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Plaque with scenes of the life of the Buddha
Place of Origin: India, Bihar state
Date: 1000-1200
Materials: Stone
Style or Ware: Pala
Dimensions: H. 7 in x W. 4 1/4 in x D. 1 1/2 in, H. 17.8 cm x W. 10.8 cm x D. 3.8 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. David Buchanan
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: 2010.330
On Display: No

Description

Label:

From the eight great episodes of the life of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, one event stands above all others: it takes place at Bodh Gaya, India, where Shakyamuni touches the earth and asserts dominion over Mara, demon of time and death. Over Shakyamuni's head are the leaves of the Bodhi Tree, under which the Buddha was enlightened. This plaque condenses his enlightenment into a single image.

Plaques similar to this one in arrangement, symbolism, size, and material have been found in northeastern India, Sri Lanka, Tibet, and Burma. Yet in all known cases, the Buddha's victory over Mara, which leads to enlightenment, takes place at this unchanging center, the Bodhi Tree. The other episodes are arranged around it.


More Information

Exhibition History: Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism, March 14 — October 26, 2014, Asian Art Museum
Label:

From the eight great episodes of the life of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, one event stands above all others: it takes place at Bodh Gaya, India, where Shakyamuni touches the earth and asserts dominion over Mara, demon of time and death. Over Shakyamuni's head are the leaves of the Bodhi Tree, under which the Buddha was enlightened. This plaque condenses his enlightenment into a single image.

Plaques similar to this one in arrangement, symbolism, size, and material have been found in northeastern India, Sri Lanka, Tibet, and Burma. Yet in all known cases, the Buddha's victory over Mara, which leads to enlightenment, takes place at this unchanging center, the Bodhi Tree. The other episodes are arranged around it.


Exhibition History: Enter the Mandala: Cosmic Centers and Mental Maps of Himalayan Buddhism, March 14 — October 26, 2014, Asian Art Museum