BUDDHA IN MEDITATION
The famous pose of Gautam Buddha, sitting in a lotus pose
(Padmasan), with a serene expression lighting up his countenance
is as engrossing as meditation itself.
Siddharth was a prince born to King Shuddhodhan and Queen
Maya of the Shakya clan in Lumbini (Kaplivastu).
As a young prince, he only knew the grandeur and opulence
that surrounded him. He was always given to experience the
best and the happiest life had to offer. But all that wealth
could not buy Siddharth the peace of mind he deeply yearned.
A procession around his kingdom revealed to him the different
stages of birth, childhood, adulthood, old-age, disease and
death. For the first time he was exposed to the misery that
life could unleash upon human kind. He also chanced upon a
Yogi sitting deep in meditation and knew at once this to be
his calling. He gave up the kingdom, his family, his belongings,
even his resplendent locks and headed for the woods in search
of a remedy for this misery.
After much Tapasya, under a Bodhi tree, on a full moon night,
prince Siddharth became Gautam Buddha, the enlightened one.
The world witnessed a gift of a new religion, Buddhisim, a
path of non-violence, of lasting peace and happiness.
In this sculpture, the artist has been very successful in
creating a beatific expression on his divine face that radiates
with a light of its own.
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Iconographically, the sculpture shows all the Lakshanas
like the Ushanisha (the cranial protuberance), the
Urna (dot between his eyebrows), the three skin folds
under the chin, elongated ear lobes, a delicately
carved Prabhamandala (halo) behind his head and the
snail shell curls for his hair. All these Lakshanas
became popular during the Gupta reign in the 5th cent.
The beautifully carved out halo became a famous Lakshana
which would stand in striking contrast to the simplicity
of Buddha’s figure. The folds of the Sanghati
(robe) fall from his left shoulder to cover the rest
of his body. The fan made of the pleats of the Sanghati
is a very Gupta characteristic. He sits on a double
lotus symbolizing utmost purity. His rather healthy
body is a result of his teachings of the middle path
in life, neither too strenuous nor too easy.
The Buddha exudes vibrations of peace and serenity
in the atmosphere he is placed. This superbly carved
out monolithic sculpture made in Basalt rock and polished
to a shine, feels palpably alive if looked at long