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Image of Sakyamuni Buddha in the Earth-Touching Gesture

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Sakyamuni Buddha in the Earth-Touching Gesture

Creation date: 10th century
Creation place: India

Other Information

Type: Stone Sculpture
Medium and Support: Stone
Credit Line: Museum purchase with funds provided by the Asian Arts Council
Accession Number: 1960.58
State/Province: Bihar
Dimensions: 10 3/4 in. x 8 in. x 4 in. (27.31 cm x 20.32 cm x 10.16 cm)
Currently on view

Label Copy

04/14/2017 Diana Chou
This sculpture shows the moment when the Buddha realized how to attain freedom from the cycles of birth and death. Disruptive forces attempted to derail his concentration, but the Buddha ignored them, roaring like a lion to proclaim his release from all earthly ties. Reaching down to touch the ground with one hand, he called upon the earth to bear witness to his enlightenment. Here he is attended by the bodhisattvas Avalokiteshvara (right) and Maitreya (left). Sculptures like this, made in northeastern India during the reign of the Pala dynasty (8th–12th century), would prove highly influential in Myanmar, Nepal, and Tibet.

Last Updated: 4/14/2017


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Temple, Palace, Mosque: Southern Asian & Persian Art , 1/2/2010 - 2/1/2011

Temple Palace and Mosque Rotations San Diego Museum of Art , 8/16/2010 - 00/00/00

Temple, Palace, Mosque: Temple Arts for Sacred Spaces of Southern Asia San Diego Museum of Art , 6/23/2012 - 1/6/2013

Arts of South and Southeast Asia 2nd to 16th Century , 6/16/2014 - 12/14/2014

Arts of South and Southeast Asia 2nd - 6th century The San Diego Museum of Art , 12/20/2014 - 00/00/00

Arts of South and Southeast Asia The San Diego Museum of Art , 1/20/2017 - 00/00/00


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Dr. Ellen Smart. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 70

C. Alexander Simpkins and Annellen M. Simpkins. Simple Tibetan Buddhism: Tuttle Publishing. Boston, massachusetts, 2001
Page Number: 2, Figure Number: 2

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