Inspiration of Buddhism
Having the canvas painting of Buddha at home is an absolute pleasure. Calmness and gentleness on the face of the Buddha bring a unique energy to the interior. To understand why we are so impressed with the motives of the Buddha in everyday objects, including canvases, let us recall Buddhism as a religion and what symbolism it carries.
First, Buddhism is the name for a religion based on the teachings of the Buddha. Secondly, Buddhism is an Eastern religion and one of the world's leading religions because it has a large number of followers as well as significant social and cultural influence. With about 500 million followers, Buddhism is the fourth largest religion, after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.
Buddhism as a religion covers a tiny part of India and is mainly represented in Indochina, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, and Japan
Buddhism originated in northern India in the 6th century BC. The founder of Buddhism, Siddhattha Gautama, was born in 563 BC in Kapilavastu in the Himalayas of Nepal as a prince in a wealthy family. Siddhattha means "one who has achieved a goal." Siddhattha Gautama lived in northeastern India, the largest cultural and spiritual area of that time. Growing up within the royal palace walls, he did not have the opportunity to know human suffering and troubles. He lived in abundance with almost no contact with the outside world because his parents wanted to protect him from religious influences and protection from the outside world.
Despite the comfort that surrounded him, Siddhattha was not happy. Leaving the palace, he met the fact that the outside world is different from everything they taught him, and all that will change his views on the world and life. Along the way, he encountered human suffering in the form of an older man, a sick man, a dead man, and finally, a loner - an ascetic. Although shaken by these scenes, he decided to achieve the ascetic's calmness on his own. He leaves his palace and continues to live as an ascetic in order to find answers to questions about human existence. He renounced worldly life and became a wandering hermit, where he dedicated himself through asceticism to seeking enlightenment. On the way for answers, he met with two Brahmanas - priests, after which he came into contact with five Hindu saints. He spent six years with them in starvation and physical exhaustion, and after practicing the techniques of self-killing and meditation, he realized that he did not know the truth, nor did he get the required answers.
After regaining his strength, Siddhattha found refuge under the sacred fig tree. He meditated under the fig tree (also called the bodhi tree) until he attained enlightenment. Despite the temptations, after 49 days, he experienced enlightenment, and at the age of 29, he became a Buddha, that is, an enlightened one or "the one who knows". Namely, he observed his mind and body and realized that it was a futile practice. He thought that he could not achieve salvation without compassion for himself and that his health was essential for achieving the ultimate goal. It was necessary to overcome some of the adopted ways of thinking. Enlightenment is precisely the motif that is equally interesting in the 21st century, so the canvas painting of Buddha is always interesting because it carries a strong message through a calm facial expression.
Siddhattha, sitting in the lotus position under the sacred fig, reached nirvana
Siddhattha chose between the Brahmana and physical exhaustion, the famous middle path aiming at nirvana. Buddhism teaches that nirvana is the highest state of human existence. Nirvana cannot be learned, only experienced. Buddhists believe that the ultimate goal in life is to attain enlightenment, and ethical principles and meditative prayer to exalted beings are the path that leads to nirvana. The Buddha did not consider himself a god or a kind of divine being but someone who showed the way to others. As then and today, our lives are based on our desires, ambitions, and goals, and on the way to achieving them, we do wrong and good things that trigger events. Thus, every man lives a life focused on material desires, and the Buddha points out that it is necessary to renounce all the shackles conditioned by desires.
Enlightenment means finding a middle path that is neither immoderate self-indulgence nor self-killing. In addition, Siddhattha also discovered what would become known as the four noble truths:
- to live means to suffer,
- the causes of suffering are our desires and longings,
- one can avoid suffering if one is freed from all attachments
- such a state is achieved by rejecting cravings and desires, that is, through the eightfold path.
The eightfold noble path
The Buddha discovered a path through which suffering can be overcome. In the state of nirvana, he remembered experiences in previous lives, and he had a view of the present life. This led to the realization that people in the present life are what they did in the previous life.
The noble eightfold path implies:
- Proper understanding or better understanding of the four tribal truths
- The right intention, that is, living through nurturing virtues
- Correct speech, no lying, gossiping, swearing
- Proper acting by following the five rules of morality
- Proper living, which does not endanger other living beings
- The right effort, by avoiding evil thoughts, which are fueled by hatred, envy, and greed, and by maintaining benevolent thoughts and love
- Correct awareness, meditation in order to be aware of all states of the body, feelings, and thoughts
- Proper concentration, which leads to a higher state of consciousness and a better understanding of the nature of things
The Buddha began to share new knowledge with his followers, among whom he already had a great influence. Five of them became his first students. The Buddha traveled throughout northern India for 45 years and taught others the truths he discovered until his death at the age of 80 in Kusināra. He was the first to dedicate his teaching to the whole of humanity instead of a specific group of people. Until Siddhartha's death, Buddhism became the most influential religion in India, and after his death, this religion spread to most of the Asian continent. Over time, various artistic depictions of the Buddha's character were created, and one of the most current depictions today is the canvas painting of Buddha.
Art in Buddhism
Buddhism arrived in China in the 1st century AD. It was a period in which Buddhist ideas of deliverance met with the denial of earthly desires, which attracted believers from all sides. The most diverse social classes found equal spiritual consolation in Buddhism. Before coming to China, Buddhism already had a developed teaching as well as its own art, which was reflected in temples, monasteries, and sculptures as inseparable parts of this religious aspect. Based on this, we can say that Buddhism has brought a new understanding of art to China, that is, that art must serve the divine.
