Hôm qua theo bạn đi shopping ở Beverly Hills, (bạn tôi shop thôi nhé, còn tôi thì chỉ shop ở Goodwill, Salvation Army, Ross “dress for less”, Payless “buy 1 get 1 free”). Vào Saks Fifth Avenue, xuống tầng Men’s Wear, tôi hơi ngạc nhiên khi thấy 1 tượng Phật khá to ngồi thiền giữa hàng quần áo fashion. Tượng Phật đẹp, tạo không khí zen, ấn tượng sang trọng. Nhưng ngẫm nghĩ, hình như biều tượng Phật dễ dãi biến dạng quá rồi các bạn há? Tôi cũng dùng tượng, hình ảnh Phật chưng mà không quan tâm lắm. Không biết Phật nghĩ sao khi được/bị update, hiện đại hóa đủ kiểu?
Something almost magical happened when a clever Chinese farmer took a very Zen approach to growing ordinary fruit. He created tiny praying Buddhas out of pears by encasing the young pears in molds while they’re still on the tree. As they grow they have no choice but to take the shape of the spiritual figure. Currently the Buddha pears are sold locally, but the farmer plans to spread the love worldwide. While it would be fun to grab one, it must be something all together amazing to see an orchid of pear trees growing hundreds of tiny Buddhas.
BUDDHA IN FASHION, MERCHANDISE, DECOR, NIGHTCLUBS, ETC.
We often find that Buddha is not treated with respect. Many people over look the feelings of billions of Buddhists around the world.
Why is the image of Buddha so important?
When Buddha was still alive he never asked his followers to make statues or worship him in images. Instead he taught us to not have any attachment to anything – not even himself. Buddha said that the best way to worship him was to follow his teachings. And that after he passed away, after his “Nippana” or “Nirvana”, his teachings would take his place
100 years later some of his followers wondered how Buddha looked. They prayed to an angel who used to meet Buddha. Then the angel appeared in Buddha’s image, and so the first Buddha statues were created. Since then Buddha statues have become a key element for most Buddhists around the world are reminded of his compassion, kindness and his teachings and feel the highest regard for him.
Some show respect, others behave with ignorance.
This summary might help you understand how you (should) can treat Buddha’s images appropriately.
Pay respect with body and/or mind.
To pay respect to Buddha doesn’t mean one has to be a Buddhist. If one behaves with respect towards the father of a friend, one should treat Buddha likewise, for he is worshipped as the enlightened father.
Body language respect can be shown by “Wai” (Worship).
Respect of the mind can be shown by your attitude.
If you don’t want to pay respect at all at least do not look down on Buddha.
If you see a picture, amulet or statue of Buddha in inappropriate places such as a walk way floor, in a toilet or on a chair, please help to place it in a proper place up high such as on a shelf or higher.
If you are a Buddhist inform those who have the wish to know about Buddha.
If you are not a Buddhist, just give the person who might ask “Who is Buddha ?” The simple answer that “Buddha is the Enlightened One who taught the Buddhists to do good deeds the same way God does”.
1. Do not treat Buddha badly.
If you cannot pay respect to Buddha at least do not treat the image of Buddha badly. Nobody should look down on or treat badly someone ‘s father. Buddhists respect Buddha as the religious father. All leaders of religions are regarded with respect. This should also be applied to Buddha.
2. Do not place Buddha images in inappropriate objects or places.
Buddha images should be placed away from objects of daily use such as handkerchiefs, napkins, towels, rags or cleaning item . Also do not use for the lower part of the body shoes, underwear, skirts including all sorts of toys and furniture etc.
True Buddhists who see a Buddha image placed with objects as mentioned will feel very unhappy and may become subject to conflict arising from such situations.
3. Do not place images or statues of Buddha as if they were furniture or decorative objects.
For example don’t place a Buddha statue in the middle of a table.
Don’t place a Buddha statue in the toilet.
Don’t place Buddha statues in bars or restaurants.
4. Do not treat Buddha as merchandise.
You might wonder why there are merchants even in some Buddhist countries who treat Buddha statues or images without respect and sell them like furniture. That is a reflection of human nature. In every society there are good and bad people. Bad people don’t care about anything except their own benefit: but the true Buddhist will feel ashamed of that. In some countries you may see shops selling Buddha statues in various sizes. These may be considered acceptable because the buyers are Buddhists who acquire statues and images to place in the temple or other appropriate places with the intention to respect them.
5. Do not use Buddha’s name in a disrespectful way.
For example in a movie a dog’s name is “Buddha”. There is an ice cream shop named “Buddhi Belly” and a bar called “Buddha Bar”.
6. Do not under any circumstance make fun of Buddha statues or images.
For example there is a movie poster which shows a man sitting on Buddha’s shoulders.
7. Do not tattoo an image of Buddha onto the body.
False idols upset crusading Buddhists
From toilet seats to Disney dogs, the Lord Buddha’s likeness is cropping up in some strange and inappropriate places, and now a group of Bangkok activists has seen enough.
A Buddhist group has successfully convinced a French factory to stop printing the Buddha’s face on toilets, but failed in a lengthy campaign to censor a Walt Disney movie series featuring a dog named Buddha.
