The Joy of Museums

Exploring Museums, Art & Historic Sites

Meditating Buddha Shakyamuni

Meditating Buddha Shakyamuni - www.joyofmuseums.com - Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

Meditating Buddha Shakyamuni

Meditating Buddha Shakyamuni depicts Buddha with a chipped halo behind his head in the meditation pose or dhyana with his right hand in his left palm, both facing upwards. His crossed legs are in the vajra posture. He is dedicated with long earlobes and wavy hair and he has a Uma between his eyebrows. Gautama Buddha is also known as Siddhārtha Gautama or Shakyamuni Buddha. The Buddha was an ascetic and sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He lived and taught mostly in the eastern part of ancient India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE.

This statue of the Buddha comes from ancient Gandhara in modern-day Pakistan. Like other Gandharan or Greco-Buddhist art, the sculpture shows influence from Ancient Greek sculptural art. Gandhara had been part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom established by Alexander the Great. Gandhāra was an ancient Indic kingdom situated in the northwestern region of Pakistan, around Peshawar.

Statues of the Buddha were not made until after the 1st century CE. For the first four hundred years after his death Buddha was represented by symbols alone such as his footprint or an empty throne or Bodhi tree. The statue was made in the 2nd or 3rd century, and although Buddha lived in the 4th century before Christ, this is an early and rare example of Buddha in human form.

The statue was carved in excellent detail. The pose, which was to become one of the several standard ones and shows Buddha as a teacher sitting on a platform. On the front of the base, there are much smaller figures of a bodhisattva, flanked by kneeling figures probably representing donor portraits.  His robes feature the distinctive folds carved in well-rounded ridges and terraces that smooth out at the knees and shoulders. The neckline is in high relief with a plunging, and a semi-circular edge that is echoed as the robe overlaps the seat.

Meditating Buddha Shakyamuni

  • Title:                  Meditating Buddha Shakyamuni
  • Date:                  2nd/3rd century
  • Material:           Grey Schist, a metamorphic rock
  • Size:                   H: 65 cm; W: 35 cm; D: 23 cm
  • Origins:             Gandhara, Pakistan
  • Museum:          Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

~~~

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” Buddha

~~~

_________________________________________________________________

Photo Credit: 1) JOM