The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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On the top of the statue’s head is usually a flame – sometimes realistically depicted, sometimes highly stylised – meant to suggest a halo. Buddhists place flowers, lights and incense before Buddha statues to honour the Buddha’s memory and as reminders of fleeting beauty, the light of knowledge and the fragrance of virtue respectively.
Although much popular superstition surrounds Buddha statues, particularly in Thailand, no informed Buddhist believes that they are anything more than symbols of the enlightened person in material form. See Idolatry.