These days you can find a number of products bearing the image of the Buddha that are not designed for paying respect but instead are created for the sake of art, for decoration, or for business purposes.
These products have been increasing exponentially and many Buddhists are concerned and often ask the Knowing Buddha Organization “how we can resolve this problem”?
To begin with, these items should not be brought to your local temple where they just become a burden to the temple. Instead, we recommend the following guidelines so that you can resolve the problem yourself when you encounter it:
1. Don’t buy, give as a gift, or share any product that improperly uses an image of the Buddha.
2. Educate sellers and people who possess improperly designed products by informing them directly or by writing them a letter.
3. If you have a product that bears the image of the Buddha, e.g., a lamp or a fountain, you can detach the components and use the complete Buddha statue to pay homage.
4. If you have a large artistic piece bearing the Buddha’s image that is carved into the wall or can’t otherwise be moved, you should modify it by recarving or repainting so that it does not resemble the Buddha.
5. If you have a painting or other item with an inappropriate image of the Buddha, e.g., the image is upside down or represents an improper caricature, you should tear it up and put it in a shredder.
6. If you have ceramic dolls in the image of the Buddha or of a monk, you can modify them so that they look like something else.
We modify these objects because we don’t want people to see them and create more of the same and we want to ensure people respect all symbols and images of the Buddha.