This sculpture depicts the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, in Shayana (Final Nirvana) posture on a lotus base. He is lying calmly, peacefully and restfully on his right side, his head resting on the palm of the upturned hand placed on a cushion. His left hand is stretched out straight with the body, almost as if in a yogasana.
He is wearing drapery that covers both the shoulders and the lower garment is extended up to the feet. The drapery is incised with wired lines indicating the folds of the garment. The border is embossed with slight, curving designs.
The body of the Buddha is slim and slender, while the lower limbs are slightly sturdy, strengthened perhaps by the years of walking to spread the message of the Dharma. The eyes are half closed and the facial expression shows compassion and serenity.
Buddha was born at Lumbini (Nepal) in 563 B.C. and was given the name of Siddhartha, meaning whose purpose has been full-filled. His father, King Suddhodana was the ruler of the Shakya clan of Kapilvastu. His mother queen Mahamaya died seven days after his birth. He was nurtured by his step mother Mahaprajapati Gautami.. Prince Siddharth showed a meditative bent of mind from his childhood. He was married to Yasodhara at sixteen and had a son, Rahula. He relinquished the worldly life at the age of 29 years and departed to a forest to meditate as a hermit for six years. Siddharth finally obtained enlightenment and became Buddha at the age of thirty-five in Bodhgaya (Bihar) and thereafter he spread the law of Dharma among suffering beings till his death.
Shakyamuni Buddha entered his parinirvana (died) in 483 at the age of eighty at Kushinagar (U.P.).
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