If you search around for images of the Buddha, you find things like this:
Super big ears, long luxurious hair with a brahmin top knot far beyond his own vinaya rules which limit hair length to about one inch in length.
or you have images like this, where he has pine cone tumor shooting out of the top of his head.
According to Vism. followers, who believe Jataka tales are literally true:
In contrast, the correct Buddha images should have the following qualities:
The hair will look like small snail-like curls
There will be a literal bump (Ushnisha) at the crown of the head to represent his wisdom.
The legs and feet will be perfectly aligned.
The Ushnisha is the thirty-second of the 32 major marks of the Buddha. The thirty-second of these is that the Buddha has a fleshy or cranial protuberance at the top of his head. Later sets elaborate that this is covered with hairs that curl in the direction of the sun.
Ushnisha. The cranial bump (ushnisha) symbolizes the “expanded wisdom” the Buddha attained at the time of his enlightenment.
Hair. The Buddha’s hair is usually depicted in the form of “snail-shell” curls. Monks have shaven heads, but according to legend, when the Buddha cut his hair, the uncut portions snapped into these curls and he never had to cut his hair again.
Then he thought, “These locks of mine are not suited for a mendicant. Now it is not right for any one else to cut the hair of a future Buddha, so I will cut them off myself with my sword.” Then, taking his sword in his right hand, and holding the plaited tresses, together with the diadem on them, with his left, he cut them off. So his hair was thus reduced to two inches in length, and curling from the right, it lay close to his head. It remained that length as long as he lived, and the beard the same. There was no need at all to shave either hair or beard any more.
The most ludicrous thing I ever saw in my life
The most ludicrous thing I ever saw in my life, I don't remember the name of the book, but it's a color illustrated story of the Buddha's life. Probably a children's book, and the part where he decides to renounce his princely life, cut off his hair, there's a a color illustration where he cuts off all of his hair. And the very next page, the very next image, he's already got a full head of long hair again that seems to be the unwritten rule required for Buddha imagery. (can someone who has that book take a photo of those two pages and upload it?)
Here's a radical idea
The Buddha was human. He had back aches, he had a broken down body when he got older, he could get food poisoning, he had to eat, excrete, and fart like everyone else, and no, his feces did not smell like perfume and offer ambrosial flavors and magical nutritional benefits to anyone who tried to pick up his droppings and eat them. He had to cut his finger nails and hair like everyone else.
According to suttas, like in MN 128, when ordinary people saw him (who didn't know him previously), they mistook him to be just one of the ordinary monks with shaved heads. Here, the park keeper tries to keep the Buddha out.
Tena kho pana samayena āyasmā ca anuruddho āyasmā ca nandiyo āyasmā ca kimilo pācīnavaṃsadāye viharanti. Addasā kho dāyapālo bhagavantaṃ dūratova āgacchantaṃ. Disvāna bhagavantaṃ etadavoca: “mā, mahāsamaṇa, etaṃ dāyaṃ pāvisi. Santettha tayo kulaputtā attakāmarūpā viharanti. Mā tesaṃ aphāsumakāsī”ti.
|Now at that time the venerables Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila were staying in the Eastern Bamboo Park. The park keeper saw the Buddha coming off in the distance and said to the Buddha, “Don’t come into this park, ascetic. There are three gentlemen who love themselves staying here. Don’t disturb them.”|
Assosi kho āyasmā anuruddho dāyapālassa bhagavatā saddhiṃ mantayamānassa. Sutvāna dāyapālaṃ etadavoca: “mā, āvuso dāyapāla, bhagavantaṃ vāresi. Satthā no bhagavā anuppatto”ti.
|Anuruddha heard the park keeper conversing with the Buddha, and said to him, “Don’t keep the Buddha out, good park keeper! Our Teacher, the Blessed One, has arrived.”|
If the Buddha had looked like any of the pictures above, not following his own vinaya rules of short shaved head, having a pine cone tumor shooting off his head, having gigantic ears and golden color skin when everyone else just had a normal Indian person's sun tan, surely the park keeper would not react like he did, he would have thought, "wow, this must be the Buddha people talk about. He looks different."
Let's start a new collection of Buddha images where he follows his own rules and looks human
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