Monday, September 7, 2009

The Biggest Buddha in the World

I noticed a few days ago a friend of mine had linked a Youtube video to the Tricycle Blog. The video tried to capture the magnitude of the biggest Buddha in the world, something not easily done or often attempted since the original Pali stories of the Bhikshu flying to the limits of space trying to see the top of Shakyamuni's ushnisha, unsuccessfully I might add.

I on the other hand, unlike the pilgrims in the Youtube video, decided to approach the Buddha from below and experience the size from a distance, far out on the turbulent waters of the river, the meeting of three, also on a rainy day. Not many days are without rain on the eastward down hill slope of the Himalayas, the eastern extent of the Tibetan Plateau. (Click on the image).

The story of the origins of this giant Maitreya sculpture, in the article below, is just one of many different narratives. The one I like the best is about the two artists that were approached by the Emperor and asked to carve the statue and how one proceeded and the other did not...

The image above is from my travels in Eastern Tibet and the Chengdu area in the summer of 2004.

"The world’s largest stone carved Buddha is located in Leshan, China. This Giant Buddha (also called Dafo) is a 233 feet (71 meters) tall statue of a sitting Maitreya Buddha. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was carved in AD 713 to calm the rivers that run along the feet of Buddha." (Article).

See the full article about the World's Biggest Buddha.
Youtube Part 1
Youtube Part 2

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