statue?

Besides being totally disrespectful, it's bad luck to place Buddha in a bathroom. Also the statue should never face one. Dust accumulating on or around the statue is disrespectful. It will bring filth into your own life.

Who is the female Buddha?

In Mahayana Buddhism, she takes the form of a female bodhisattva, and in Vajrayana Buddhism, she takes the form of a female Buddha. She is revered as the "mother of emancipation" and is a symbol of the values that come with being successful in one's job and accomplishments.

Which Buddha is for money?

Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha was considered to be the Buddha of Wealth by a good number of Feng Shui experts. This is due to the belief that gazing upon the image of the Laughing Buddha will bring forth an endless supply of money and an abundance of financial success.

Why is the Buddha smiling?

When he did, people began to refer to him as the Buddha, which means "the enlightened one," since he was so enlightened that he was able to pave the way out of misery and into happiness (which is why he is very often depicted as a smiling Buddha). A few of these Buddhas are known to have laughed in order to accomplish, communicate, or express enlightenment.

Symbolism And Meaning Of Buddha Statues


Sculptures of Buddha can be found all throughout the world, and they serve as a symbol for the teachings and travels of Gautama Buddha.

Each statue is distinguished by a unique combination of physical attributes, attitudes, and postures that convey the idea behind the statue as well as the significance of its presence.

It is said that the Buddha communicated not only his teachings but also his meditation, enlightenment, and wisdom through the use of hand gestures called mudras.

In a same manner, each of the stances that the Buddha assumes has a specific meaning all its own. The three positions—sitting, standing, and lying down—in which Buddha is depicted in art the most commonly are all ones in which he is seated.

There are also a few images of the walking Buddha; nevertheless, this form of the Buddha is much less prevalent than the other forms of the Buddha.

Reclining Buddha

The Reclining Buddha, who is also known as the Nirvana Buddha, is a representation of Buddha during the final hours of his life on earth before passing away and entering Nirvana.

On this particular sculpture, Buddha is seen reclining to the right, atop a table.

It was only because Buddha attained enlightenment that he was able to break free from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth and arrive at Nirvana.

The Buddha is depicted in the reclining Buddha position, in which he is laying on his right side with his head propped up by a pillow or by his propped up hand and elbow.

Even though this depiction of the Buddha can be seen as him sleeping or relaxing, it is most frequently understood to be a depiction of the closing moments of the Buddha's life as he was about to pass away.

This transitory condition is known as parinirvana, and it is only experienced by those individuals who have attained enlightenment, also known as nirvana, throughout their lifetime.

Those who have broken free of samsara, the endless cycle of rebirths, and karma are said to have attained nirvana. Instead, they arrive at nirvana after death, also known as the eternal Self, after they pass away.

Iconographically speaking, the reclining Buddha is a portrayal of the Buddha in the moment of his attainment of Mahaparinirvana when he was lying down.

As a representation of the historical Shakyamuni Buddha while he was in his final moments of illness, this iconographic pattern is one of the most well-known and widely used in Buddhism.

In statues depicting the Buddha in the reclining position, he is depicted lying on his right side with his head turned to the west and his right hand supporting his head.

It is not the purpose of the reclining Buddha statues to bring about a state of melancholy in the devotees; rather, the reclining Buddha should be viewed as a source of encouragement that all beings have the potential to become awakened or enlightened and free themselves from the suffering that is caused by the cycle of rebirth.

Enlightenment brings with it a sense of compassion and tranquillity, which is portrayed in the meditative smile and peaceful demeanour that the Buddha displays in the statue of him reclining.

Sitting Buddha

The image of a seated Buddha is by far the most prevalent one used to depict the Buddha. Teaching, meditating, or making an effort to achieve enlightenment are all possible interpretations of these Buddha statues. Hand movements, also known as mudras, play a significant role in interpreting the meaning of a seated Buddha.

