Memory, Memento, and Sacred Bond
Votive Plaque of Buddha Calling the Earth to Witness
- India, Bihar, Gaya region
- Ca. 10th–11th century, possibly Pala period
- H. 7 x W. 4 5/8 x D. 1 3/4 in. (17.8 x 11.7 x 4.4 cm)
- Philadelphia Museum of Art: Purchased with the George W. B. Taylor Fund, 1921, 1921-36-18
- Bodh Gaya
The motifs of this molded tablet are organized around a central axis that culminates in a pointed arch. The standard Buddhist creed is inscribed at the bottom. The Buddha is seated on a lotus cushion with his right hand in the earth-touching gesture below a structure suggestive of the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya. These impressed-clay tablets were manufactured in great quantities as commemorative and auspicious objects for pilgrims to carry home from Bodh Gaya.