A sheltered prince abdicates his throne and relinquishes the familiar comforts of domesticity to embark on a quest of self-discovery. His arduous journey is wrought with challenges and obstacles, but leads to his transformation from the naïve prince Siddhartha to the Enlightened Buddha. And thus was born a new religion: Buddhism.
Buddhism drew a loyal band of followers, one that has only continued to grow over the years. In a fast-paced day and age where growing consumerism is becoming the norm, spurned by a social media culture that encourages mindless obsession with oneself, the basic tenets of Buddhism have found resonance with a global audience. The principles of peace and non-violence as well as the push to seek happiness from within as opposed to external material things have elevated Buddha to a spiritual icon who appeals to many, regardless of the barriers of religion and nationality. It is no surprise then that being as synonymous with peace and tranquility as he is, artistic representations of Buddha have found their way into homes and offices around the world.
Feng shui – the Chinese system of designing living spaces to ensure harmonization of energy – offers guidelines to be kept in mind while placing statues and paintings of Buddha in offices and homes. It is believed that following these guidelines creates a balanced ‘chi’ or life-force energy, which in turn leads to good health, spiritual well-being, prosperity, good fortune as well as peace and happiness.
Here are just a few…
Home and Hearth
Having a representation of Buddha be the first thing one sees on entering your house is considered very auspicious. It is believed that visitors will be forced to put aside all negativity and enter the house with a sense of mindfulness and peace on seeing Buddha smiling down at them.
The placement of Buddha must be reflective of not just your respect for him, but of his importance in your life as well. For this reason, it is suggested that all representations of Buddha must be placed at higher levels in the home. For instance, the first floor or the second floor would be considered ideal, while the basement would be frowned upon.
Placing Buddha in the bathroom is considered extremely disrespectful.
While paintings of Buddha are not allowed in the bedroom, statues of Buddha might be placed in the bedroom only if they are kept in a cabinet with doors that are largely kept closed.
When placing a likeness of Buddha in cabinets, ensure that he is placed on the highest shelf possible and that nothing else is placed above the statue or painting.
Always try to place Buddha in such a way that he is looking into a room, so that a calm Buddha is what greets visitors when they first enter a room.
A living room is considered the ideal spot to place Buddha as it is a place where both family members and guests spend a great deal of time.
If you wish to bring Buddha into your garden or any other outdoor area, keep in mind that placing him directly on the bare ground or the floor is considered extremely disrespectful. While a small platform or pedestal is ideal, it has been suggested that even something as humble as a mat might be used to ensure that there is a barrier between Buddha and the dirt.
Ensure that Buddhas placed in the garden are always facing your house to bring you prosperity and good health.
Buddha at Work
As with the home, placing a likeness of Buddha at the entrance of an office is considered to be auspicious as well. The reception has been suggested as the ideal location, as it ensures that guests walk into the office with peace and tranquility.
Placing Buddha in your work area is also believed to be beneficial in aiding concentration, greatly reducing stress and bringing about mental clarity.
The Vaastu Shastra Way
According to Vaastu, the North-East zone in a living space is believed to aide in spiritual growth. Placing a likeness of a spiritual icon like Buddha in this area is therefore considered favorable. Doing so will bring you peace of mind, while also facilitating creativity.
Regardless of where you place your representations of Buddha, do ensure to clean and dust the statues and paintings regularly as allowing dust to accumulate on them is considered to be disrespectful, as well as an invitation to allow filth into your own life.