For instance, the pose in which the Buddha rests his left hand palm up on his lap and his right hand palm down with fingers towards the earth signifies that the statue is calling the earth to witness. This is known as the bhumisparsha mudra.

There are three distinct postures that can be assumed by a seated Buddha. These are known as virasana, vajrasana, and pralambanasana.

Virasana, also known as the hero's pose or half lotus, is characterised by the legs being crossed over each other with the sole of one foot being turned upward. The legs are folded over each other in vajrasana, also known as the adamant pose, the lotus posture, or the diamond posture. The soles of both feet are turned upward in this position.

Pralambanasana, sometimes referred to as the European Sitting Pose, is a seated meditation pose that symbolises the Buddha in a chai.

Standing Buddha

The standing Buddha is indicative of being stationary, with both feet planted firmly side-by-side.

During this position, the Buddha has stopped, and the reason for this halt can be determined by the mudra of the hands.

Most often, the standing Buddha is repelling conflict or rising from meditation to teach the Four Noble Truths after reaching nirvana.

Notably, the feet of the Buddha are planted firmly on the ground, indicating the Buddha is ready to begin traveling and teaching.

By contrast, when the soles of the feet are facing upward, as in vajrasana, the Buddha is in the receiving position, during meditation.

Walking Buddha

Grace and inner beauty are represented by the image of the Walking Buddha. The right hand of Buddha is raised and turned outward, while the left hand swings besides the body, and the left foot is placed behind the right foot.

This statue, which depicts Buddha making his way back down to earth after giving a sermon in heaven, has an elegant aspect and portrays the event.

The position of the Walking Buddha's right hand suggests an expression of confidence.

The walking Buddha stance is one of the Buddha poses that is seen the least frequently and may nearly only be found in Thailand. It depicts the Buddha in a standing position, with one foot in front of the other and the robe shifted to one side as if it were moving.

This posture conveys an air of grace and inner tranquilly. People frequently believe that the Buddha is either beginning his journey to teach or is returning from heaven after giving a speech when this image is depicted.

In spite of the fact that it is commonly believed that the walking Buddha has already attained nirvana, there are images of the walking Buddha that show him wearing footwear.

Even though he has started along the path towards enlightenment, the shoes are keeping him from connecting with the soil. This is despite the fact that the journey has already begun.

Before he may achieve enlightenment, he must first rid himself of his attachment to the things of this world.

The Thai phrase "Phra LeeLaa" is used to refer to this concept, which connotes elegance and inner beauty. The left hand is hanging down down the left side of the torso while the right hand is uplifted and pointing outward. In a standing position, with the right foot behind the left, begin to lift yourself off the ground.

This statue was created during the Sukhothai era in Thailand and is unique to that time period. It portrays a moment when the Buddha was coming to earth after delivering a speech on the Dharma in heaven, and he was being accompanied by Lord Indra and Lord Brahma during this time.

Protection Buddha

There are two different interpretations that can be given to the image of a seated Buddha with the right hand uplifted and looking outwards.

The first image is of the Buddha of Protection, so-called because the uplifted right hand in this depiction is meant to suggest a shield.

The first meaning is very closely connected to the second meaning, which is "Overcoming Fear" (since one who is receiving protection would be less fearful).

The key characteristics of this stance, other than the raised right hand, are that the Buddha can be shown either sitting or standing, and the left hand can either be stretched outward or placed palm up in the lap. In addition, the right hand is raised higher than the left hand.

This statue is meant to inspire bravery and to provide protection against fear, anger, and delusion.

Protection The Buddha is seen sitting with his right arm up and looking away from him. This particular hand gesture represents a shield.

A second interpretation of the stance is that it conveys the idea of triumphing over one's fears. Typically, the image of the Protection Buddha is depicted either seated or standing with the left hand either held out to the side or folded across the lap. Protection The name Buddha is synonymous with bravery, and worshipping him can shield one against negative emotions such as fear, anger, and delusion.

Meditation Buddha

In this position, Buddha's hands are placed palms up in front of him on his lap, and his legs are crossed in either a Double Lotus or a Single Lotus pose.