Styles in Buddhist art were marked by domestic influence as well as the influence of traditions from India, Central Asia, and Tibet. Buddhism spread to China via silk, and numerous examples of Buddhist art and architecture have been found along this way. Since China did not know the art that represented deities, works of art brought from the holy land of Buddhism became the basis of all future Chinese Buddhist art.
Buddhist art differs from other religious symbolism in that the physical representations of the Buddha and his teachings began only after his death
Buddhist art in China is recognized in cave altars in Yungang Province of Shanxi and in Longmen Province, near the city of Luoyang. Among the oldest works in Yungang are five caves containing colossal Buddha scenes, up to eighteen meters high.
Characteristic features of the Buddha on canvas painting
The most present Buddhist symbol found in our homes or business premises is the Buddha statue, which may differ in relation to the symbolic positions of the hands and the expressions of the Buddha's face. In addition to figures and statues, decorative canvases with a specific theme can be displayed individually or in several parts. When it comes to religious motifs, the canvas painting of Buddha is undoubtedly the most popular because it brings in the once lost sense of self-awareness and peace in hasty living conditions.
Buddhist art in the earliest period did not depict the personality of the Buddha himself but was focused on depicting nirvana, a state that is considered liberation from the physical body and earthly desires that accompany the body. In the first century BC, the most famous Buddha performances were footprints or empty chairs. The artistic style of the time was focused on showing the teachings of the Buddha.
The Buddha became a spiritual and artistic expression. Before the creation of the canvas painting of Buddha, the image of the Buddha was shaped into statues that helped expand his teachings. The symbolic meaning of many features of the statue was his message to the world. ZenQ Designs also bears a symbolic name and seeks to display harmonious interior design items. In ZenQ Designs shop, you can find abstract figures or figures inspired by mythical deities or contemporary art, such as:
which is known to us as an ancient Egyptian deity
which have inspired us for centuries with their superior art
originated from the tradition of the climate of South and Central America
with which we were amazed in its original form by the great artist Michelangelo
which is associated with wisdom and retreating into silence.
The motif of eight auspicious symbols is also popular in Buddhist art, representing the offerings made by the gods to the Buddha after his enlightenment. The symbols are:
- two goldfish,
- victory flag,
- the wheel of Dharma
- Eternal Knot.
Each symbol represents a specific lesson that must be understood in order to achieve enlightenment. They originated with Buddha's followers after his death and are often used in meditation to understand the Buddha's teachings better.
The canvas painting of Buddha is a positive image that brings peace into space
Artistic Features of the Buddha
Works such as the canvas painting of Buddha create a deep sense of calm. When expressing the Buddha's features, the canvas painting of Buddha can discover different combinations of colors and the design itself. Regardless of the artistic style, the following features are common to all:
The Buddha's forehead and central point - the third eye
This point is perhaps the first thing we notice in artistic representations of the canvas painting of buddha. When activated through meditative focus, it leads to insight into the nature of reality, bliss, and great intuition.
The Buddha's eyes
The Buddha's are often closed, directing the body's energy towards the inner state and meditation to find refuge in his inner world. The canvas painting of Buddha always contains the eyes of the Buddha, who looks as if he has had some peaceful dream.
The Buddha's ears
The Buddha's ears are presented as elongated, signifying attentive and deep listening, leading to healing, understanding, and serenity.
The Buddha's mouth
The Buddha's mouth is also shown on the canvas painting of Buddha, partly as smiling and partly serious, which represents the joy but unpleasant experiences that a person goes through during his life.
The Buddha's hands
The Buddha's hands are in the position of meditation by pressing Buddha's index finger and thumb together. In this way, they create Gyan Mudra, which implies excellent knowledge and understanding. This sacred hand gesture reflects the Buddha as a teacher of life and helps to calm the mind during meditation.
The Buddha's hair
The Buddha's hair is shown in twisted knots, while on top of his head, he has a crown of spirituality. The crown in the canvas painting of buddha is similar to a turban and signifies achievement in overcoming one's own ego and mastering oneself. Different cultures and religions have practiced different ways of holding hair, tying turbans, or using fabrics to cover hair. In this way, the meridians are supported, and the hair is protected from static energy. By the way, the Buddha asked monks to shave their heads every two months in order to reduce the vanity that is usually associated with hair.
The laughing Buddha
The laughing Buddha is a being that is based on legend. It originated from Chinese and Japanese folk beliefs and has its origins in merging the semi-historical monk Che'tz and the bodhisattva Maitreya into one person.
- Che'tz lived in the 10th century in China and enjoyed popularity because of his eccentric behavior, socializing with children, and cordial treatment of everyone. He was extremely fat and usually carried a sack with various trifles over his shoulder, which is why he was also called "Monk with a big sack".
- In later centuries Che'tz began to be equated with Buddha Maitreya, "Beloved," who was also friendly. Eventually, Maitreya started to be portrayed as Che'tza: bald, with a roaring smile.
Che'tz / Maitreya thus became a deity of prosperity, abundance, and happiness.
When it comes to modern interiors, the canvas painting of Buddha finds its place in living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways. The canvas painting of Buddha, together with lighting, brings positive energy into the space, which becomes a place with positive vibrations.
Now that we have a brief look at the story of the image and work of the Buddha, which is much more complex, we know that the image of the Buddha brings a message of higher meaning into our homes. The canvas painting of Buddha is a modern art story that can be told in many ways!