Hard Rock Cafe Buddha Pin

This Hard Rock Cafe pin tells me two things about Japan: 1) Japanese are not overly sensitive about their religion and 2) things often get lost in translation. On the second point, calling it a Buddha pin makes me want to detail the little I know on the subject of Buddhism. Although there are a number of multi-handed and multi-headed deities in Buddhism, I can never remember seeing the historical Buddha represented like this. Although I have heard all enlightened beings in Buddhism called "Buddhas", but think it is considered correct to reserve the term "Buddha" for the historical Buddha. The image on this pin is almost certainly the Kannon goddess, who is actually a Bodhisattva, a being who has come close to attaining enlightenment, but who has held herself back on purpose to continue helping us mere mortals move in the right direction. The many hands and many heads correspond to the different forms in which she appears to humans. Different forms correspond to different and individual needs of people being saved. Some people need to be scared, other people need friendly persuasion and so forth. The most common variations I know are the Kannon with 33 faces or aspects and the 100 handed Kannon. In either case the idea is the same.

However, if you light-heartedly think of Rock and Roll as a religion, this pin makes perfect sense.


Photo is a web capture for explanatory purposes, copyright belongs to the company.

No comments: