Buddha Shakyamuni – The Historical Buddha
  See it in the Museum
India and Nepal
Orientation 3
Display 2

ABS 161

 Code: ABS 161

  Country: Himalaya

  Style: Spiti Region

  Date: 1150 - 1250

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 3.7 x 7 x 1.5

  Materials: Copper alloy


The historical Buddha Shakyamuni is seated in the diamond attitude (vajraparyankasana) on a lotus throne supported by a pair of lions. The upper monastic garment (uttarasanga) covers only the left shoulder and is draped without folds. He rests his left hand in his lap and extends the right hand in the gesture of touching the earth (bhumisparsha-mudra). With this gesture, the Buddha Shakyamuni “takes the earth as a witness” of his victory over his inner demons of doubt, the mara just before he reached enlightenment. This depiction of the historical Buddha therefore reminds us also of the place of his awakening. Bodhgaya in northern India subsequently became the destination of Buddhist pilgrimages to the "eight holy places" (astamahasthana).

The patina is a testimony to the fact that this statue has accompanied people very closely for a long time, and that it has been touched and venerated.