The Maitreya Project

As somebody who owns a couple of buddhist statues and appreciates them, see nothing wrong in general with statues-in literal proportion! Buddhism is called the "Middle Way," and I'd have to say this is making too much of something. Monetarily the priorities seem screwed up. When one wants to sink this much into a thing, we'd have to consider it iolatry on a very large scale.:p Earl
But idolatry is accepted in buddhism. I know that Kadampa buddhism at least welcomes idols because these are the only way we can really see a Buddha with our impure minds.
Actually, I like to use words sometimes a bit tongue-in-cheek: used "idolatry" in the Biblical, Old Testament sense. Though, as I understand the early history of Chan/Zen, they tended to discourage use of devotional statures, "rupa" for the same basic reason as Old Testmant injunctions: attempting to turn "God"/"enlightenment" into a "thing." Later in their history they apparently loosened up on that with the caveat that students of the Way always remember that statues/devotional practice served a utilitarian purpose-was "upaya." But, anyway, my above post was basically about screwed up priorities-$200 mill for a statue? I suppose you could say that actions done with no sense of self-"enlightened" actions- are by definition always arrporiate to the situation. Who knows how enlightened the motivation for this scheme-but "common sense" might suggest it to be disproportionate. Take care, Earl
Namaste all,

as an outgrowth of religious feeling, i see no issues with it.

in a real world use of funds, i feel that said money could be more well spent. of course, this is my view and quite deluded a view it is.

interestingly enough, there were no statues or thangkas (paintings) of Shakyamuni Buddha until the arrival of the Bactarian Greeks, who it seems, were quite fond of making pictures and such things.

from an historical perspective, it is interesting to watch the development of the proto-typical Buddhist thangkas, going from a basic representation to a full fledged symbolic teaching, with many remaining somewhere in between those two ends.

of course, statuary and paintings put a more tangible object in our perceptions, thus, it is easier for us to see how these things could obfuscate the issue rather than clarifying it. naturally, of course, any mental object can be an obstacle to our progress along the path of awakening.

it is in this sense, in my view, that the prohibitions regarding the use of images and statuary and so forth is speaking. if we take the statue of buddha to be buddha, we create an obstacle to overcome, an idol, if you will, in our mind that replaces the actual object of our consciousness.

Buddhism, in a very real sense, is focused on the actual experience of said object, not in the proper mental formulations and so forth.


Always have loved this metaphorical saying of Zen. Statues perhaps are literal "frozen fingers.":p Have a good one, Earl
My own view is that which is appartently also the view of the Delai Lama, which is that such a huge representation of a Buddha will bring blessings to al who see it.

I think its a good idead

Plus, no one does stuff like this anymore, when was the last time anyone built such a geat monument? been nothing since the statue of liberty and shes getting on in years!
Interesting idea, but I can't say I agree with the funds being poured into it: I think a more compassionate idea would be putting the money into helping those in need have food, shelter and water.

To me this is over indulgence to an extreme degree. There's nothing "Middle Path" about this at all.