Thursday, January 27, 2011

Two Photos Of Paris

During my time in Paris I had ample opportunity to visit quite a few of the museums and monuments the city is famous for. Here are two of the many photos I took. The first is of the frieze above the mail portal of Notre Dame Cathedral. It depicts the Judgment Day. At the bottom the dead push aside their tomb stones as they come to life. Directly above this is an angel and a devil using a pair of scales to weigh the souls of the dead. A smaller devil is trying to pull one arm of the scale down, the more souls to be sent to hell. On the right a grinning devil leads the damned, chained and wailing, to hell. Note that amongst these unlucky souls is a knight, a king, a monk, and a little further along out of the picture, a bishop. On the left of the angel are the saved, crowned in glory and looking up to Jerusalem and above that, to Christ. It is a wonderful piece of sculpture. I could imagine Medieval peasants, tradesmen and burgers going into the cathedral, looking up and seeing the scene, and being filled with both hope and dread.

I took this second picture in the Cambodian gallery at Musse Guimet. Rarely have I ever seen artifacts more beautifully organized and presented. Every exhibit was a masterpiece but two that moved me most were these Buddha heads. With what skill and loving care did the Cambodian sculptors capture and then depict the Buddha’s smiling confidence and inner peace.

1 comment:

Terasi said...

And I like the eyebrows too! In addition to confidence and inner peace, it also shows nobility (not in terms of blood nobility) and greatness.

Dear Bhante, I have just finished reading your book which you wrote was started in 2001 and continued for 3 years after. Thank you for such an insightful book. I am still on that path because for this moment, it's still the only path that for me offer more faithful representation of the Buddha's ideas. However, your book has woken me up from the spell that usually traps beginners like me. I am now reminded to see beyond the crust, to seek the real thing inside. The book has even given me inspiration and strength to continue learning, but with extra care and opened eyes.

Thank you again, Bhante.