The believers wear pendants, necklaces, earrings; fingerings which depict the images of Buddha, bodhisattva, gods, goddesses or guru etc. for protection from diseases, protection from evil spirits, and for peace, prosperity and as mark of respect to the gurus etc.
The present oval shaped pendant depicts Bhumisparsha Buddha, brilliantly carved in lapis lazuli gemstone. The carving of precious or semiprecious gemstones to create small figure has a long tradition in Nepal, Tibet, and India. This is really a remarkable and strenuous work which requires skill, long concentration and patience. Here Buddha is seated on lotus throne; his right hand is in bhumisparsha-mudra, while the left hand is in mediation position and holds a pinda-patra. There is a halo behind his head and his upper garments cover his left shoulder only.
The Buddha has been depicted in art works in different mudras; his each hand gesture has a special meaning which convey something. The bhumisparsha-mudraof the Buddha symbolized his victory over Mara or evil and his enlightenment at Bodhgaya. The Buddha seated in bhumisparsha-mudra is also called Vajrasana Buddha as he was seated on Adamantine Throne (Vajrasana) beneath the Bodhi Tree at Bodhgaya. It was this spot the Mara and his army attempted to prevent the Buddha-to-Be from attaining enlightenment by attacking him with their weapons and attempting to instill in him thoughts of anger, lust, greed, and jealously. Seeing the ineffectiveness of his forces, Mara asserted that his army could testify to his right to sovereignty over all creatures but that Siddhartha had no such witness to his own worthiness. Unmoved, the Buddha-to-Be responded by reaching towards the earth with his right hand and calling forth the Earth Goddess (Bhu Devi) to give witness to his right to enlightenment. With this gesture (bhumisparsha-mudra),Mara was defeated and the Buddha-to-Be entered the final meditation that gave rise to his full awakening and subsequently he became a Buddha or Enlightened One.
It is believed that mere sight of bhumisparsha-mudra of the Buddha guarantees the believers that it will ward off all evil and danger. Moreover this gesture of the Buddha also symbolizes a firm bodhicitta or resolve to enlightenment, a firmness equal to that of the vajra. Thus the believers wear the jewelry of bhumisparsha Buddha for protection from evil spirits and also for peace and prosperity. Further it imparts confidence and power to the believers to fight and struggle against evil or negative ideas for the attainment of knowledge, goal or wish etc.
The image of the Buddha is surrounded with brilliant Nepalese filigree work. Filigree is a fine metal work which is made with wire and small metal balls or grains. This is a delicate time-consuming style of metal work. In this, jewelry is made entirely from gold or silver wire of high standard. Filigree work was once a specialty of Bangladesh and now Nepalese are producing world standard filigree jewelry. Standard filigree shapes are prepared in advance and stored in glass jars ready for use. Filling the frame with them is called net work or making a lattice work.
Faceted ruby trifoliate have been made depicted each side of the Buddha, on the filigree field, while on upper and bottom field are trifoliate of shell and lapis lazuli. The filigree area is surrounded by mm sized faceted emerald beads, between the borders of gold plated sterling balls. The pendant has the border of coral, lapis lazuli, turquoise, shell and emerald leaves.
This description is by Dr. Shailendra K. Verma, whose Doctorate thesis is on "Emergence and Evolution of the Buddha Image (From its inception to 8th century A.D.)".