Monks with Alms Bowls
41" High x 7.5" Diameter: Monk on Left
38" High x 7" Diameter: Monk on Right
Founded largely on the concept of Karma, Buddhism espouses a belief in the cycle of suffering and rebirth in which good deeds and bad deeds produce seeds that are actualized in either the present life or through later rebirth. Buddhism teaches that life is suffering, suffering is caused by desires and wants, suffering ends when those desires and wants end, and reaching that state is achieved by following a lifestyle laid out by Buddha.
Set in those beliefs, a Buddhist monk's life is one of simplicity and monastic dedication to the religion and its tenets. Monks must be at least 21 years old before agreeing to take a vow to follow the 36 rules of conduct for a novice monk. There are eventually 227 rules of conduct for male monks. The path to those 227 rules of conduct takes place along a journey of four steps.
The begging bowl or alms bowl is one of the simplest but most important objects in the daily lives of Buddhist monks. It is primarily a practical object, used as a bowl in which to collect alms ,either money or food,from lay supporters.
But the begging bowl also has symbolic significance associated with the historical Buddha. According to one legend, when he began meditating beneath the Bodhi Tree, a young woman offered him a golden bowl filled with rice, thinking he was the divinity of the tree. He divided the rice into 49 portions, one for each day until he would be enlightened, and threw the precious bowl into the river.
This and other legends, combined with its humble monastic uses, have made the simple begging bowl a symbol of the Buddha's teachings on nonattachment.
The monk on the left has a litle loss of lacquer on his head shown in the photos.
The monk on the right has two small areas on his back with loss of lacquer also shown in photos. Their prices reflect these flaws which are from use over time.
Handcarved in Teal Wood in Thailand with Lacquer finishes.