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susan smitten

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Buddha Museum in Sri Lanka [Apr. 20th, 2005|02:40 am]
susan smitten
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This museum is more like a warehouse, but it's full of valuable and beautiful treasures. Some of the shrines and buddhas were actually made of gold or completely covered in diamonds. (Sorry, no pictures.) There were elephant tusks that were about 6 feet long, which probably came from elephant graveyards rather than from living elephants. Don says that making shrines or artwork from ivory or bone is one way Buddhists cope with death, at least in the past. I hope he's right, since I've never seen so much ivory.


I'm pretty sure the shrine on the left is made of ivory.


Gorgeous, isn't it?


And these are somehow so cuddly.


This is the world's smallest Buddha statue. The picture is larger than
actual size; see the clasp on the gold chain?


The same statue, photographed through the magnifier bubble on its
display case.


Weird thing - an elephant foot with wooden flowers in it.


When I saw this painting, I had to wonder about the connection between Buddhism and strangler figs. It turns out that Ficus religiosa, the 'sacred fig,' is allegedly the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It has many names, including asvattha and the Bodhi tree. If you believe that the fruit that Eve ate was a fig, then this is quite the interesting shrubbery.

Oh, here's a funny: GOD HATES FIGS!

I came back this morning from Kenya. Kenya is neat. Pictures to follow.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: snogmonkey
2005-04-19 06:40 pm (UTC)
Man, as usual, your photos are beautiful! i need to tell you that more often.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-19 06:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Yuko! I'm glad you like them. <3
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From: sleepinbeauty
2005-04-19 06:54 pm (UTC)
As always, lovely photographs!

Also, they do look cuddly!
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-19 09:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I like the pile of fuzzy animals.
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[User Picture]From: mymichelle
2005-04-19 07:17 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I can't wait for the Kenya pics (these are nice too)!

It makes me sad to see elephant tusks, but it's quite possible they were taken from elephant graveyards. Especially with the way elephants mourn their own dead. I hope to go to Kenya someday with my work, and see the animals I take care of in the wild, rather than in a zoo.

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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-19 09:34 pm (UTC)
It made me sad, too, but I believe that very few of the ones I saw were poached. As for Kenya, I didn't go to the preserve this trip because they were asking too much for the 'safari,' but I'm going back in a few days and might do the park then. This time, I really just went shopping at the markets; I bought lots of handicrafts (you'd like the rhino-shaped earrings I got, judging from your icon, and I bought Don an ebony hippo) and fruit and flowers.
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[User Picture]From: subapooh
2005-04-19 08:31 pm (UTC)
hrmmm i need to read up on my buddhism, i could have sworn gauthama found enlightement under a banyan tree, amazing picture, i'm espically fond of the mini ivory elephant to the right in the second pic. :D
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-19 09:37 pm (UTC)
'Banyan' is another name for fig trees, so you're spot on!
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[User Picture]From: subapooh
2005-04-19 09:39 pm (UTC)
see i learned something new today...i've always been brough up calling them banyan, since they are not only all over india, esp in the south, but it's the official tree of the country. :)
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-19 09:46 pm (UTC)
Cool! Now I'VE learned something! (Damn, I wanna go to India...)

Incidentally, Don has registered asvattha.com =)
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[User Picture]From: subapooh
2005-04-19 10:11 pm (UTC)
niiice...what are you guys going to do with it? :)
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-20 04:49 am (UTC)
I don't know what he's got in store for it.. multi-purpose, I suppose?
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[User Picture]From: scottks
2005-04-19 11:55 pm (UTC)
What's with the Oingo Boingo skeletons in the third picture? :)
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From: doc_cathode
2005-04-20 12:22 am (UTC)
You are forgetting Buddha's sermon to diamond traders, "It's a dead man's party."
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-20 04:51 am (UTC)
Dude, you crack me up constantly.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-20 04:50 am (UTC)
As Don expressed it, 'turning death into art' - making one more comfortable with loss.
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[User Picture]From: veranationgirl
2005-04-20 03:01 am (UTC)
i can't get enough of your pictures. In fact I have a file folder with your name on it. lol.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-20 04:51 am (UTC)
That's flattering!
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[User Picture]From: slfcllednowhere
2005-04-20 04:23 am (UTC)
The two skeletons leaning on each other = awesome.
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-20 04:51 am (UTC)
Aren't they sweet!
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[User Picture]From: chu_hi
2005-04-21 03:30 am (UTC)
Cool :-D
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