Buddhist alter?


#1

In the nail salon where I sometimes get pedicures, there is an alter-type thing in the corner with a small Buddha statue, incense, and fruit, usually tangerines. I guess it’s probably an offertory kind of thing. I was just wondering if anyone else knows about these or has seen them.


#2

When I was twelve I had a good girl friend that would gather wild flowers to take home and put in front of her Buddha.


#3

[quote=MooCowSteph]In the nail salon where I sometimes get pedicures, there is an alter-type thing in the corner with a small Buddha statue, incense, and fruit, usually tangerines. I guess it’s probably an offertory kind of thing. I was just wondering if anyone else knows about these or has seen them.
[/quote]

Buddhists of various sects have butsu-dan (the Japanese Buddhist word) or other sorts of altars honoring the Buddha. In some Buddhist sects, the Buddha is equated to divine status, in other sects the altar is simply a method of veneration. The fruit is usually replaced and consumed before it spoils. The Nicherin sects forbid physical depictions of the Buddha himself but trascribe a section of the Lotus Sutra and enshrine it for veneration. Amidists do something similar. Other sects can get build quite elaborate structures for veneration.

Most Buddhist religious activities, by the way, are based in the home, not in a shrine or temple. Buddhism is largely individualistic and somewhat solitary, as obbosed to Christianity which always emphasised the ekklesia or church as the center of Christian life. Only due largely to the influence of Christianity has more emphasis been placed upon communal activities. Conversely, I think the influx of Eastern religion has caused Christians to put a great deal more stress upon persona ‘quiet times’ and private devotions than would have been commonly done in ages past.


#4

Placing oranges wrapped in red paper is supposed to be a ritually auspicious symbolic offering.


#5

Thanks! Interesting stuff…


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