Buddha Shakyamuni
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 3
Display 5

ABS 189

 Code: ABS 189

  Country: Tibet


  Date: 1700 - 1600

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 5 x 5.5 x 3.1

  Materials: Crystal

Buddha Shakyamuni 

This rock crystal image of Buddha Shakyamuni was probably carved by a Newari craftsman from the Katmandu Valley during the 16th or 17th centuries. Rock crystal sculptures are generally difficult to date, as the date of manufacture does not necessarily correspond with the stylistic impression. 

The Buddha is seated in the diamond attitude (vajraparyankasana). 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 historical Buddha Shakyamuni “takes the earth as a witness” of his victory over his inner demons of doubt, the mara.

The upper monastic garment (uttarasanga) covers only the left shoulder and is draped without folds. This depiction of the historical Buddha reminds us also of the place of his awakening (enlightenment). Bodhgaya in northern India subsequently became the destination of Buddhist pilgrimages to the "eight holy places" (astamahasthana).