Bust of a Bodhisattva Shakyamuni

Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)

Not on view

Representations of Shakyamuni prior to his enlightenment as a bodhisattva were popular in Gandhara, as they emphasize his high rebirth and potential to become a chakravartin king (universal monarch). It seems likely that such images were also intended to glorify Shakyamuni's great departure from the palace—the moment he leaves the illusory world of desire and attachment to seek enlightenment.

Bust of a Bodhisattva Shakyamuni, Schist, Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)

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