Buddha spotting

The country is full of Buddha statues, many golden, or covered in plaster, or plain brick. But on closer inspection, many of those are monks, not Buddha. Buddha is actually the title of someone who has achieved enlightenment, not a specific person. But with a capital B it usually refers to the first buddha, the Indian prince Siddhartha, and most statues depict him. The iconic fat Chinese buddha mostly found in Western Chinese restaurants is a buddha, but not the Buddha.

Buddha statues appear mostly in the full lotus position with the teaching or meditation mudra (hand position); more rare is reclining or standing up. The earlobes of Buddha statues are elongated and touch the shoulders, he has short curly hair, the top of the eyes have a little depression, he has a jewel between the eyebrows, fingers and toes have almost equal length, and the soles of his feet are covered in symbols. Any statue that fails the earlobe test is just some monk.

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