A discussion on the nature of art and the role of aesthetics is ongoing at the Buddhist Forum Free Sangha. The opening paragraph is posted below. Follow the link to read more. – Ed.
What is the position of Buddhism on beauty? I understand that some forms of Buddhism would maintain that all external reality, which would include aesthetic beauty such as art and music, to be illusory and without use. However, it seems other forms of Buddhism, like Shingon example, which sees all of reality as the expression of Dainichi Nyorai, has room for beauty and art, hence the employment of art as a tool in these traditions (mandalas, icons, sculpture, etc.) Overall though, what is the relationship of beauty, particularly artistic beauty but also natural beauty, to the Buddhist worldview?