AGE: – 11th – 13th Century – Pagan
CONSTRUCTION: – Bronze
DESCRIPTION: – 11th-13th Century Burmese Bronze Pagan Buddhist Shrine
HEIGHT: – 47cm
LENGTH: – 46cm
DEPTH: – 22cm
WEIGHT: – 22.05 kg.
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11th-13th Century Burmese Bronze Pagan Buddhist Shrine – A triad of standing Buddha statues, each Buddha statue slotting into a double lotus pedestal, each one with a different mudra. Five kneeling devotees along the front showing reverence to the Buddha. Two slots at the back of the shrine would indicate that it once held a reredos, now missing, some metal layering (age related) behind the kneeling monks and damage to the lotus flowers on which they are seated.
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All three Buddha statues show different hand gestures/mudra’s.
- The first Buddha statue with the right hand gesture in Verada Mudra is seen with the right arm lowered and the palm facing outwards. The Verada mudra is the gift bestowing gesture of compassion, generosity and patience. The right hand is possibly a variation of Vajrapradama mudra with the palm facing inwards resting over the heart area. The left hand facing the heart is most often seen in Burmese Buddha images with several instances in the “3rd edition of Gordon H. Luce’s ” Old Burma Early Pagan”, and seen again in the Buddha statues of the Ava period. This mudra is sometimes seen with one hand resting over the back of the hand facing the heart area.
- Second Buddha Statue’s right hand gesture is in Abhaya Mudra, the gesture of fearlessness with the left hand holding what may be the myrobalan fruit, a small fruit thought to have medicinal properties. In myth and legend this fruit was given to the Buddha by the Hindu god Indra soon after attaining enlightenment.
- Third Buddha Statue with hand gesture Dharmachakra Mudra, the gesture of teaching representing the wheel of Dharma, representing one of the most important moments in the Buddha’s life when after his enlightenment he preached the first sermon in Sarnath.
This Buddhist triad indicates a transition from the Pala tradition with this style of tiered base seen in Indian/Hindu Iconography into a purely Burmese depiction of the Pagan Buddha of the time.
This shrine has obviously suffered some hardship during its lifetime, one of the back slots is damaged and the body along the front shows some layering of the metal. The lotus pedestals on which the devotees are seated are also damaged.