Each saint serves to inspire wisdom and awakening in each of us. They also represent certain aspects of Buddhism, which remind practitioners of the particular topic of teaching. For example, the Pure Land School pays respect to the Buddha and two Bodhisattvas of the Western Pure Land. Amitabha Buddha (Infinite Life and Infinite Light) represents the infinite enlightenment that is an intrinsic part of our nature. Bodhisattvas Guan Yin and Da Shi Zhi (Great Strength or Mahasthamaprapta) respectively portray compassion with kindness and great wisdom. We should be compassionate and kind toward all beings. Our thoughts, views and behavior should be rational rather than emotional, for emotional behavior spells trouble. Therefore, statues in Buddhism are teaching aids and not statues of gods. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas represent our nature and cultivation of virtue. We have infinite capabilities within our true nature that cannot be expressed by just one single term.
The Buddha is believed to bring good luck and good fortune. It's also a symbol of wisdom, compassion, and enlightenment. People will often gaze at a Buddha to have a clear view of what their path holds and how to better enlighten themselves. The teachings on the Four Noble Truths are regarded as central to the teachings of Buddhism and are said to provide a conceptual framework for Buddhist thought. These four truths explain the nature of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, unsatisfactoriness), its causes, and how it can be overcome.
The word Buddha means "awakened one" or "enlightened one". The Buddha was an ordinary human like you and me before he became enlightened. Enlightenment is compared to waking up because we suddenly experience a complete transformation of body and mind when we wake up. A Buddha is a person who has developed all positive qualities and eliminated all negative qualities. One could say that a Buddha represents the very peak of evolution, as he/she is omniscient or all-knowing. With his wisdom, a Buddha really understands the truth, whereas ordinary people live like in a dream, an illusion that prevents us from understanding reality properly.
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