1. Sitting Buddha

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Sitting Buddha
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Meditation

Research
Buddhism and the Life of the Buddha:
We were able to find a lot of information about the Life of the Buddha and how Buddhism came to be from the Website that Timmy Found by using the "ABC-CLIO Ancient History" database through the MICDS library databases page. This Article described how the young Buddha was brought into the world during a time that the caste system was being used, and many people were trying to find their religious beliefs by following Gautama. The young Buddha decided to go on his own way finding religion through meditation. It then describes how the Buddha accepted suffering, and described a way to defeat it through the 8 fold path.
Sitting Buddha Pictures and Iconography:
We were able to find a lot of pictures of different Sitting Buddha statues and their meaning through the website I found by searching "Buddhism Iconography" on a search engine. This website had a lot of good photos of the sitting Buddha, and good descriptions of each of them. Mudras, or different gestures and their meanings, were described for each photo. Each of the descriptions connected with the beliefs and practices of Buddhism. The basic description of most Sitting Buddha statues were also found here, along with what some of them mean.
The most important photo was the one that depicted the Buddha as he was dying on a lotus flower putting down his right hand to touch the earth. This Statue is very important to Buddhism because "during the time of his death, the Buddha was calling to the goddess of earth to witness that he had overcome the reincarnation cycle and that he had reached enlightenment. While the other hand was in his lap signifying meditation even at the time of death." (Found from the Provided website in the sources below)


Summary
Siddhartha Gautama is a very important figure in Buddhism[[#_ftn1|[1]], because the religion was founded off of his beliefs and teachings. The Buddha or the enlightened one is a very popular symbol in Buddhism, a religion that is known throughout most of Asia. Since Buddhism is a major religion in most of Asia the artwork symbolizes the teachings of a very important religion. Among the artwork that is used to symbolize Buddhism are statues of the Sitting Buddha. The Sitting Buddha literally means a Buddha that is meditating, an action that is practiced as part of the religion. The thing that makes these statues so important is that each of them is unique. Each Sitting Buddha statue symbolizes something different. There are many different postures and hand gestures [[#_ftn3|[3]]that are unique to different statues. There is also a specific pose for the Sitting Buddha for every day of the week. Also every single pose has a different meaning. An example of this is the choice of displaying the Buddha as Obese or the Buddha as skinny. This happens because Buddhism is a largely known religion and the Buddha is depicted in different ways. Although he is depicted differently, the Sitting Buddha wears little to no clothes in the statues of him, that signifies the belief of having no worldly possessions as a way to get rid of suffering. All Buddha statues have some basic characteristics that include the Buddha as having flat feet, long fingers, hair between his eyebrows, a head like a royal turban, no furrow between the shoulders, and large earlobes. These basic descriptions could signify that even though the Buddha can look different, his beliefs will always be the same. [[#_ftn4|[4]]




"Siddhartha Gautama." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2009. Web. 11 Sep. 2009. <http://www.ancienthistory.abc-clio.com>.http://www.ancienthistory.abc-clio.com/Search/Display.aspx?categoryid=22&entryid=594930&searchtext=buddha&type=simple&option=all.
-This website was an article on the History of Buddhism, and also about the life of the Buddha. This website was very useful in finding how the statues of the Buddha connected with Buddhism.
-A picture was taken from this website.
-This website was found by using the ABC-CLIO Ancient History Database on the MICDS library databases.
"Buddha Image Iconography" http://www.thaiwebsites.com/buddha.asp 2009, Web.
Friday, September 11, 2009.
-This is a website on the meaning of all of the different gestures and postures of the different Buddhist statues. This website tells about the iconography of the sitting Buddha, and the different positions of the sitting Buddha.
-I Located this Source by searching "Buddha Iconography" on a search engine.
"Statuary Art" http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/dead/statuary.html. 2009. Web.
Friday, September 11, 2009.
-This website included a very good picture of one of the sitting Buddha statues, but also a very good passage describing the Buddha statue and what it symbolizes.
-This website was provided to us.


2. Lotus Symbol

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Research
We approached our research of this project in two different ways. First off, we went to the MICDS databases page, where we logged onto the ABCCLIO Ancient History database. Once we were logged in, we searched 'lotus symbol' in the advanced search, and we then found our first source of information to use. Next, we searched into the Google search engine 'lotus symbol AND Buddhism. From this search, we found our second source of information. Lastly, we found our second picture by Google Image searching 'lotus symbol pictures', and after choosing an image we found on what we deemed a reliable website, took it and used it for this project.

