Millennium-old Buddha statues unearthed in ancient market

More than 680 fragments of Buddha statues and pagoda sculptures have been unearthed in the ruins of an ancient market in Xi’an, Northwest China’s Shaanxi province. The statues were discovered in a pit in the ruins of East Market, a major commercial center during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The Buddha statues were made of clay, […]

Monks clean Zentsuji Temple’s Buddha statue ahead of New Year

In preparation for the New Year, monks at Zentsuji Temple in the city of Zentsuji, Kagawa Prefecture, conducted the annual tradition of brushing the dust off a statue of Yakushi Nyorai, or the “Medicine Buddha,” earlier this month. Enshrined as the temple’s principal deity, the wooden statue was completed in 1700 by renowned Buddha sculptor […]

Thousands of Buddhist temples filled this sacred skyline

Entering a golden age a thousand years ago, Myanmar’s Bagan empire was home to dazzling structures that attracted pilgrims for centuries. ByJulius Purcell For centuries, visitors to a bend of the Ayeyarwady River in central Myanmar (Burma) have been greeted with a breathtaking spectacle: myriad rose-colored pagodas and temples rising above red soil and emerald […]

The History of Budai, the Laughing Buddha

You may wonder why the Buddha is so often depicted as chubby and laughing. The Laughing Buddha is understood as a particular Buddha who is not the Buddha who founded Buddhism. This particular Buddha is named Budai (sometimes spelled Pu-tai) in China. In Buddhist iconography there are many different Buddhas. Buddha is a title derived […]