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Tuesday, December 20th 2005

5:57 AM

What About the Buddha?

My dear hubby returned safely from India Sunday night amid much rejoicing. He brought me a gorgeous black silk sari. I don't know that I'll be able to wear it as such, but it is nine yeards of beautifully embroidered silk chiffon, so I am going to figure out someting to do with it. (Polly, any ideas?)

He brought Bethany a couple of gorgeous outfits that she WILL wear. You can see her in one of them here.

He received gifts from the people he visited: a little model of the Taj Mahal, some Mango pickles, and a smiling Buddha. The problem is the Buddha statue. Hubby and I are both a little uncomfortable with him. He is a happy, fat guy (kind of like this) over a foot tall, made of wood. So would you leave him out as artwork, a souvenier of a visit to another country? Or would he go away?

We specifically have icons and crucifixes in our house for a reason. Does it send a mixed message to have an idol sitting on a shelf?

Looking for input here from some of you who are wiser than I!
9 Comment(s).

Posted by Devona:

I'd keep him out. Maybe you could turn him into a side table, or aplant stand so that peope knew he was just a decoration.

People, I think, will know that it's just art.
Tuesday, December 20th 2005 @ 8:39 AM

Posted by Jane Casey:

Thanks, Devona. That was my initial reaction. Maybe hubby is a little "sensitive" because he just spent the time in India.
Tuesday, December 20th 2005 @ 10:56 AM

Posted by Petersen:

Display it. Don't put incense in front of it. Don't put it next to the crucifix. It is a both art and a cultural icon of a place you visited. There is no power in it. Let it be a trophy, proof that idols are empty pieces of creation, by its vain display in a Christian home.
Tuesday, December 20th 2005 @ 11:16 AM

Posted by Jennifer:

It reminds me of the time my brother-in-law gave me an ugly, yet cute, and very cool gargoyle in a glass globe for Christmas. I'm ashamed to say that my first thought was, "What will my Christian friends say?" and I'm afraid that my dilemma showed on my face because my bill said, "You don't like it." I assured him that it was really cool and thanked him.

I, like you, wondered what I should do with it until I realized that my problem wasn't whether or not it was sinful to have it in my house. I didn't believe it was. To me it represented a bit of history and a sample of medieval architecture. I knew, though, to one friend in particular it would represent evil and demons.

Once I realized that my biggest concern was not pleasing God, but rather pleasing my friends, the choice was clear. I proudly display the gargoyle which reminds me of my brother-in-law, and which looks pretty cool. I even explained my dilemma to my friend one night, and she agreed that, although she would never display such a thing in her home, it wasn't evil or demonic unless I, myself, placed such meaning on the object. So, whether or not you display the Buddha depends on what it represents to you.
Tuesday, December 20th 2005 @ 2:05 PM

Posted by CPA:

My brother gave me a stone Easter Island idol from Chile. My experience was just about the same as Jennifer's. It's now on my mantle piece.
Wednesday, December 21st 2005 @ 2:14 PM

Posted by Kay:

First the Buddha never claimed to be a god or a divine being. He never asked or told anyone to pray to him or that he could grant them anything.
This is just an intersting momento of a trip; like if you went Mexico and came back with a picture of Santa Maria de Guadalupe the patron saint of Mexico. No big deal; those who think so are thinking way to hard about way to little. Put somewhere that is nice and when asked tell the story of who gave it and why. By the way most Indians are not follows of the Buddha, he was born there and the sect died out and moved to Tibet, China, Korea, Siam, Japan and other places in the far east. Just thought I would put in my two cents worth :)
Monday, December 26th 2005 @ 4:20 PM

Posted by Polly:

Jane - I think you should wear the sari. My pastor was in India last January and he brought one back for his wife. It looks incredibly comfortable. You could wear the tunic/pants part as an outfit, and use the wrap part for a shawl with other more conventional outfits.

I know what you mean about the buddha, but I think you can display it just as a nice memento.
Tuesday, December 27th 2005 @ 12:34 PM

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