Sunday, March 1, 2009
Canon of the Physical Proportions of a Great Being 3
The ideal proportions of any image of the Buddha are described in books on iconography. The canonic prototype shows the seated Buddha with his legs crossed and the soles of his feet visible. This yoga-posture has a pre-Buddhist tradition in India, appearing for the first time on the seals of Mohenjodaro in the third millennium BC. This yoga-posture hides the lower part of the body. The broad shoulders are emphasised in early Buddhist sculptures of Mathura. These characteristics, and the slightly almond eye of Buddha Sakyamuni, hint at his descent from the Licchavi clan, related to the Proto-Tibetans by kinship and blood. Before the final domination of the Indo-Europeans, these Licchavis ruled in northern India and the Himalayan regions. Their principalities had democratic constitutions with equal rights and no discrimination of sex or race. Buddhism and its founder must be considered on the basis of this social structure which is confirmed in the oldest texts as well as in the modern Oxford History of India.