This twenty-seven inch tall splendid statue represents Lord Buddha as the teacher of the universe. It is a classic of Buddhist iconography and one of the most widely and popularly represented forms of the Great Master. The glow that reigns his face is born of the enlightenment which he had attained by the time he came out to teach the world and the sublimity and the divine calm that characterise his entire being are reflections of his great spiritual strength.
The statue, in its style of clothing with ornamented border and sash with brooch girdling around his waist, represents Tibetan art where his deification led the votive artist to create even crowned and bejewelled images of the Great Master. The feudalistic attributes of Hindu deities are seen often blending with the Buddhist iconography of Tibet, China and Nepal and there evolved his such forms as Crowned Buddha, though restricting to just his votive images. The essence of this image is his teacher form, a sequel to his attainment of absolute knowledge, and the adornment, hence, restricts to what could suit only a classic form. The artist has, hence, refrained from transforming it into a deity image. The statue has been cast with the ages old traditional lost wax technique and uses as its medium brass, though mixed with copper for giving it required strength, finish and protection from rusting. The 'Padmasana' image of the Lord has been installed on a pedestal consisting of two rows of lotuses, the lower one of which has inverted lotuses.
'Dharmachakra-pravartana' and teaching Buddha are two most significant aspects of Buddhist legend. Buddha, when after years of wandering and abandoned and deserted by all and despite multiple obstructions he was able at attain enlightenment and became all knowing, he decided to communicate himself to the world. He rose from under the Pipal tree where he had been sitting in rigorous penance and proceeded to Sarnatha. In the Deer Park he met Ramaputra Rudraka's five disciples who had deserted him earlier. The divine glow on Buddha's face led them to prostrate before him. Buddha delivered to them his ever first sermon and put the wheel of righteousness in motion. In Buddhist tradition this event has been defined as the 'Dharmachakra-pravartana'. Thereafter Buddha moved from this land to that enlightening people as against their false fear of old age, sickness and death and as to how sorrows could be conquered and supreme real blissed attained. This phase of his life has been widely and vividly depicted in Buddhist literature and art and has been defined as his universal teacher form.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.
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