Overall: 94 cm (37 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1935.146
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.
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