buddha statue

Attaching More Importance to the Form of Our Religious Identities than to the Substance of What They Teach Us ~ 17th Karmapa

In 2001, the huge Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan were intentionally demolished. From a certain perspective within Islam, these statues were offensive instruments of idol worship, while to Buddhists they were reminders of sacred principles and the very best of our innate human potential. Basically, we Buddhists use physical images in our spiritual practice, while Muslims worship without images. Clinging to either position was creating a wall between people. But they are just statues. Allowing ourselves to be pitted against each other over a statue – now that is really clinging to biases.

Personally, I do not see a basis for treating religious differences this way. A while after the Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed, I had the opportunity to meet with an Afghan youth group working for peace. I suggested to them that we might view the coming down of the Bamiyan Buddhas as bringing down the walls between all peoples. If the presence of those statues was setting us at odds, perhaps we could see it as useful that they were brought down. This is how I felt about it.

Walls come up between people when we attach more importance to the form of our religious identities than to the substance of what they teach us. When spiritual beliefs are used to build up walls between people, this is a total misunderstanding of the purpose of spirituality. Spirituality should mean coming closer to yourself. When this happens, you become closer to others, too. Spirituality and religion should dismantle discrimination and labels, not shore them up. It should break, not create, barriers between people.

– 17th Karmapa

from the book “The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out”
ISBN: 978-1611800012 - http://amzn.to/13mp0W4

translated by Ngodup Tsering Burkhar & Damchö Diana Finnegan

17th Karmapa on the web:

17th Karmapa biography:


I’ve loved our statue of buddha since we were ickle girls. Both my parents have one in their home. Sometimes I wonder if i’m Buddhist by influence oh cripes I hope not ;)

Follow me if you are interested in Buddhism, or would like to talk about it


“When you like a flower, you just pick it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily”-Buddha

Mummified Monk Sits Inside 1,000-year-old Buddha Statue

A special examination conducted in the Meander Medical Centre in Netherlands found that a Buddha statue dating back to the 11th or 12th century encases the mummified remains of a monk.

Erik Bruijn, an expert in the field of Buddhist art and culture and guest curator at the World Museum in Rotterdam, had led the study which determined that the mummy was that of Buddhist master Liuquan, who belonged to the Chinese Meditation School. A CT scan and endoscopy were carried out by Museum at the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort, Netherlands Times reported.

The discovery is of great cultural significance, not only because it is one of a kind, but also because rolls of paper scraps covered in Chinese writing were found inside the statue. Read more.