Seated Buddha with Teaching Mudra

Chinese (Chinese)
17th century
Wood, pigments
- : 12 x 6 3/4 x 3 7/8 in. (30.48 x 17.15 x 9.84 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton in honor of Hans Niehaus
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The term Buddha means “enlightened one.” While there are many Buddhas, the epithet most commonly refers to Siddhartha Gautama, also called Shakyamuni, an Indian prince turned holy man who lived sometime around the 6 th or 5 th century BCE. The core tenets of the Buddha’s teachings are known as the Four Noble Truths: that life is full of suffering; that the cause of suffering is desire; that the way to end suffering is to end desire; and that the way to end desire is to embrace a life of meditation, moderation and compassion toward others. As the Buddhist faith grew over the centuries and expanded across Asia, its doctrines and practices became more complex, resulting in the emergence of many different schools of Buddhism. But beneath their differences, all schools of Buddhism still adhere to the Four Noble Truths and revere the man who first proclaimed them.

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