The Buddha and the Sacred Site
Buddha Shakyamuni with Kneeling Worshippers
- 14th - 15th century
- Gilt copper alloy
- H. 16 x W. 14 3/4 in. (40.6 x 37.5 cm)
- Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.91a–c
- Shwegugyi Pagoda
Buddhists of Myanmar, where this sculpture was created, have venerated the enlightenment site at Bodh Gaya for centuries. This is reflected in eleventh-century missions to restore the Mahabodhi Temple (the main temple at Bodh Gaya) and in the building of full-scale temple replicas elsewhere in Myanmar. This special regard for the site of enlightenment is also apparent in the production of numerous Buddhas like this one in the gesture of calling the earth to witness the Buddha's triumph over temptation. Missionaries from the subcontinent and pilgrims introduced this artistic prototype through small icons that they brought to Myanmar.