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Early Followers of Buddhism

Why did early followers of Buddhism believe in not displaying images of the Buddha, but later, began constructing huge sculptures of him?

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Buddhism and Buddhist art forms truly evolved over the centuries. Even during the early years of Buddhism, followers of the Buddha wanted to both emulate and follow their Master. While Buddhism is truly a religion of mind, followers repeatedly made efforts to use anthropomorphic images to preserve memories of their teacher.

The Buddha himself, however, discouraged using any kind of physical medium to represent him. Instead, early Buddhist art focused on either symbolic concepts of Buddhism or what were perceived as significant events in the Buddha's life. The absence of anthropomorphic images of the Buddha and the inclusion of these other subjects is known as aniconism (Huntington, 1990). It is widely accepted that the reason why the Buddha was not represented in anthropomorphic forms in early art is due to the followers' and artists' desire to ...

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The solution discusses the early followers of Buddhism.