Day 8: Images of the Buddha

Sunju helped her mother prepare a daily food offering for the Buddha image they kept in a special place at home in Korea. Sunju would wonder, “Why does the Buddha have such a small smile?” But she kept her questions to herself, knowing she needed to show respect to her elders and the Buddha. 

Images of Siddhartha Gautama – the Buddha – have been made for centuries. The image is not so much a physical representation as a symbol, and the expression, pose and hand gestures of the image all have different meanings. A Buddha sitting with his right hand raised and facing outward symbolizes protection and overcoming fear. If the Buddha has both hands face up in his lap with his legs crossed, it is a meditation Buddha, representing calm and peace. 

Sunju may have preferred to have an image of the laughing Buddha – who is not actually a Buddha at all, but a Chinese monk who was admired for his teaching and generosity. He represents happiness and prosperity and usually has a fat belly, waiting to be rubbed for good luck. 


Symbols are important in all faiths. Jesus spoke of himself as the Light of the World. Pray that Buddhists will know that light. (JOHN 8:12) 

Pray for Buddhists to find the righteousness, peace and joy that comes from His Kingdom. (ROMANS 14:17) 

Be inspired to pray for Buddhists from PSALM 115. 

Sourced from the Buddhist Prayer Guide

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