9 Types of Buddha Statues and Their Meaning

Not only is Buddhism the world’s largest religion, but it also has the earliest history based on teachings and principles. A long time ago, behind the Buddha statues were associated with the gods through different postures and gestures.

In addition, they are also valuable figures for peace, self-discipline, and happiness, carrying their meaning and importance. Therefore, followers and non-Buddhists are curious about the types of Buddha statues.

You can come across various Buddha statues with many poses and presentation styles. Some may have been born several hundred years ago, since the Buddha’s death, or just recently refurbished.

The only thing these works have in common is their religious value and their great spiritual significance. I have researched and compiled the 9 most famous Buddha statues today in this article.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences and their meanings.

1. Abhaya Mudra

Abhaya Mudra statue

Buddha Abhaya Mudra deals with a momentous event in Shakyamuni’s life. It embodies and represents peace and dispels fear in Buddhist art.

Its most common image is a seated Buddha with the right palm facing out, shoulder-width apart, fingers folded upright, and arms bent.

The first symbolizes the resilient shield that overcomes fear, expressed through the raised right hand. Meanwhile, its second meaning is courage and anger.

You’ll find other arrangements with this statue, including a seated or standing Buddha with two palms facing each other. Or his left-hand carries a familiar bowl like a Buddhist monk.

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2. Dharmachakra Mudra

Dharmachakra Mudra statue

The Dharmachakra Mudra is the model for wisdom, understanding, and mission.

It also describes the first sermon in the life of the Buddha after his successful enlightenment. So it is especially for those who believe and want to learn more about the spiritual world.

With this statue, both hands of the Buddha will be at chest level, while the index fingers and thumbs form a circle. Unlike the figure of Abhaya, his left hand will be facing outwards.

Many studies indicate that this statue was significant to the beginning of this religion. Accordingly, Dharmachakra means “righteous cosmic rotation.”

3. Meditation Dhyana Mudra

Meditation Dhyana Mudra

Meditation Dhyana Mudra is the ideal destination if you are looking for quiet peace and want to relax your soul. In particular, it also helps people improve their meditation skills and encourages calm.

In the statue, you will see Buddha sitting in a lotus position with his right hand resting on his left hand and lying flat on his lap. Two thumbs joined together to form a triangle representing the unified Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

Buddha’s eyes are half-closed or wholly closed. All of these demonstrate high concentration and stability. So, many people also call this statue “Infinite Light.”

4. Bhumisparsha Mudra

Bhumisparsha Mudra

The most noticeable feature of the Bhumisparsha mudra is the flat feet, the left hand inside, the right hand down, and the palm facing inward.

Another name for this statue is “Heaven calls the earth to witness,” symbolizing the time when Buddha was enlightened.

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According to many legends, a demon named Mara tried to prevent Buddha from achieving his goal while meditating under the Bodhi tree. But he overcame all fears and invited the Earth Goddess to witness his enlightenment.

5. Varada Mudra

Varada Mudra statue

Varada Mudra is a seated Buddha figure, and the right hand is with the palm facing the viewer.

The primary meaning of this statue is to ward off evil spirits and remove negative energy from humanity. So, many places choose this statue as a symbol for giving benefits such as knowledge, medicine, virtue, and compassion in life.

It is the ideal choice for those who wish prosperity and good health. If you are one of them, go to the Buddhist temples in Nepal and Tibet.

6. Vitarka Mudra

Vitarka Mudra statue

Vitarka Mudra is a Buddhist symbol in intellectual discussions. It looks similar to the Dharmachakra mudra.

The thumb and forefinger form a circle, while the right palm faces outwards. This pose represents continuous and limitless energy with no beginning or end.

This statue also affirms the talent and evokes the success of the Buddha in public debates. Judging by many aspects, it’s the ideal tool for introverted individuals.

7. Reclining Buddha Statue

Reclining Buddha Statue

You will quickly understand the profound meaning of the Reclining Buddha statue if you have learned about Shakyamuni Buddha during his illness.

It represents the Buddha entering nirvana with his proper side-lying position and his head resting on his right hand. It became a symbol of encouragement.

This statue promotes enlightenment for sentient beings and frees humanity from suffering through rebirth. If you like this pattern, you can place it on the house’s west side for worship.

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8. “Sukothai” Statue

Sukothai statue

The standing Buddha Statue “Sukothai” originated in Thailand around the 13th century. The famous pose and arrangement of this statue are standing or walking. It symbolizes the grace and beauty inside each person.

The right hand is raised outward, while the statue’s left hand is along the side of the body. Varada means gift giving, and Abhaya is the common mudra used by standing Buddhas.

9. Laughing “Buddhai”

Laughing “Buddhai” statue

One of the most popular and widely used statues is the Laughing Statue “Buddhai”. It symbolizes luck and prosperity with a smiling man and a big belly.

This statue has different layouts, including standing and sitting poses with hands on a pot or vase. Many believe that rubbing this Buddha statue will bring good luck and peace. It also shows kindness and love for people.


Thus, you have understood the most popular types of Buddha statues. It’s time to find a practical gift for your loved one.

If you have any related questions, don’t hesitate to leave comments to get timely responses. Thank you for following this post!