In news- India’s largest statue of the Reclining Buddha will be installed at the Buddha International Welfare Mission temple in Bodh Gaya.
About the statue-
- The 100-foot fibreglass statue has been built over three months by a team of 22 artisans in Kolkata.
- The Buddha died when he was 80 years old, in a state of meditation, in Kushinagar in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
- A reclining Buddha statue or image represents Buddha during his last illness, about to enter Parinirvana, the stage of great salvation after death.
- It also signifies the Buddha’s last deeksha – even while on his deathbed, he took a follower into the fold.
More about reclining Buddha-
- Statues and images of the Reclining Buddha show him lying on his right side, his head resting on a cushion or on his right elbow.
- It is a popular iconographic depiction in Buddhism meant to show that all beings have the potential to be awakened and be released from the cycle of death and rebirth.
- The Reclining Buddha was first depicted in Gandhara art (50 BC – 75 AD) and peaked during the Kushana period from the first to the fifth centuries AD.
- Since Buddha was against idol worship, in the centuries immediately following his parinirvana (483 BC), his representation was through symbols.
- As the devotional aspect subsequently entered Buddhist practice, iconographic representations of The Buddha began.
- In Sri Lanka and India, the Buddha is mostly shown in sitting postures, while the reclining postures are more prevalent in Thailand and other parts of SouthEast Asia.
- The Bhamala Buddha Parinirvana in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province dates back to the 2nd century AD, and is considered the oldest statue of its kind in the world.
- In India, Cave No. 26 of Ajanta contains a 24-foot-long and nine-foot-tall sculpture of the Reclining Buddha, believed to have been carved in the 5th century AD.
- In the late 15th century, a 70-metre statue of the Reclining Buddha was built at the Hindu temple site of Baphuon in Cambodia’s Angkor.
- The largest Reclining Buddha in the world is the 600-foot Winsein Tawya Buddha built in 1992 in Mawlamyine, Myanmar.
- There is a 6-metre-long red sandstone monolith statue of the Reclining Buddha inside the Parinirvana Stupain Kushinagar.
- At the Mahabodhi temple, the Buddha is sitting in the Bhoomi-sparsha mudra, where his hand is pointing towards the ground which symbolises earth as being witness to his enlightenment.
- At Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first sermon, the stone statue has a hand gesture called the dharma-chakra mudra, which signifies preaching.
- While the Sitting Buddha signifies teaching or meditating, the Standing Buddha signifies rising to teach after reaching nirvana.