The Buddha-to-be practicing austerities (ear poking)
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 2
Furniture 6

ABS 181

 Code: ABS 181

  Country: India (north-east)

  Style: Late Pala Style

  Date: 900 - 1000

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 3.6 x 4.7 x 2

  Materials: Gilt copper

The Buddha-to-be practising austerities

This statue refers to a story that occurred during the ascetic phase of Siddhartha Gautama, the future Buddha Shakyamuni, before his enlightenment. Due to extreme privation, he is so emaciated that the bones are visible under his skin. He sits with his legs crossed in the meditation posture, surrounded by two individuals, each with a raised hand. 

According to the story, he sat so still, meditating in nature that young villagers thought that he must be a demonic apparition. They physically abused and humiliated him by besmearing him with dust and urine. Finally, they pierced his ears with a skewer (missing here). Unwavering in his concentration, the future Buddha did not react and did not harbour any negative thoughts or feelings towards his tormentors.