Dunhuang Aesthetic Series
A painting, A story
1. The Buddha’s hand with a flower
According sutra, on top of a mountain, the Buddha takes a
beautiful flower in hand and says nothing. No one can tell what the Buddha means. Only Maha-kassapa knows what’s going on
and have a secret smile on face.
The Buddha, therefore, said to the public that I have the
Right-dharma-treasure and a wonderful knowledge about Nirvana, however, any
languages or thoughts can’t describe the treasure and the knowledge. Now, I already told Maha-kassapa all
Afterward, when people talk about “The Buddha’s hand with
a flower” that means two people can communicate with heart or any inter course.
2. Female Musicians flying in the sky
Heavenly beings fly in the sky and offer singing, dancing
and flowers to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for respect. In ancient India, there are more than plenty of stories and
legends about them, therefore, there are a lot of wall paintings and sculpture
found in the major relics of Buddhism.
The Flying-angel, the Eastern-flying-beauty, she fly
westward from India to Dunhuang.
She is the most vivid image within all Dunhuang arts, therefore, she
becomes the symbol of Dunhuang.
Although some Hinayana sutras said singing and dancing
have six shortcomings, however, people can use singing, dancing and flowers as
offerings in some Mahayana sutras.
Therefore, singing and dancing just for fun might not be encouraged,
however, doing the same things as offerings is a good business you may do as much
as you like.
angels sprinkle flowers
According Vimalakirti sutra, when some heavenly angels
sprinkle flowers on Bodhisattvas and pupils of the Buddha, those flowers clung
onto the pupils’ body but didn’t cling on the Bodhisattvas. That is because the pupils didn’t get
rid of the self-will.
In fact, can the flowers tell the difference between the
Bodhisattvas and the pupils?
However, it is the cling about form and thought making the
flowers cling onto the pupils instead of the Bodhisattvas.
Annotation: In the current Practical-application-of-Dunhuang-esthetics∼Dunhuang Aesthetic Notebook, there are
three beautiful and meaningful paintings on the notebook.