Shakyamuni Buddha Calling the Earth to Witness His Enlightenment

Burmese (Burmese)
19th century
Bronze, porcelain
: 13 1/2 x 10 7/8 x 7 3/4 in. (34.29 x 27.62 x 19.68 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
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Buddhist sculptures from across Asia often share common physical features that are derived from holy texts and folkloric traditions. This Burmese sculpture depicts the Buddha seated in a cross-legged position with his right hand touching the ground to signify his enlightenment. He wears a simple robe to signify his status as a monk. The bump on the top of his head originally signified a princely top-knot, but was later interpreted as a sign of his great wisdom. Likewise his elongated ears were originally a reminder of the heavy jewelry he wore as a wealthy young man, but later became symbols of his attentiveness to the prayers of those in distress.

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