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  • michael C.
    Venerable Sirs, I was wondering what your opinion about art (in my case painting) might be. Are the highest purposes of art to reflect the teachings? Is
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 19, 2001
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      Venerable Sirs,
      I was wondering what your opinion about art (in my case
      painting) might be. Are the highest purposes of art to reflect the
      teachings? Is painting images of the Buddha, or sutta pages
      reccomended? Thank you very much.
      Respectfully,
      Michael Coady
    • Khammai Dhammasami
      Dear Michael, As far as the Buddha is concerned, he only forbids bhikkhus from doing arts. It is OK for lay people. Art as a profession is amoral, neither good
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 22, 2001
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        Dear Michael,

        As far as the Buddha is concerned, he only forbids bhikkhus from doing arts.
        It is OK for lay people. Art as a profession is amoral, neither good nor bad.
        It acquires moral sense depending on the way you do it and also your purpose.

        If you paint the Buddha with some inspiration, then you get merit. If you do
        so in order to defame or make joke of him, then you earn demerit. It is your
        motive that matters. Also important is the state of your mind during painting.

        In ancient days, the Jataka books were copied with some painting to depict its
        meaning. This practice was so popular in Sri Lanka and Thailand. Oxford
        University Exhibition has one Jataka from Thailand, and one from Sri Lanka
        with painting. The one from Sri Lanka is on ola leaf, and the one from Thailand
        is on thick paper and is coloured.

        With Metta

        Venerable Dhammasami


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        > Venerable Sirs,
        > I was wondering what your opinion about art (in my case
        > painting) might be. Are the highest purposes of art to reflect the
        > teachings? Is painting images of the Buddha, or sutta pages
        > reccomended? Thank you very much.
        > Respectfully,
        > Michael Coady
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