A big bronze Buddha

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You might have been tempted whilst wandering around your local garden centre to purchase a little stone or bronze feature. One of the most popular is that of the Buddha and there are many of us that have them in our gardens as a decorative feature with oriental plants. In China they have naturally taken this a step further by installing an enormous bronze statue of the Buddha Shakyamuni on the island of Lantau just of Hong Kong. Taking three years to make, it is a steel structure encased in 202 bronze pieces. This draws devotees of the Buddha but also a goodly amount of tourists coming to take the long set of steps (268 in total so you have to work for it) up to the statue. Bronze is used because it is an alloy making it easy to smelt and pour into a cast. It is a nice metal to work afterwards and it has great properties of strength and durability under the weather elements. Bronze is still popular today and some great examples, if Buddha’s are not your thing, such as a Bronze Animal Sculpture can be seen at https://www.gillparker.com/.

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The position of the Buddha’s hands is very important. His right hand is raised to remove any afflictions the visitor may have and his left is on his lap which indicates his generous nature to all that come to visit. Pilgrims with a generous nature can pay to enter inside the statue and if they give a further offering they can viewed the cremated remains of Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha from when he died in 400 BCE.

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You may ask what Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha actually did to get this massive statue of him built especially as he isn’t even Chinese he is from India. To Buddhists he is revered as to have achieved enlightenment, a state of grace that all Buddhist’s aspire to.  Shakyamuni Gautama did not keep this path to just himself. He actively taught others to find the way view teachings and writings. This is partly due to the fact that he is thought to be not wholly human and there is a fair share of the usual omens and miracles attached to his existence. Then again, if your Mum had a dream that an elephant with 6 white tusks was partly responsible for your conception then you might well expect your life to be a bit different.

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