Reclining Buddha

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Buddha in parinirvana, Gandhara art, 2nd or 3rd century
Reclining Buddha of Galvihara at Polonnaruwa (Sri Lanka, 12th century)

A reclining Buddha is an image that represents Buddha lying down and is a major iconographic theme in Buddhist art. It represents the historical Buddha during his last illness, about to enter the parinirvana.[1] He is lying on his right side, his head resting on a cushion or relying on his right elbow, supporting his head with his hand. After the Buddha's death, his followers decide to build a statue of him lying down.

This pattern seems to have emerged at the same time as other representations of the Buddha in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara.

In Thai art[edit]

For Thai Buddha attitudes (Thai: ปางพระพุทธรูป; parang Phra phut ta roupe), the reclining Buddha (Thai: ปางไสยาสน์; paang sai yat) can refer to three different episodes, whilst the attribute of each remains unclear.

  • Nirvana attitude (Thai: ปางปรินิพพาน; paang pari nipphan)
  • Teaching the Rahu Asurin attitude (Thai: ปางโปรดอสุรินทราหู; paang proad asurin tra rahu)
  • Sleeping attitude (Thai: ปางทรงพระสุบิน; paang song phra subin)

Notable examples[edit]

The reclining Buddha of Zhangye
The reclining Buddha of the Hpo win caves
reclining buddha kratie
Golden gilded reclining Buddha at Sambok Mountain in Kratié, Cambodia[2]
Butunehanzu (仏涅槃図) at Kongōbu-ji (Heian period)

Burma:

Cambodia:

China

Pakistan:

  • Bhamala Buddha Parinirvana which is 1,800 years old, oldest in the world.[4]

India:

Indonesia:

Japan

Malaysia:

Sri Lanka:

Tajikistan:

Thailand:

United States

Reclining Buddha at Linh Son Temple -- Santa Fe, Texas

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Discourse on The Great Parinirvana" (PDF). www.themindingcentre.org. p. 140. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  2. ^ "Guide to the Wild East of Cambodia – what to do and where to go in the Green Triangle".
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ma Thanegi (February 2014). "Chaukhtutgyi Reclining Buddha Image" (PDF). My Magical Myanmar. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Footprints: No sleep lost over broken Buddha".

External links[edit]

Media related to Statues of the Buddha reclining at Wikimedia Commons