susan smitten (chu_hi) wrote,
susan smitten

Buddha Museum in Sri Lanka

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.
Tags: colombo, sri lanka, strangler figs

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