[INDOLOGY] Visualisation of Buddha/Guru

Dipak Durgamohan Bhattacharya dipak.d2004 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 21 23:38:08 EST 2014


22 01 14

Dear Colleagues,

I hesitate to comment after so many learned postings informing of the
various studies on visualizing the Buddha. These are welcome. Still, one
more point, it seems, is difficult to avoid.

It is more or less admitted by all that in the earliest concept there was
no other Buddha than the historical one.  It must have been so even in the
third century BCE. A rational concept of the Buddha could not engender the
idea of visualization. Our stark Cartesianism prevents comprehending even
the two concepts of the Christ. In ‘Christ protects us all’ the protector
is not the historical person rationalists are used to think of. A
visualization could not be conceived without an intervening concept of the
transcendental Buddha. Does not the rise of a docetic concept culminating
in the kāya concept gain importance in this context?

Best

DB


On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 5:19 AM, Howard Resnick <hr at ivs.edu> wrote:

> Glad to help if I can. My impression from my own reading, and from MW, is
> that Aditya is not common as an adjective.
>
> As a further note on the Gita, I counted 40 instances in 24 verses where
> various verbs referring to seeing occur in Ch 11 alone.
>
> Best,
> Howard
>
>
> On Jan 21, 2014, at 8:57 AM, James Hegarty <hegartyjm at googlemail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Dear Howard,
> >
> > This is very useful; especially as it emerges from a Hindu context. What
> do you make of Aditya-varna as an adjective? Is it common, in your
> experience? Feel free to ignore my impertinent further enquiries!
> >
> > Thank you again,
> >
> > James
> >
> >> On 21 Jan 2014, at 13:31, Howard Resnick <hr at ivs.edu> wrote:
> >>
> >> Dear James,
> >>
> >>   Bhagavad-gita prescribes a visualization of Krishna as “supreme
> divine person…with an inconceivable, sun-colored form” (Bg 8.8-9). And of
> course chapter 11 is extremely visual, using dozens of forms of various
> verbs meaning “to see,” all in regard to the visva-rupa.
> >>
> >>   The Bhagavata-purana, which many date to the first millennium ce, is
> full of visualizations of various forms of Bhagavan, explicitly as
> meditation practice. The usual divine forms are the virad-rupa (cosmic
> form), four-handed Narayana, and two-handed Krishna.
> >>
> >> Best
> >> Howard
> >>
> >>> On Jan 21, 2014, at 2:37 AM, James Hegarty <hegartyjm at googlemail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Dear Colleagues,
> >>>
> >>> Can anyone advise me as to how common visualisation of the Buddha or
> Guru is in Buddhist meditative practice?
> >>>
> >>> Can anyone also suggest the period in which such practices were likely
> to have developed? It is not something I associate with Pali sources (but I
> am no Buddhologist).
> >>>
> >>> I am particularly interested in materials that are likely to date to
> the first millennium of the common era.
> >>>
> >>> If there are any striking examples of this practice in other early
> Indian religious traditions, I would also be grateful to hear of them.
> >>>
> >>> With Thanks and Best Wishes,
> >>>
> >>> James Hegarty
> >>> Cardiff University
> >>> UK
> >>>
> >>>
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> >>> http://listinfo.indology.info
> >>
> >
> >
>
>
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