Lotus Blooms In the Blog

September 10, 2006

Buddha Emanation Bodies and Pictures

Filed under: General — by Kent Sandvik @ 7:26 pm

geshe_dakpa_blesses_medicine_buddha.jpgI took this picture this summer at the Land of Medicine Buddha festival in Soquel, where the big Medicine Buddha thanka is taken out and carried up to the Maitreya temple, and put outside.

Geshe Dakpa from Tse Chen Ling in San Francisco is here blessing the thanka, it’s just a small part of the very huge Medicina Buddha thanka.

Anyway, many might wonder why Tibetan lamas bless images, statues, thankas, and so on.

According to Buddhist teachings, enlightened beings have full control of their body and mind. In the Mahayana teachings, this goal has been reached with the main motivating force to benefit all sentient beings. Thanks to this focus the enlightened beings could take any form to benefit sentient beings. In other words, enlightened beings could emanate any form needed to help others with specific goals in mind.

One way to benefit beings is to take form of enlightened goals, such as curing all beings from suffering — Medicine Buddha. So it’s not a big leap of faith to be taken that one of the most beneficial things an enlightened being could do is to manifest in forms of statues, pictures, thankas, stupas, and so on, and this way inspire others to follow the same goals as the enlightened being long time ago aspired to do.

So for a lama to bless an image, it’s a way to have an intuition what’s really going on.

Anyway, it makes me think twice next time I see a Buddhist statue, image, or stupa…

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