Buddha Calling on Earth to Witness

You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

The donors kneel at the lower corners.


This sculpture is one of a series that depict the Buddha at different scenes in his life. Here, he is at Bodhgaya, the place where he achieved enlightenment. At the top of the composition are the branches of the ficus tree with its heart-shaped leaves, under which he achieved enlightenment. His hand gesture indicates that he is calling upon the goddess of the earth to witness the moment. During the Pala period of the eighth through 12th centuries in medieval India, Buddhism dominated and flourished in major monastic universities. After the fall of the Pala dynasty, the numerous battles between small kingdoms vying for power caused the destruction of the Buddhist monasteries, and Buddhist monks fled with texts and movable art to Nepal, Tibet, and Southeast Asia, so that by the 14th century, Buddhism was eradicated in India.
Buddha Calling on Earth to Witness

Buddha Calling on Earth to Witness


Northeastern India, Bihar, Tetravan, Pala Period (750-1197)


The Historical Buddha

The Moment of Enlightenment

Deciphering the Imagery

The Donor Inscription

Visually Similar Artworks

ArtLens App

Let the ArtLens App be your guide, featuring an interactive map, every artwork on view, and AR scanning. Keep track of your favorite artworks. Take a guided tour, or create your own. 

Download the App

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.