"The Enlightened One": Buddhist Art in the Israel Museum Collection
07-24-2018    Theepochtimes.com,
<P align=center><BR>The gilt and lacquered bronze sculpture of the monks Kashyapa and Ananda show a high level of craftsmanship attained in 16th century China. (Courtesy of the Israel Museum)</P>

<P>&nbsp;</P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>By Shlomit Yakobi, Theepochtimes.com, Jul 22, 2006</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Jerusalem</SPAN></st1:City><SPAN lang=EN-US>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">Israel</st1:country-region> -- "The Enlightened One" collection of Buddhist art at the <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Israel</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Museum</st1:PlaceType> presents sculptures, paintings, scriptures and relics spanning 2,500 years and originating from several countries of the <st1:place w:st="on">Far East</st1:place>. The museum's website says "the works on display range from the earliest representations of Buddha and his attendants in <st1:country-region w:st="on">India</st1:country-region> to later forms developed in <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region> and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Japan</st1:country-region></st1:place>.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Along with the various Buddhas, deities, and sages, Tibetan ritual objects are also on display. Together, the works¡ªsome of which are shown to the public for the first time¡ªconvey the many facets of Buddhist art, its multiple meanings, and its visual richness."</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Buddhism didn't have one form. During the years, it went through many changes, split into various sections, absorbed and was assimilated by the local culture and religious system of the places where it was spread. Buddhist arts similarly experienced various changes. But in spite of the differences and variety, the items in the exhibit share many things in common.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Buddha Sakyamuni (literally, "the wise one from the clan of the Sakya") was born to a ruling family and, as Prince Gautama Siddhartha, lived a life of comfort and pleasure. When exposed to the suffering and tribulations of human existence, he decided to abandon his royal life and pursue answers to some of life's perplexing questions: Why was man doomed to suffer? How can one escape suffering? After six years of wandering, he sat down and mediated under a bodhi tree until he enlightened to the eternal truth of the universe.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>From that time forward, Buddha Sakyamuni wandered around <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">India</st1:place></st1:country-region> and taught his teachings. Buddha Sakyamuni lived as human being with a flesh body, and became enlightened through his will and seeking. He found answers to life's questions, rose above human concerns and penetrated eternity. Buddha Sakyamuni awakened to wisdom and became a high-level being with heavenly powers. It is said that Buddha Sakyamuni left the earth for an existence much higher than the specific person who lived in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">India</st1:place></st1:country-region> 2,500 hundred years ago.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Since Sakyamuni's departure from the earth by way of nirvana, other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas joined the pantheon of Buddhist belief. They had their own characteristics and specific existence. For example, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara became known as the goddess of mercy and is especially honored in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Tibet</st1:place></st1:country-region>. The Buddha of Healing is regarded as one who watches over physicians.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>For the believer, a sculpture of the Buddha is not merely an artistic item, but an object that carries with it a spark of the divine being it represents. It is the image of the god, and the presence of this god in this object gives it holiness.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Buddhist religious art wasn't meant to provide an aesthetic experience for the beholder. Rather, the sacred image was meant to offer a spiritual solace and to protect those who honored and respected the artwork. Buddhist artwork represents a kind of ritual object, that is, an aid in one's spiritual journey to the Truth.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The exhibition at the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Israel</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Museum</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> opens a window to another culture, with its mystery and sacredness. Explanations and descriptions of each object help the observer to understand sacred symbols and how they relate to the mundane world.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>-----------------------------</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The Enlightened One: Buddhist Art in the Israel Museum Collection is currently being shown at the Nathan Cummings 20th Century Art building, The Israel Museum, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Jerusalem</st1:place></st1:City>, until August 31, 2006.</SPAN></P>
Editor: Wang Xinyu
   
Related Stories
Global church body to partner with Buddhists at Bangkok meeting
Approved in Qinghai Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Tibetan Buddhist Affairs Regulations
Buddhist Statues Convey The Spirit of The Koreans
The Buddhist Association of Macao Pray for MSAR
Chinese Buddhist Dance: Bodhisattva
Statements: Albert Einstein on Buddhism
Free Downloadable Video Files on Chinese Traditional Culture & Buddhism!
Wallpaper: Chinese Buddhist Dance "Bodhisattva"
Chinese Buddhist Dance: Bodhisattva
Art History: The Image of Buddha
Zen Story: "Worse than a clown"
Wallpaper: Collect Pure and Delicate Fragrance
Wallpaper: Elegant Lotus
Wallpaper: Outstanding Lotus
Wallpaper: Sublime Guan Yin Painting
Wallpaper: Penetrating Lotus Photo
Wallpaper: White-Glazed Avalokitesvara Statue
Wallpaper: Graceful Buddhist Statue
Wallpaper: Lotus painting album leaf of the Song Dynasty
Wallpaper: Bodhisattva Statue of Tang Dynasty
Wallpaper: Cloisonne vat with mandarin duck and lotus
Wallpaper: Wood Maitreya
Wallpaper: Tibetan Buddhism Masterpiece
Praise & Reviews on Zen's Chinese Heritage -- The Masters & Their Teachings
The Three Principle Paths