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All religions and humanity in general believe in supernatural beings or deities that reside in heaven, allegedly a location of the universe which is supposed to be “up above the clouds”. Every religion has a deity unique to that religion. Human beings tend to use their artistic skills to describe the form of their deity. Art becomes an import feature to bring out their ideas of deities. Buddhists’ deity is referred to as the Buddha, while Hindus have several deities, both gods and goddesses. Buddhists have images and carvings of their deity Buddha which they keep in places of worship, and they pay homage to them. Similarly, Hindus have images and carvings of their deities in their homes as well as temples. They give offerings to these deities in the form of their worship. Current paper focuses on two Indian gods, god Vishnu and god Shiva, as well as two Indian goddesses, goddess Saraswati and goddess Lakshmi. In this paper, the images and carvings of Buddha and two Indian gods will be evaluated, to determine their similarities and differences. The paper will also compare and contrast the image of the Buddha to those of two Indian goddesses.
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Both the art of the god Shiva and that of god Vishnu are three-dimensional. The two arts also have bodies that have the stature of a man (Devdutt, 2009). The three-dimension feature of their art can make a person think that they are real figures of men watched from away. Their body parts resemble those of humans. They also have their eyes open, and their faces are smiling. Another similarity between the art of the Buddha and that of the god Shiva is that both are dressed in gowns a traditional outfit of Indian men.
On the contrary, the god Shiva has long hair, moustache and berd, while the Buddha figure has none. Another contrast is seen in their hands. One hand of Buddha is indicating the Buddha palm while the other is holding an object, the latter could be gold, a book, a diamond etc. . The god Shiva is holding a weapon. The god Shiva is seated and crossing his legs with a smile on his face, whiles the Buddha art is standing and indicating seriousness. The god Shiva has a hat on the head, but the Buddha art is crowned. The crown indicates a royal power of god. Both postures have been designed artistically to indicate various reasons such as prayer and worship. The differences in their appearance show artistic styles in which the artists expressed what they felt conveyed the true message of what the gods are. Each of the features in the art has some meaning that is bound to be communicated. The two paintings are beautiful pieces of art.
The Buddha image is three-dimensional, just like the one of the god Vishnu. Both look great in this form. At the same time, the two figures have crown on their heads. The crown is a symbol of power that the two gods have (Laumakis, 2008). Similarly, both god Vishnu and Buddha have bodies that resemble the humans. They have the stature that is designed to show the similarity between the gods and the humans they created. All the body parts resemble those of a man. The two gods are depicted with open eyes. Both gods are wearing garments, though they are of different colors and type. The clothes of the deities are similar to traditional Indian outfit for males.
Though, the two gods have differences. For instance, while the figure of Buddha is bare-footed, the god Vishnu is wearing a pair of shoes. The body of the god Vishnu is covered with ornaments. The Buddha image has no ornaments. While the Buddha image hass a pair of hands, the god Vishnu has multiple pairs of hands. The hands of god Vishnu are projected in different directions and holding different kinds of items. The image of Buddha has one hand raised to indicate the Buddha palm and the other is lowered holding some object (Devdutt, 2009). The image of Vishnu depicts the god standing on flowers while the picture of Buddha shows him standing on a rectangular material. The god Vishnu is portrayed as masculine-appearing very powerful. The Buddha image, on the contrary, has an average body.
The arts of Buddha and the goddess Lakshmi have a number of similarities as well. Heads of both deities have crowns that look beautiful. They are in garments indicating belonging to royal circles. The eyes of the deities are open and facing downwards. They also have hands similar to those of humans. The arts have necks that are of normal size; they are neither long nor short. Both of them are barefooted as well.
To mention differences of the pictures: the goddess Lakshmi has illuminated head, while that of the Buddha is not. The goddess is multi-faced. Buddha’s face is calm, probably to indicate the unchanging god. The goddess has is wearing a sari similar to those Indian women wear. The Buddha art, on the contrary, is wearing a gown, traditional outfit of Indian men (Laumakis, 2008). The Buddha art has one hand showing the palm, while the other is repeating the movement for blessings. The goddess is holding flowers in her hands. Another distinguishing difference between the goddess and the god is femininity and masculinity. The goddess Lakshmi has too much feminine, but the masculinity of the Buddha art is medium. The goddess Lakshmi is depicted with animals such as elephants while the Buddha is shown alone..