Shakyamuni, Buddha in bhumisparsha

This sculpture is identified as a Pala period (8th-12th centuries) Dhyani Buddha Akshobhya. He is seated in padmasana (lotus posture), striking a bhumisparsha mudra (an earth witnessing gesture). This scene relates to Shakyamuni’s (Buddha) encounter with Mara (demon god), who tested his concentration by bringing on his army of demons and sensuous damsels to disturb him. Akshobhya refers to Shakyamuni’s calm composure during Mara’s attack. Pala stone sculptures are usually executed in a fine grained black chlorite and the best examples are notable for the exquisite highly polished finish which lends emphasis to the precise details of the carving.

Date/Period
12th century (Pala period, 8th-12th centuries)
Region
Eastern India
Dimension
Object size: H67 x L36 x W15 cm (w stand)
Accession No.
1995-00266
Material
Schist
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Credit Line
Purchased with funds from Singapore Reinsurance Corporation Ltd and India International Insurance Pte Ltd
Category
Sculpture