Because the statue is meant to signify intense concentration, Buddha's eyes are typically shown either partially or completely closed.

The solidity that is represented by the statue is conveyed through its profile, which is fashioned similarly to a triangle.

Those who are looking to bring more tranquilly and peace into their lives may find great benefit in this Buddha statue. It is also the ideal accessory for a room in your house that serves as a place for you to unwind and rest when you get the chance.

This statue is for individuals who either aspire to cultivate a greater capacity for inner stillness and tranquilly in their life or who are interested in developing their own meditative abilities.

When people wish to create a "serenity room" or a space in their home where they may sit quietly for a short while and relax, they frequently decide to purchase a Meditation Buddha as the centrepiece of that space.

Both of the Buddha's hands are depicted in this position, with the palms facing upwards, and the legs are crossed in either a Double Lotus pose (with the ankles of each leg tucked behind one another in a locked position) or a Single Lotus pose. In this posture, the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment (where one leg rests on top of the other leg).

On occasion, an alms bowl will also be placed in the lap at the same time.

The eyes of the Buddha are typically shown as being either partially or completely closed in this statue. This is done so that the statue can be interpreted as representing intense attention.

The silhouette of the monument is shaped approximately like a triangle, which is a symbol of steadiness; nevertheless, the design is not exact.

A significant number of the greatest Buddha sculptures in Japan and Korea are seated in the Meditation Pose. One example of this is the Great Kamakura Buddha Statue, which can be found in the Kotokuin Temple.

Another name for this position is the Amithabha Buddha, which literally translates to "Boundless Light."

Laughing Buddha 


Have you ever wondered why the Laughing Buddha, who is also referred to as the Happy Buddha, Prosperity Buddha, Ho Tai, or the Fat Buddha, is shown as being overweight?

It's possible that this answers your question! The Buddha who is depicted as laughing is not the true Buddha at all.

The Laughing Buddha was a revered Chinese monk who was well known for his Buddhist sermons and who gained a great deal of popularity due to the fact that he brought a bag full of gifts for the children who learned the Dharma. He was known as the "Laughing Buddha."

One might compare him to the Buddhist version of Santa Claus.

It is possible to show the Laughing Buddha in a variety of different ways, such as with his arms raised high above his head and stretching towards the sky, with a sack draped over his shoulder, or simply sitting with his tummy out and anticipating a good rub.

The image of the laughing Buddha is meant to signify joy, fortune, and abundance.

The image of the Buddha smiling or laughing is arguably the one that is recognised and used the most in western society.

The Buddha of Abundance is also known as the Buddha of Good Luck and Prosperity.

It shows Buddha in his later years smiling broadly and stuffed to the gills with the riches that he accumulated over his life.

It's possible that he'll be seated, but more likely he'll be standing with his hands raised over his head, holding either a real or fictitious Ru-Yi pot.

This statue has been called "Happy" in a kind way. It is customary to rub his tummy in order to ensure that even more good fortune would be bestowed upon you.

Earth Touching Buddha

In Thai temples, the most popular posture is one in which the legs are crossed, the left hand is resting in the lap, and the right hand is pointed towards the ground with the palm facing inward towards the Buddha.

The Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment when he assumed the position known as "Calling the Earth to Witness," which is also the name of the pose.

It tells the tale of how, after a period of six years of meditation, the Buddha was finally on the edge of enlightenment. Unfortuitously, the Demon of Illusion named Mara attempted to dissuade the Buddha from taking the final steps.

The Buddha spent the entire night in meditation in order to conquer the anxieties and temptations that Mara had sent his way. He then contacted the Earth Goddess in order to have her attest to the fact that the Buddha had attained enlightenment, which he subsequently shared with the rest of the world.

As the Earth Goddess saw this unfold, she began to wring her hair, which resulted in the discharge of flood waters that washed away the Demon Mara as well as all of the temptresses that he had released.

