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Crowned and bejeweled naga-enthroned Buddha
Place of Origin: Cambodia or Northeastern Thailand
Date: approx. 1125-1175
Materials: Bronze
Dimensions: H. 6 1/2 in x W. 2 3/4 in x D. 2 1/4 in, H. 16.5 cm x W. 7.0 cm x D. 5.7 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Donald W. Perez Family in memory of Margaret and George W. Haldeman
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: 2010.342
On Display: No

Description

Label:

The Buddha on the serpent is perhaps the most enigmatic Buddha form developed in Southeast Asia. Is this figure a directional Buddha? The crown might suggest so, but this is not the case. This figure is seated with his hands in meditation posture, characteristic of Amitabha, the Buddha of the west.

But the connection with Amitabha is only coincidental, through similar hand gesture (mudra).

The identity of this Buddha is still a mystery. The seven-headed serpent sculpture is not known in the texts from which Lightning Vehicle mandalas are derived. His presence, in large monuments and small sculptures, is found only in Cambodia and Thailand and remains to be fully explained.


More Information

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

The Buddha on the serpent is perhaps the most enigmatic Buddha form developed in Southeast Asia. Is this figure a directional Buddha? The crown might suggest so, but this is not the case. This figure is seated with his hands in meditation posture, characteristic of Amitabha, the Buddha of the west.

But the connection with Amitabha is only coincidental, through similar hand gesture (mudra).

The identity of this Buddha is still a mystery. The seven-headed serpent sculpture is not known in the texts from which Lightning Vehicle mandalas are derived. His presence, in large monuments and small sculptures, is found only in Cambodia and Thailand and remains to be fully explained.


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