Shakyamuni Buddha

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The name, Shakyamuni, in Sanskrit means "Sage of the Shakyas". He was born as the prince of Shakyas or Sakyas in 700 BCE, and was named Siddhartha Gautam. While, after achieving enlightenment he became "Gautam Buddha" or "Shakyamuni Buddha".

His teaching has aimed solely at liberating sentient being from the cycle of sufferings. Buddhism is the “philosophy of life” expounded by Buddha which says the path of happiness starts from the understanding of the root cause of sufferings. This is called four noble truths.

It further states that enlightenment is not god given. It is self-made. It comes from the realization of the law of cause and effect which states ‘for every event that occurs, there will follow another event pleasant or unpleasant born by the person who commits them.

Painting Description:

Material: Hand Painting in cotton canvas.

Painting Style: Tibetan

Size: 70cm x 40cm

It is said that the position of hands and mudras can give various meanings and identities of the Buddhist deities. In this painting, Buddha is sitting in deep meditation with his left hand palm upright on his lap and his right hand touching the earth representing the his moment of enlightenment. The alms bowl represents renunciation of the material world and all its comfort. Additionally, devotees believe that the bowl holds the three nectars that eliminate the three poisons of greed, hatred and delusion.

Shakyamuni, as Siddhartha was meditating under the Bodhi tree, at the verge of his enlightenment a demon of temptation came over to dissuade his goal. However, he ignored her attempts and strengthened his meditation. Upon achieving enlightenment, Buddha called the earth goddess to witness his triumph by performing the Bhumisparsha mudra. Thus, the Buddha is calling the earth to witness the truth as he became a fully awakened Buddha. The earth goddess responded to his call and she rung out her hair and created a flood which washed away the demon Mara.

Because of its strong affiliation with Shakyamuni Buddha, this mudra is mostly exclusive to him. The Bhumisparsha mudra is also used by one of the Dhyani Buddhas called Akshobhya Buddha