Seated Buddha Reaching Enlightenment, Flanked by Avalokitesvara and Maitreya
late 10th–11th century
India, Bihar, Nalanda monastery
H. 26 1/4 in. (66.7 cm); W. 17 3/8 in. (4.1 cm); D. 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1920
Not on view
This Buddha from the great monastic site of Nalanda is seen at the moment of enlightenment, with his right hand reaching down to touch the earth, bearing witness to his past refined and meritorious actions, including those in countless past lives that brought him to this point of ultimate realization. The Buddha sits in a yogic posture, deep in meditation. His enlightenment allowed him not only to realize, but also to teach, the Four Noble Truths, as stated in the inscription on his lotus throne:Of all dispositions proceeding from a causeThe Tathagata [Buddha] has explained the causeAnd he has explained their cessation alsoThis is the doctrine of the great Shramana[the great ascetic or meditator—the Buddha].At his right stands the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara,identifiable by the image of the Buddha Amitabha in hisheaddress. At his left is Maitreya, the next Buddha whowill come in some distant future.
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