Bagan 12-13th C Buddha  

Posted by ေရွးျမန္မာ

Object : Votive Plaque
Period : ca. 12th century-13th century, Burma

Plain red-stained steatite, carved in high relief

Height 12.7 cmWidth 7.6 cm

Current Location : Victoria & Albert Musuem, UK

Museum number

This plaque represents eight scenes from the life of the Buddha clockwise around a central figure of the Buddha in the lotus position and in the earth-touching or earth-witnessing attitude. He is seated on a waisted lotus throne beneath the Bodhi tree, under which he achieved enlightenment. He is depicted in monastic robes which leave his right shoulder bare, his curly hair rises to an usnisha surmounted by a lotus bud. The surrounding subjects illustrate eight main scenes of the Buddha's life. Starting at the bottom left corner they are: the Nativity in which Maya-devi (the Buddha's mother) gives birth to the Buddha from her right-side in the Lumbini grove, attended by her sister Prajapati; the Buddha's first sermon in the Deer Park at Benares; the subjugation of Nalagiri, the elephant, which the Buddha prevented from destroying him by overcoming it with love; on the highway of Rajagrih; the Buddha's death (or Parinirvana or Mahaparinibbana); the descent from the Tavatimsa heaven; the twin miracles, in which flames arise from the Buddha's shoulders and water pours from his feet while at the same time a vast number of images of him appear all over the sky; and at the bottom right, the Parileyyaka episode, in which the monkey offers the Buddha a gift of honeycomb.

This entry was posted on Jan 8, 2009 at Thursday, January 08, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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