"lotus." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2009. Web. 10 Sep. 2009. <http://www.ancienthistory.abc-clio.com>
View on Buddhism. September 5 2009. Unknown. <September 9 2009. http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/general_symbols_buddhism.html>
"lotus01." 2004 Online Image. Google. September 9 2009. <http://www.buddhanet.net/lineart/symbols/images/1lotus01.jpg>

Summary

-Common symbol for water fertility in most cultures
- Hinduism - held goddess Laksmi, goddess of fertility and Brahman, the creator of everything
- Common symbol for water fertility in most cultures
- Hinduism - held goddess Laksmi, goddess of fertility and Brahman, the creator of everything

Mallorie: The lotus flower is a very crucial symbol to the religion of Buddhism. The religion centralizes around Moksha, or oneness with the universe, and the lotus represents peace of mind, body, and speech. The lotus is always associated with Buddhism because when Buddha was first achieving Moskha, he was meditating upon a white blossomed lotus. Like most humans, the lotus begins life small and insignificant, but then grows to a beautiful fragrant flower, symbolizing its purity. There also many different lotus colors that represent different aspects of the religions. For example, the white lotus represents spiritual purity, whereas the red lotus is mostly associated with love and the original nature of our hearts. In addition, the blue lotus symbolizes wisdom and knowledge, and the pink lotus is often shown with the Buddha, as the final stage of enlightenment. The lotus’s symbolism in Buddhism is so important because it represents the central focus of the religion, attaining Moksha, as well as the religions sole founder, the Buddha.

Katie: The lotus flower, also know as, "Padma," is a well known symbol of Buddhism. It represents purification of mind, body, and speech. As it grows from the mud, but blooms as a beautiful, fragrant flower on the surface, representing it's purity and enlightenment. The white blossom represents purity, the stem stands for the practice of Buddhist teachings which raise the mind above the worldly existence (mud), and gives rise to purity of mind. An open blossom signifies full enlightenment, and a closed blossom signifies the potential for enlightenment.
A complex set of interpretations of the lotus has been developed, with different color lotus flowers representing different aspects of the enlightenment process. For example, the white lotus symbolizes spiritual purity, while the red lotus represents our original nature and our hearts in the pure state they possess at birth. The red lotus is also associated with the qualities of the heart, such as love and compassion. The blue lotus is the symbol of wisdom and is often shown with the Majushri, the bohisattva of wisdom. Finally, the pink lotus is the often shown with the Buddha, and it represents the final stage of enlightenment.

3. Temple at Bodh Gaya

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Research

Anna Robson-

[Research Process]
To locate an additional source for our wiki, I first visited the MICDS LIBRARY homepage. From there, I navigated to databases, and then went to the History section. I chose to use the ABCCLIO Ancient History Database to find more information about Bodh Gaya. Finally, I used the Eras page to find the phrase Bodh Gaya. I read through the information on this page and on the website provided and took notes on the articles on both sites (below).


[Reading Notes]

  • Bodh Gaya
    • Bodhi Tree
      • sacred because Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) achieved enlightenment while meditating under it
        • achieved enlightenment and then meditated under Bodhi Tree for seven weeks trying to understand how to pass on his teachings
          • sixth century B.C.
      • Bodh Gaya is city where tree is located (formerly known as Urevela)
    • Bodh Gaya
      • Temple was restored in city to honor Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha)
Diana DiGasbarro:
First, I read the original website so I had some background knowledge on Bodh Gaya. Then, I googled "bodh gaya temple" and looked for website ending in .net, .org, .gov., etc. I found a website that ended in .net and had all of the keywords highlighted in the description. I skimmed the page, and saw that it was about the right thing. Then I read it, and the information agreed with the information from the original website.

  • Siddhartha sat under the Bodhi tree all night, meditating
  • When he stopped meditating, he had become the Enlightened One; he had become the Buddha
  • He spent 7 weeks travelling around India and telling people about his experience
  • Many people from Asia made pilgrimages to Bodh Gaya to learn how to become enlightened, just like Siddharta
  • Bodh Gaya may have been destroyed after the Muslim invasion, but there is no proof of this
  • A lot of temples were built in Bodh Gaya because Buddhism began there
  • Religious ceremonies are still held in Bodh Gaya



"Bodhi Tree." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. 2009. ABC-CLIO. 8 Sep. 2009 <http://www.ancienthistory.abc-clio.com>.
"Buddhist Art [Pacific Asia Museum]." Pacific Asia Museum. 8 Sep. 2009 <http://www.pacificasiamuseum.org/buddhism/html/essay3.htm>.
"History of Bodh Gaya, India, Place of Buddhas Enlightenment." BuddhaNet - Worldwide Buddhist Information and Education Network. 8 Sep. 2009 <[ http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/bodh-gaya.htm ]http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/bodh-gaya.htm>.


