Photographer: R K Datta Gupta / Rajbir Singh
Publisher: Aravali Books International
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Buddha, before he gave up his ghost said to Ananda, his dearest disciple, and to his other disciples, that decay was inherent in all component things, hence, work out your salvation with diligence simultaneous to the process of decay; thus, before the process of decay completed, the salvation was achieved. It was for such manifest reason that the Buddha had forbidden the creation and use of his images, for the truth, the Law, being timeless and immortal, could not be contained in component things like images. But, his followers were equally right. After the Buddha had ceased to be Siddhartha, or Sakyamuni, and only stood for, or symbolized only, the law, the Dharma, he too had become timeless and immortal, and, hence, adherence to him, or to his images, was adherence to the Law. In Buddha's mortality they perceived the timelessness, the immortality, in his ephemeral existence they had the glimpses of an endless life. Buddha, the Tathagata, come as a Predestined One, for a fixed objective and with a fixed role, born of man and born as man, was for them timeless, formless, and beyond birth, death and all their pangs and pleasures.