Buddha statues illustrate 'Buddharupas' which represent the teachings of the Buddha. The path of enlightenment to achieve Nirvana is the ultimate goal of Buddhism. Buddha is the one who has learned from the truth of nature and got enlightened. Buddha is simply a human who has undergone a thoughtful spiritual alteration.
A Buddha statue itself is the symbol of sacred learning, that are represented in almost every portion of the figure. Unknown to many each physical element of the Buddha rupa symbolizes the Buddha's teaching.
Different positions of Buddha statues and their meanings.
There are various Buddha rupas in different positions; mainly in sitting, standing and in a reclining position.
A popular Buddha statue in a sitting position on a lotus flower is the Buddha in a meditating form called Dhyana mudra. In this position Buddha is seen to have crossed legs along with different kinds of hand gestures.The Dhyana mudra represents the state of meditating or practice of viapassana meditation which is the ultimate path to achieving enlightenment called "Nirvana".
Different kinds of Buddhas in a sitting position are Shakyamuni Buddha, Dhyani Buddhas (Amitabha, Amoghsiddhi, Akshobhya, Vairochana, Ratna Sambhava), Vajrasattva, Green Tara, White Tara, Manjushri, Kharcheri, Kubera, Padmasambava, Vajradhara, Vasundhara, etc.
A popular standing Buddha holds a rice bowl patra on one hand and the other hand is raised with a palm facing outside in front of his chest giving blessings. Examples are Avalokiteshvara, Dipankar Buddha, Dancing Tara, Hayvajra, Heruka, Vajrayogini, Megha Samvara, Vajravarahi, Vajrapani, Vajrakilla, Ekjata, Chakrasamvara, etc.
The reclining Buddha symbolizes the passing away and Nirvana.
Here are few of the main hand gestures or mudra the sitting or standing postures may have
1. Meditation Mudra - Amitabha - Here, one of the palms is placed on top of another with both palms facing upward.
2. Protection Mudra - Ratna Sambhava - Right hand is raised with palm facing out
3. Teaching Mudra - Vairochana - Both hands raised in front of chest with palms facing out.
4. Enlightened Mudra - Shakyamuni - The enlightened one Right hand down with a finger touching the earth representing the earth as a witness to his enlightenment.
5. Blessing Mudra - Amoghasiddhi - Right hand laid down with palm facing out
There are literally hundreds of other mudras and different kinds of Buddha figurines. Click on the link below to have more free information on mudras and Buddha statues.
Online Source for Buddha Statues
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