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Buddhism Why Does Buddha Have A Jooda?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Sherdil, Nov 29, 2014.

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  1. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    Why does Buddha have a jooda?

    Example:

    [​IMG]

    Buddhists call it an ushnisha. It is considered to be a crown. It represents the Buddha's pre-ascetic life as a prince. The long earlobes are from the heavy earrings he wore as a prince.

    The ushnisha is meant to be worn by the Chakravartin, who is the secular counterpart to the Buddha. The Chakravartin is a spiritual and temporal king, or leader.

    Similar to the concept of Miri and Piri in Sikhism

    Miri, from the word Amir, which means commander
    Piri, from the word Pir, which means spiritual guide

    Temporal and spiritual authority respectively


    Another interesting connection I found, involves the etymology of the word “kes”. We know it as simply meaning hair, but in Sanskrit terminology it is also used to denote the mane of a lion.

    A similar word “caesaries” in latin means hair, from which the word “Caeser” arises. Caeser means king. It becomes Kaiser in German and Tzar in Russian. I believe this implies that the king is like a lion ruling his kingdom.

    Singh = King? :blueturban:
     
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  3. aristotle

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    There is actually no consensus among Buddhist sources on the character of Buddha's hair. Some claim he had a shaven head during the majority of his time as an ascetic. Others claim he had long hair tied in a topknot, while yet others believe he had short but curly hair covering his head which were twisted towards the right. Some sources even believe his hair were blue in colour.

    It is not actually the same concept. In fact, in Buddhism the spiritual authority does not mingle with the temporal authority, or so according to my limited understanding of Buddhism. When he was born, a group of Brahmins prophecised that Buddha would grow up to be a Chakravarti King (the one who rules over all the 4 [according to the then understanding] continents) or an unparalleled ascetic. This was the reason Buddha's father guarded Siddhartha and kept him ignorant of the evils of the world lest he become a renunciate.

    Though the Sangha later came to be the controller of the worldly affairs of Buddhists and that too only through advising the rulers, it was not during the life of Buddha, when it was limited to spiritual affairs. The word Chakravarti is used for Buddha in a purely metaphorical sense as Buddha wielded no temporal authority during his lifetime. The concept of 'Miri and Piri' is not to be found in Buddhist theology or worldview, in my understanding.

    Yes, and likewise a lion is also known as केशी (keshi, the one who has kesh)

    P.S.- I claim no authority on Buddhist theology, my understanding of Buddhism comes from a few Buddhist books I read during my school, including Asvaghosha's Buddha Charit.
     
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  4. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    I agree. He is simply portrayed as such. I don't believe there were any images made when the Buddha was alive. These are produced from the imaginations of artists. My point about the topknot is that it is symbolic of his pre-ascetic life as a prince. The large earlobes similarly denote his princely lineage. My assumption is that he would have removed the hair when he became an ascetic.

    My understanding is also limited. I was not aware of the Brahmin prophecy. It sounds like some of the dubious saakhis that appear in our own faith. From what I have read, the Buddha tried to distance himself from the Brahmins, so why are they promoting a saakhi which claims that the Brahmins were correct in their prophecy? It seems to be giving credit to the very people the Buddha was opposed to.

    I was not implying that the Buddha was the Chakravartin. He couldn't have been. He was an ascetic. The only instance I have come across, where the title was used for an actual person, is Asoka. He was the king of the Maurya empire, who converted to Buddhism. The pillars he constructed across his empire ascribe the title of Chakravartin to him.

    In various philosophies of the subcontinent there seems to have been a debate about what the proper dharma (path) of a ruler should be. Hindus find their ideal in Lord Rama. Buddhists find their ideal in the Chakravartin. Sikhs find their ideal in the Khalsa. Both the Buddhist and Sikh viewpoints seem to place an emphasis on a balance between spiritual and temporal duties.

    In my opinion, the Khalsa is the culmination of Guru Nanak's path of the householder. That is, a saint should not merely live amongst the world. He should also work to make the world a better place. Sometimes that entails picking up the sword to fight for what is right.

    Also, I was not aware of the Sangha. I initially thought it was related to the word Singh, but it turns out that it means congregation, like the word “sangat”.

    I do not claim any authority either. This is just something that piqued my interest. Thank you for contributing your knowledge to the discussion.
     
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  5. Parma

    Parma United Kingdom
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    That's interesting.
     
  6. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal India
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    There is nothing to be curious about. All saints were sehj, natural. See all the rishis all Gurus all having full hair. Removing hair is desecrating your body; removing the gift given by God.
     
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  7. Parma

    Parma United Kingdom
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    I don't know about the full truth to that statement I never thought a persecuted individual was ever persecuted for trying to look as they feel; I never met the Guru's in a physical form but only by knowledge and experience of there humbling working thoughts. That's as far as I can debate a topic that is based on ethics that some understand or other's interpret in other forms. Waheguru ji ki khalsa. Waheguru ji ki fathe.
     
    #6 Parma, Apr 14, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016

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