佛學講座 - 佛學問答(English) - Why are there so many Buddha images when there is but one Buddha?
Why are there so many Buddha images when there is but one Buddha?

 

All living beings, as told by the Buddha, possess the innate quality for

awakening. Dual practice of blessedness and wisdom points to

attainment of Buddhahood. For all living beings are complete with

the suchness of existents (bhutatathata in Sanskrit) and enlightened

mind pertaining to the prajna wisdom as well as with blessedness

accumulated from efforts in delivering all other living beings.

There were in the past many, many saints who, in enlightenment,

attained Buddhahood, like Amitabha Buddha of the Pureland of

the West, the Healing Buddha of the Pureland of the East, and

Maitreya Buddha of the Tusita Pureland, who is bound for Buddhahood

in the future lifetime and shall undertake to deliver all living

beings. You and I are the Buddhas of the future. We, too, are bound

for Buddhahood from lifetimes of committed cultivation and practice

of the bodhisattva way.

With Sakyamuni Buddha the Original Teacher as the religious founder

of the saha world of the present, all living beings are immeasurable

and so are the Buddhas.

With immeasurable living beings as attainers of Buddhahood in the

past, there are immeasurable Buddhas and hence immeasurable

Buddha images.

With the Buddha as awakener, the saint of enlightening self, enlightening

another, and enlightening process complete, we ordinary folks fail

to gain the reward of Buddhahood because of the primordial Buddhanature

being veiled with all the distress, delusion, and attachment of

the world.