The Bangkok-based Knowing Buddha group targets what it deems to be disrespectful use of the Buddha’s image, such as on clothing, furniture, souvenirs, statues, tattoos and even sex toys.
“There has been no progress on Disney; they have not responded at all,” said Acharavadee Wongsakon, the Thai founder of Knowing Buddha, referring to the Air Buddies movies.
“Also, the US Embassy has not been helpful,” she said.
“It is pathetic. We have been trying to push the [Thai] government to arrange a seminar for government bureaus, including tourism and hotels, to show the serious problem that is happening, and to address a solution. Our effort is proving fruitless.”
Mrs Acharavadee launched the anti-Disney campaign in June when she led 200 supporters on a “Stop Disrespecting Buddha” protest march through Khao San Road and other markets which sell clothes, home decor and souvenirs portraying Buddha.
When she recently saw a hotel’s website proudly displaying a photograph of a toilet _ opulently decorated with Buddha’s face _ Mrs Acharavadee unleashed her latest campaign.
“This case was brought to us by one of our supporters on Jan 22. At that time, we were running a campaign on portable public toilets in the Netherlands which had the Buddha image painted on the outside of those toilet booths,” she said. “The Buddha image in the toilet is a hard blow to Buddhists.”
She wrote to the French Embassy in Bangkok and the Thai Embassy in Paris.
“On Feb 18, we received a reply from the French ambassador showing their concern and they indicated that they had already contacted the hotel in France,” she said.
“We wrote a letter to the hotel Moulin de Broaille which displayed the toilet seat in their hotel. We then searched who is the manufacturer of the product, and we wrote to them, asking them to stop and explaining why this is not appropriate and is disrespectful to Buddha. That company is called Olfa, from France.”
On Thursday, however, the toilet seat adorned with Buddha’s face, was still on the manufacturer’s website, which boasts of being “the major specialist” in the toilet seat market.
The hotel’s website also continued to display the toilet on Thursday, illustrating a “Little Buddha” theme of “pure Zen” which guests could enjoy.
“We received an apologetic letter from the manufacturer, which said they would not produce it any more,” Mrs Acharavadee said. “But the hotel has not removed this product, forcing us to continue working on this case.”
The campaign against the Air Buddies movies is also continuing, but Mrs Acharavadee acknowledges that this a much bigger fight. Disney’s Buddha dog is aimed toward children and, according to the movie’s website, exhibits Buddhist stereotypes. For example, the dog practises yoga and meditation, while avoiding meat and stress.
The friendly puppy also eats dog food from a dish emblazoned with the word “Buddha”.
When Mrs Acharavadee’s daughters innocently downloaded the film from iTunes last year, she was shocked to see Buddha the dog as a main character.
“Disney’s adorable talking puppies” are “everyone’s favourite canine siblings,” says Disney’s website.
The dogs are five “Buddies” named Budderball, RoseBud, B-Dawg, MudBud and Buddha.
Last year, Mrs Acharavadee called for a global boycott by Buddhists of the Air Buddies movies.
She launched her campaign so Disney would “stop using the name ‘Buddha’ for a dog. There is no need to cancel the series; just remove that character, or change its name.”
Repeated emails to Disney’s media addresses failed to garner a response.
Knowing Buddha is comprised of 35 team members plus 7,000 supporters, she said, and it protests receive a mixed response from the public.
Random posts online discussing the protests include critics who say Buddha would not have supported the censoring of people who use his face or image for disrespectful or commercial purposes.
MOST UNENLIGHTNING: ITEMS ACTIVISTS WANT BANNED
Popcorn Buddha in Pennsylvania.
“The enlightened snack. A moment of bliss in every kernel.”
“Happy Buddha Underwear & Panties. Happiness Buddha Classic Thong.”
Fit Buddha fitness club in Santa Barbara, California.
“At Fit Buddha you will evolve your body temple… thus becoming your own Fit Buddha”.
Two images starting to go viral on Facebook at the moment are these one with over 5,000 shares in one day. What you see here are portable toilets in Holland that have been decorated with images of the Buddha. I don’t think any evil intent was meant here. The images are beautiful and serene and the designer probably just wanted to beautify what could have been an ugly corner of this town. But, as we all know, Thais hold their religion with the greatest respect. In Thailand there are many restrictions on what you can and cannot do with images of the Buddha. Although it has never been tested here, I am sure decorating the walls of a toilet is one of the activities which are deeply frowned upon. Naturally there is a lot of discussion on social media about this. How far do you think this will go? Should the Dutch ambassador be called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explain himself? Or are Thai Buddhists making a mountain out of a molehill?
UPDATE on Tuesday 22nd January from The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bangkok:
“The Royal Netherlands Embassy has brought the reactions of Thai people to the attention of the renting company. The Company, Boels rental, reacted immediately. It has indicated that they were not aware about the impact of the pictures for some people. They will withdraw the bio box immediately from the market. They offer their apologies to the Thai and Buddhist communities for this action.”
Siena and Buddha A little hapa girl and her big Doberman.