Buddha statue/picture for meditation?

Do you need Buddharupa in Buddhanussati, especially for beginner stage?

Or could it be… having a Buddharupa is actually an obstacle to the Buddhanussati meditation?

During the time of Buddha, there are no Buddha statue or Buddha drawings, yet the pious layfollowers can practice Buddhanussati well (and they don’t visit Lord Buddha often around as those days travel isn’t easy as today and they usually lived far apart)…

What is your practice? Do you use Buddharupa or picture as an aid to Buddhanussati meditation?

I tried to use Buddha picture before but the pictures are keep flashing in my mind and I couldn’t focus well on contemplating Buddhaguna. Which I think it could be an obstacle.

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They did not have such statue during Buddha’s time, as the Buddha was still alive and Buddhist cultures were yet to develop. But I wonder attachment/uppadana is also uppadanna when being attached to Buddha’s images, which would lead to the development of wrong view (sakkaya ditthi particularly). The real Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha should be understood.

Anusati - contemplation
Theravada version and Mahayana version: Anussati: 4 definitions

There are 40 samatha kammatthana bhavana.

conclusion from The Real Buddha Statues

So this is a small “buyers guide” to knowing what is the proper Buddha and not the proper Buddha. We need to be careful not to change the image of the Buddha too much into our own liking, similar to the Greeks adding hair to some of the first Buddha statues ever made. In the same way, monks of the West have been adding and removing things from Theravada Buddhism which might seem right on the surface, like adding hair, but in the end, it is not correct and we should follow things close to the textual explanations.


I read the post…

So all half lotus Buddha image are wrong?

For me, I don’t really fancy Burmese Buddha images… Burmese people made the Buddha statue’s face too square-ish. And some other “different” look.



The Buddha allowed Cetiya About: Cetiya
There are four types. The Buddha left dhatu/relics and footprints. Never read anywhere the Buddha suggested to make statues in His look.

One popular Buddhist story in SE Asia is the duelling of Veneraable Upgutta and Devaputta Mara. After losing to Venerable Upagutta, Devaputta Mara was asked to impersonate the Buddha because Mara knew the Buddha personally when the Buddha was alive.
Mara was afraid if the venerable would bow down in front of him, which would catapult him from thereagainst the walls of cakkavala. He requested Venerable not to bow down. Venerable Upagutta promised not to do so. With his supernormal powers, Mara impersonated the Buddha and appeared as if one. Upon seeing the Buddha, although only Mara’s impersonation, the venerable bowed down, possibly out of respect to the Teacher of All:

Satta-deva -manussanam—the teacher and leader of devas and men.

Mara was so upset and very hurt, and humiliated. He complained that the Sāvaka are very harsh (and cruel?), but the Buddha was very gentle despite his mischievous behaviours. At that moment, Mara willed to become a Buddha himself.

Another story is about an unknown monk, who meditated in front of a cetiya: Buddhanusati Bhavana. He too was disturbed by Mara. He too asked Mara to impersonate the Buddha. The monk eventually became an arahant by Buddhanusati Bhavana. (Can’t find this story online but I heard it from a dhamma lecture).

Ok I understand that Buddharupa wasn’t found in Buddha’s time nor did the Buddha said we should worship his stone/wood image.

Well, from where I come from (not a Buddhist/Asian religion country), I don’t have the opportunity to pay homage to relic Cetiya or footprint. Therefore, I make use of Buddha statue and small Buddha/Arahant pendants that I obtained in the past. Just act as an aid to my Buddhanussati practice and for inspiration purpose.

I also rely on online Buddha pictures that I found. So far, I really like these styles:



Generally, the Sangha does not reject the statues and meditation in front of the statues. Buddhist countries and Buddhist monasteries built and keep many many Buddha statues. The arahants only reminded us to understand/see true Buddha, true Dhamma, true Sangha.

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Buddharupa placed on my house’s mini altar.