Summary
Formerly known as Urevela, the city of Bodh Gaya is located on the riverbank of the Neranjara River in Northeast India. Followers of Buddhism revere Bodh Gaya as a holy city because the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, achieved enlightenment (or the eternal knowledge ending the cycle of reincarnation) underneath a tree in this city in late sixth century B.C. According to Buddhist records, Gautama was born a prince and left his privileged life to experience the pain and suffering he had been shielded from. He sat meditating under the Bodhi tree when he reached enlightenment, and then went on a journey around the country of India for seven weeks to ponder his new perspective and teach others of his learnings. People came from all over Asia, as far as Kazakhstan, to follow Gautama’s path to enlightenment. The tree, now referred to by Buddhists as the Bodhi Tree, was reportedly destroyed in the Muslim invasion of India in 1199 and re-grown from a clipping during the British rule. It is now fully grown and is the focal point of many religious Buddhist gatherings. The city of Bodh Gaya is home to many Buddhist temples honoring the important milestone of the religion experienced under the Bodhi Tree.




4. Prayer Wheel/Symbolism of Wheel

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"Buddhist Art []." Pacific Asia Museum. Web. 10 Sept. 2009. <http://pacificasiamuseum.org/buddhism/base.htm>.
"Prayer wheel -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Web. 10 Sept. 2009. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/474194/prayer-wheel>.
"Tibetan Prayer Wheel - Buddhist Things - ReligionFacts." Religion, World Religions, Comparative Religion - Just the facts on the world's religions. Web. 10 Sept. 2009. <http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/things/prayer_wheel.htm>.

To research, I googled "prayer wheel" and saw what came up. The first page was Wikipedia. The subsequent pages were good ones, one of which I took. Next, I looked on the database(EBSCO)and found another website.

Summary
A prayer wheel is said to merit good Karma and to provide wisdom to the person that is using it. You use the prayer wheel by rolling the wheel part on your forehead in a clockwise order. You mimic the sun rising and setting in this fashion. If you are in need of a more urgent “cleansing” then you roll the wheel in a counterclockwise order. That is only done when needed. The more you rub the prayer wheel on your head, the better off you will be. There is writing on the wheel part of it. The writing is of good lessons and having good fortune. When you roll it onto your head, it is passing on the scroll to your soul. When using the prayer wheel, you are supposed to clear your mind of all things and zone your mind into thinking about good karma. If you do this while rolling the imprinted wheel on your forehead, you will feel cleansed and have a healthy mind. That is how the prayer wheel works.


5. Mandala

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Resources

At first, I decided to try and find a website through the MICDS library database. It took some searching but eventually found a website that helped me immensely. After I learned exactly what a Buddhist Mandala was, I searched the term on Google search engine. I could not find any websites that were helpful so I decided to Google image search and see if any of the websites had an article that could help. Luckily, I found a site that had a good image and article. I then continued to search Google image for the second picture and soon found it.


"The Mandala in Buddhism" www.buddhist.tv. 28 Janurary 2008. 17 October 2009. <http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=5,5825,0,0,1,0>

"Mandala" www.answers.com.Unknown. 17 October 2009. <http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://wpcontent.answers.com/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/14/Mandala_gross.jpg/200px-Mandala_gross.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.answers.com/topic/mandala&usg=__m3VEuq3Ud8ij9EsgWOWG_fm9Jqs=&h=285&w=200&sz=32&hl=en&start=8&um=1&tbnid=vqtVg8sh6anIoM:&tbnh=115&tbnw=81&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbuddhist%2Bmandala%2Bmeaning%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1>

Anwers.com. 17 October 2009. <http://wpcontent.answers.com/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/14/Mandala_gross.jpg/200px-Mandala_gross.jpg>

Viewonbuddhism.org. 17 October 2009. <http://www.viewonbuddhism.org/images/kalachakra_sand_mandala.jpg>

Summary

The Buddhist Mandala is a symbol that represents the mind and body of Buddha. Each Mandala is pictured with four gates in the center and these gates represent loving kindness, compassion, sympathy, and mental and emotional stability. When Buddhists meditate through the Mandala, it is believed that they are being guided throughout the universe. Buddhists spend a great deal of time and work when making a Mandala. The reason for that is because the monks, by making a Mandala, are recording Buddha's teachings. The monks must first take three years of philosophical and art classes to prepare for the construction of the Mandala. After that, four Buddhist monks begin the Mandala by starting from the center and then working outwards. It begins with a dot that represents the center of the universe. The Mandala is split into four parts and each monk is giving a part. Halfway through, each monk receives an assistant who fills out the lines while the other monk still works on the more detailed parts.