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Stele Depicting Shakyamuni Buddha Touching the Earth

Asian Art

DATES ca. 9th–10th century
PERIOD Pala Period
DIMENSIONS 9 1/2 x 7 3/8 in. (24.1 x 18.7 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Manheim
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small Pala-period stone stele with rounded top, carved with the figure of Shakyamuni Buddha in vajraparyanka (posture of meditation), on a lotus throne, with a foliate chattra (tree-shaped parasol) above the mandorla, and miniature stupas on either side. The Buddha makes the Bhumisparsa Mudra, or Earth-Touching Gesture, with his right hand, making reference to his calling of the earth goddess to witness in the moments before his Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. The tree above his head appears to refer to the Bodhi tree, beneath which he meditated prior to gaining Enlightenment. Condition: the surface of the stone is well worn. There are chips in the hair, nose and right eye of the figure and the fingers of the left hand.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Stele Depicting Shakyamuni Buddha Touching the Earth, ca. 9th–10th century. Schist, 9 1/2 x 7 3/8 in. (24.1 x 18.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Manheim, 68.185.8. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 68.185.8_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 68.185.8_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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