The Buddha and the Sacred Site

Buddha in the Gesture of Preaching

  • 2
  • India
  • Gupta period, 6th century
  • Copper alloy with copper and silver inlay
  • H. 14 1/8 in. (35.9 cm)
  • Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.7
  • Sarnath
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This sculpture shows the Buddha seated in the lotus posture (padmasana) on a lion-footed pedestal. He displays the gesture of teaching (dharmachakra mudra), which signifies the Buddha's first sermon at the Deer Park in Sarnath. The inscription, written in the northern Indian Brahmi script, along the pedestal's upper edge is the Buddhist creed, ye dharma, on the chain of causation. It may be translated: "Of those things that arise from a cause/The Tathagata has said/"This is their cause, And this is their cessation":/Thus, the Great Recluse teaches."

PHOTO CREDIT: Asia Society, New York

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