What Is the Significance of the Weeping Buddha?

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The weeping Buddha is a wood-carved Buddha depicted in the fetal position. One legend holds that Buddha is crying over the loss of his son and suffering of all humanity.

Based on the legend, two masked warriors fought each other in many battles with neither defeating the other until the older warrior killed the younger warrior. When the older warrior removed his opponent’s mask, he was confronted with the face of his only son. The torment and misery of having fought and killed his own son forced him to the ground, and he cried tears of anguish and buried his face in his hands to hide the truth of what he had done. This signifies that the weeping Buddha is crying for the suffering of the world and internalizes the angst to lessen the sorrow of others. Some believe that the Buddha gives peace and strength to those who rub or oil its back.

Others believe that the legend of the weeping Buddha was created as a training challenge for new wood carvers. According to this belief, apprentice wood carvers would learn to carve the intricate posture of the weeping Buddha before carving the human face. In Metaphysics, it is believed the weeping Buddha’s fetal position and pressing his forehead to his hands is a meditative posture used to awaken the third eye.