Due to the sense of peace, harmony and calmness that it brings to the environment, in India, it’s not uncommon to find a statue of Buddha at home even among non-believers. However, those who practise Buddhism consider certain placements of the statue disrespectful, so if one wants to benefit from the power that a Buddha idol can bring to the home, it’s vital to know the dos and don’ts when arranging it in any room in the house. We’ve put together tips on where to keep a buddha statue in the house to make the task simpler.
Like with other idols that one uses in a pooja room, when deciding on the spot or position of Buddha in a room remember not to place it on the floor. A table or a shelf, where the statue is higher than most things in the room is ideal. When placing the statue on a shelf, ensure the shelf does not hold other accessories. For example, you shouldn’t place the idol on an existing bookshelf and should get a special stand just for the statue. The idea is not to have anything tower above the statue. If the idol is large, making it difficult to place at an elevation, set it on a stool that is at least one inch above the ground.
If the intention of having the statue at home is to create a meditation zone, like a pooja area, then the right type of statue and its arrangement is vital. A Buddha statue with the hands of the idol forming an oval (also referred to as the cosmic mudra) is ideal for altars and meditation areas. Which direction should a Buddhist altar face? The altar and the statue should face the east.
Additionally, while arranging the altar, try to adhere to the following points:
· The statue should not be in a place where a person’s feet might point towards it. Therefore, when arranging the altar in a corner, look around to see if there are any couches or day beds in the area from which a person’s feet might point towards the idol. If so, reposition the altar or the furniture to correct the defect.
· No other object should be taller than the statue. Therefore, it’s best to arrange the altar on a raised platform or even a shelf. Ensure that there are no cupboards or even a refrigerator nearby that towers over the Buddha statue.
· Keep the area clean always.
· The statue should look into a room and not out of it (the exception being when it is set at an entrance to protect against negative energy).
When deciding on the type of Buddha idol or image to get for the house, it’s essential to be aware of the various Buddha poses and meanings. The common ones are:
The statue usually features Buddha in a seated position with palms together in an oval with the fingertips of both hands meeting at the top. This type of Buddha statue is best for an altar of a meditation area as it represents enlightenment.
In this pose, the right hand of the statue is set in the blessing gesture, whereas the left rests on the lap to show compassion. A blessing statue is an excellent cure for areas in the home that lack energy or have a defect.
This pose represents transition and is ideal for homes of people who are undergoing changes in their lives. It could be anything from switching jobs or even during a time when the children are leaving the nest. Placing a reclining Buddha statue can help to make the process smoother.
For most homeowners, the laughing Buddha is the easiest to recognize. Additionally, its representation of good luck, wealth and prosperity makes it a popular choice as a home décor accessory. The statue comes in seated and standing variations. What direction should laughing Buddha face in a home? As per Feng Shui, placing a laughing Buddha idol in the southeast corner (which is associated with wealth) will bring about a rise in one’s fortunes. It’s tradition to rub the belly of the statue to improve one’s luck and wealth.
The laughing Buddha comes in a few variations, including the travelling Buddha and the spiritual journey Buddha. It’s best to consult a Feng Shui expert or a professional with experience in Feng Shui to arrange these statues in the perfect location to maximise the energy from it.
While it’s all right to place an idol of Buddha near the entrance, ideally the statue should face inwards so that one sees it when leaving the house and gets a boost of energy and calmness for a day at the school or the office. Some people also place the statue inside the front door so that it welcomes visitors when they enter the house and prevents negative energy from coming inside the home.
See beautiful entrances for inspiration on placing a statue.
One must avoid placing a statue of Buddha in a bedroom or any other place of passion as it goes against the essence of meditation and calmness that the statue embodies. It’s for the same reason that pooja areas are not ideal inside bedrooms. Similarly, bathrooms are unsuitable for placing Buddha idols. The best locations for them in a home are in the study or a meditation area.
Most homeowners buy Buddha statues to decorate the garden as it improves the aesthetics and enhances the tranquility in the area. However, when doing so, it’s important not to be disrespectful of the idol. Like in any other part of the house, it’s essential to elevate the statue from the ground level. There are several ways to ensure this, including building a platform, creating a mound of stones or using an altar. Besides this, one should occasionally light candles or incense sticks in front of the statue.
Consult a landscape architect for assistance in creating the perfect garden platform for the Buddha idol.
There’s no restriction on the number of statues that one can place within an area. In fact, this is commonly seen in Buddhist temples. However, follow the basic rules mentioned above when arranging the statues.
One doesn’t need to practice Buddhism to have a statue or image of Buddha in the house. As we mentioned earlier, the sense of balance and calmness that the idol brings to an area helps to create an ambiance of positivity and tranquility, which is the reason it’s so often seen in houses. However, since the Buddha is a religious idol, one should treat it with the respect that one would bestow on any other idols in the house. Whether it is in the garden or inside the house, the idol should be kept clean always, and its surroundings should be spotless too. Similarly, like in pooja rooms, where one refreshes the energy in the area by lighting candles, lamps and incense sticks, the same should be done for the Buddha statues.