This antiquated Shakyamuni Buddha statue is very important because it portrays the historical Buddha. As a result, he is highly venerated among all of the Buddhist schools. He was born in the 6th century BCE in northern India as Prince Siddhartha Gautama. In his early years, he lived a life of opulence and pleasure living under the protection of his father. However, as he grew older he began to reflect on the inequality he saw around him. The prince renounced his kingdom when he was 29 years old and went to live in the forest as a renunciant. For 6 years he struggled to find the right path to eliminate all traces of worldly desire.
Shakyamuni Buddha Statue Features:
This statue depicts him using the Bhumisparsha “earth touching” mudra. When he lightly touched the ground with the middle finger of his right hand he was on the verge of enlightenment. This classic mudra was used to call the earth goddess to witness his vanquishment of the demon Mara.
The alms bowl of a Buddhist monk rests in the palm of his left hand. Additionally, the left hand depicts the Dhyana “meditation” mudra. The alms bowl is important in Buddhist beliefs because it symbolizes renunciation of earthly desires. It also holds the three nectars which eliminate the three poisons of desire, hatred and ignorance. Click here to learn more about Shakyamuni Buddha.