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Votive tablet with seated Buddha flanked by standing Buddhas
Place of Origin: Myanmar (Burma), former kingdom of Bagan (Pagan)
Date: approx. 1050-1100
Materials: Terra-cotta
Dimensions: H. 7 3/4 in x W. 5 3/4 in x D. 1 1/4 in, H. 19.7 cm x W. 14.6 cm x D. 3.2 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Johnson S. Bogart
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: 2010.508
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Bringing the Place of Enlightenment to Burma In Buddhist thought, the symbolic center of the universe lies in Bodh Gaya, India—where the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, realized enlightenment. The Mahabodhi Temple marks the site, and its tower forms the central axis of these clay tablets. The Buddha exhibits the "earth-touching" gesture that marked the defeat of Mara, demon of time, death, and illusion.

Viewed from above, the Mahabodhi Temple forms a nested series of squares and circles. This configuration is one of the most widespread manifestations of the basic mandala pattern. By making copies of the Mahabodhi Temple—nearly full size or as small as these tablets—worshipers outside India could symbolically bring the center of the universe to their homelands.


More Information

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

Bringing the Place of Enlightenment to Burma In Buddhist thought, the symbolic center of the universe lies in Bodh Gaya, India—where the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, realized enlightenment. The Mahabodhi Temple marks the site, and its tower forms the central axis of these clay tablets. The Buddha exhibits the "earth-touching" gesture that marked the defeat of Mara, demon of time, death, and illusion.

Viewed from above, the Mahabodhi Temple forms a nested series of squares and circles. This configuration is one of the most widespread manifestations of the basic mandala pattern. By making copies of the Mahabodhi Temple—nearly full size or as small as these tablets—worshipers outside India could symbolically bring the center of the universe to their homelands.


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