Vitaka Mudra, the gesture of debate
Perfection Made Manifest
The Buddha statue is really an image of the idealised human being. Its aim is to represent the potential perfection of humanity, both physically, socially and spiritually. It embodies the notion that all human beings can attain perfection and enlightenment in their own lifetimes. Such a message of hope may well be perceived as a viable threat by religous fanatics who do not share the same point of view. Here and now in our own times, we are unwillingly witnessing the ultimate war of words and arms for the human soul. Regressive religious fundamentalism is running rampant, and the world is filled with anger and event. Perhaps now more than ever the wise and ethical teachings of the Enlightened One are needed to calm and pacify those savage beasts who would claim themselves to be agents of the one and only God.
Proper Mental Discipline
The most basic role of a Buddha image is to convey a feeling of calmness and detachment that reflects proper mental discipline, especially that desired state of mind which effortlessly controls the negative emotions of fear, hatred and greed that human beings are so subject to. Buddha's serene appearance is meant to set an example for his followers. Unfortunately, such a state of mental detachment and calmness of spirit is often perceived as an apparent blasphemy by the deranged enemies of Buddhism, who seek to subdue and control the thinking processes of other people who do not share their fanatical points of view.
Classic Postures and Hand Mudras
Buddha statues and other Buddhist art also serve an important role in conveying Buddha's teachings, particularly in traditional societies with low rates of literacy. Classic postures and hand mudras are associated with particular lessons and important moments in the Buddha’s life. Perhaps this is why Muslim fanatics have always gone out of their way to destroy the faces and hands of Buddha statues that have fallen into their possession. They don't want to let any possible truths about human existence get out to their brow-beaten and brainwashed multitude. True control freaks have always shown a total lack of toleration for other philosophical points of view.
Thou Art Buddha
Buddha images provide a serene and reassuring reminder of the basic tenets of Buddhist thought. They encourage us to turn inwards to explore our own buddhanatures, to seek within ourselves that eternal peace and perfection we are looking for. As Jesus Christ, another well known bodhisattva for all times said, "the kingdom of Heaven lies within". All men are buddhas who seek the truth and nothing but the truth for the benefit of all mankind. They do not blindly put their faith into once-upon-a-time stories that have been embellished with behavioural laws for the subjugation of the masses.
Graven Images Have Their Merits
Production of religious art is considered a generous or "merit making" activity amongst Buddhists, because it helps to spread Buddha's teachings around the world in the sincere hope that it will reduce people’s suffering. There are more images of the Buddha in the world than any other religious deity. This is what most upsets the religiously intolerant enemies of the Prince of Peace.
Arms and the Buddha
Buddha was simply a man of love and peace who achieved enlightenment in his lifetime. To venerate an image of Buddha is not to pray to a false idol, but to acknowledge and show reverence towards a man who deeply loved his fellow creatures. The historical Buddha was an ordinary man who nobly succeeded in discerning the causes of human suffering while sitting under a fig tree beside a river in Northern India five centuries before Christ. How could seeking refuge in such a man be branded as false idol worship? Only the truly ignorant and self-serving would make such a ruthless claim.
Unfortunately, this brave new world of ours has many tormented souls in it. They would drag us all back into darkness by way of their own sick versions of religious purgatory if they could have their sway over us. Fortunately, we have standing armies with brave hearts and advanced technological weapons to prevent them from doing so. In the end, men of peace have always been backed up by military strength, until that strength could no longer keep evil from running its course. Human freedom and genuine goodness will always have to be fought for over and over again in this world we would like to call civilizied. This is the way of all men and women until all of us can acquiesce to our higher natures, to our true buddha selves. Then and only then, will there be lasting peace on earth.
Onward Buddhist Soldiers
I am not a prophet, just a realist who realizes the importance of maintaining a rational mind. The glass is half full, so there's still time to turn this world around. What we need is a new life-affirming philosophical force, with the welfare of all the lonely people its main concern.
We are the world, so we can change the world by changing our minds, our religious and our philosophical points of view. Evil must always be met and defeated, and sometimes passive resistence is not the way to go about it. Why do you think Nepal is a free country and Tibet remains enslaved? Some ideas are worth fighting and dying for. I am not an agent of war or revenge, but I am a new Buddhist warrior come to tell you all that there's a war going on out there beyond the sanctity of your temporal walls. Wake up before it's too late. One can only meditate for so long before it becomes time for action. That was the main theme behind Hamlet afterall.
Face up to it, the enemies of peace hate and despise your liberally educated philosophical mind. They seek to destroy you, and at the very least, make you toll their line. This is the truth, the way things are. Will your aspiring purist mind allow you to see things the way they truly are? I hope so, because the world needs your voice and positive actions now more than ever.
Genuine goodness must and will prevail. Men and women of strength, courage and conviction will always stand up to evil, and by doing so, bring it under their control. This is the great story that is always being told by those who would have the truth, and nothing but the truth. Yes, sometimes men and women of peace have to go to war to protect and preserve their philosophical inheritance and peaceful way of living until death comes to claim them naturally.
Good night sweet Prince, and do try to be a little more rational upon waking tomorrow, and not just another purist zombie courting Nirvana in a self-inflicted meditative pose. Help to save what is good in the world instead of trying to escape from it. It's far greater to be a bodhisattva here on earth than a god in Tushita heaven.
YOU ARE THE WAY
thoughts and meditations