Buddha rupa – An image or statue of Buddha
(Pronounced boo-duh roo-pa)
A large statue of Buddha had a baby kangaroo bouncing on its head. Pa (Buddha rupa) was shouting at her to get down off the statue.
Buddha rupa refers to statues or models of beings who have obtained Buddhahood, including the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama himself.
There are some general guidelines to the attributes of a Buddha rupa:
- Fingers and toes elongated proportionately
- Long, aquiline nose
- Elongated earlobes
- Head protuberance
- Broad shoulders
The elongated earlobes are said by some to be vestiges of Siddhartha Gautama's early life as a prince, when he wore extravagant jewellery.
However, others think the long lobes are representative of the Buddha’s ability to hear the cries of suffering, and his response in easing it.
The bump at the top of the head is the ushnisha, a symbol of the 'expanded wisdom' the Buddha attained at the time of his enlightenment.