Medicine Buddha

In paintings, the Medicine Buddha is shown to have blue skin; however, regardless of whether the figure is shown as a statue or a painting, the right hand is shown held facing downward with fingers extended towards the ground, palm facing outward towards the viewer, and a bowl of herbs is shown resting in the left hand on the lap.

It is a widely held belief among Tibetans that the Buddha was the one who brought the knowledge of medicine to the people of the world. In fact, the position of the Buddha's right hand, with the palm facing outward, is symbolic of "granting a boon" (which literally translates to "giving a blessing") to mankind.

This is a gesture that is frequently seen on statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities alike.

People who are concerned with their physical well-being revere the Medicine Buddha, who can be discovered most frequently in the Buddhist communities and temples of Nepal and Tibet.

The Medicine Buddha is tasked with disseminating information regarding medicinal practises. His right hand is positioned such that it is pointing downward, with the palm facing outward and the fingers extended towards the earth. His left hand holds a bowl of herbs.

The Buddha is depicted as bestowing a blessing upon all of humanity with his right hand held outwards. Those who are interested in improving their health should look to the Medicine Buddha.

Teaching Buddha 


This statue represents enlightenment, comprehension, and the accomplishment of one's destined path. Both hands are brought up to the level of the chest, and the thumb and index finger of each hand are brought together to form a circle.

The palm of the right hand is facing you, while the palm of the left hand faces away from you.

The Teaching Buddha, like the majority of depictions of the Buddha, depicts a specific event in the historical life of the Buddha. More specifically, it shows the first sermon the Buddha delivered after he attained enlightenment.

This discourse was given to a select number of disciples who, at one point in time, had looked down on the Buddha. Those who are either currently engaged in the study of spirituality or have a general interest in doing so would find this statue to be a very useful addition to their collection.

This expression, Dharma

Chakra is difficult to explain with words. The term "the way of righteousness" is what "Dharma" refers to, whereas "Chakra" is more commonly interpreted as "the universe" or "the cosmos."

This phrase, when taken as a whole, is commonly understood to mean "setting the cosmic law of righteousness in order" or "spinning the wheel of cosmic righteousness."

Three Wise Buddhas (See No Evil Buddha)

It should come as no surprise that the majority of Buddhist practises always involve three steps. The number three is associated with the trinity, which is a symbol of divine protection, assistance, and direction. Additionally, it relates to the three aspects of training that are concentration, discrimination, and discipline.

The three wise monkeys and the proverb linked with having a good thinking, word, and deed are depicted in these statues of the laughing Buddha.

  • Hear not evil Buddha: The Kikazaru monkey covers his ears to hear no evil.
  • See no evil Buddha: The Mizaru monkey covers his eyes and sees no evil around.
  • Speak no evil Buddha: The Iwazaru monkey, who covers his mouth to speak no evil.

Feng shui applications allow you to improve your personal directions and energise areas of your life that may have become stagnant. Buddha statues for the home and garden can also be used in these applications.

It is essential to have a thorough understanding of the symbols used in the creation of each statue in order to make the most of the chi energy that is drawn to it.

Contemplation Buddha

The image of the Buddha in the Contemplation Pose, in which he is seen holding his arms on his breast with the palms facing inward and his right arm resting on the outside of his left arm, is a representation of calm determination and tolerance.

Anyone who is interested in developing their spiritual self-assurance should read Contemplation Buddha. In addition to that, it fosters humility.


Buddhism is a form of spiritual practise that may be traced back to India and eventually made its way to East Asia. The core concept of Buddhism is that one can attain enlightenment by practising morality throughout one's life, despite the fact that there are many diverse sects within the religion.

Although it may appear to be common sense, Buddhists regard these teachings not only as moral guides for everyday life but also as spiritual practises.

Throughout temples and residences, you'll find sculptures that reflect the trip to enlightenment; these sculptures are meant to signify the way that each of us must travel on our own unique paths in order to arrive at Nirvana (or nirvana).

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