AGE: – Undetermined
CONSTRUCTION: -Dolomite/pyrophyllite (Andagu Stone)
DESCRIPTION: – Burmese Andagu Stone Buddhist Carving – Good condition – very fine and detailed carving.
HEIGHT: – 9cm
WEIGHT: -1000 gm
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Burmese Andagu Stone Buddhist Carving with Disciples depicts the Buddha in pari-nirvana (dying), with eight praying disciples underneath the Buddha, with two of his chief disciples, Moggallana and Upatissa also referred to as Sariputta, kneeling in prayer on either end.
The couch on which the Buddha is lying on is decorated with medallions on each end, with a single medallion decorating his pillow and two larger medallions underneath. Lotus petals decorate the back of the couch and again across the bottom of the couch with a stupa like structure in the centre. The Buddha in pari-nirvana is in the Pagan style as are the attendants underneath, all wearing medallion style earrings and a simple monks robe.
It is difficult to put a date on this andagu stone carving as it deviates from the more traditional style of andagu stone Pagan stele.
To date we haven’t come across anyone in Myanmar currently carving this style of Buddhist iconography and are quite rare. The stone is more than likely imported from India, although according to some scholars this too is debatable. These small andagu stone pieces were thought to be carried by pilgrims or placed in shrines or Stupa’s.
According to Claudine Bautze-Picron’s paper ““New Documents of Burmese Sculpture: Unpublished ‘Andagu’ Images”, those andagu stone carvings that have been found are in relatively good condition possibly because of the protection the stupa offered.
The two chief disciples, Moggallana and Upatissa (Sariputta) were both born on the same day in two different villages near to each other. They renounced the world and became disciples of a religious teacher known as Sanjaya Belatthiputta, dissatisfied with their teacher they decided to part; each of them went on their own search for truth, but they made a promise to each other that once they found it they would tell the other.
Sariputta one day came across a monk begging for food, he was impressed by the monks calm demeanor and he asked him who his teacher was, His answer was “I have abandoned secular life to follow the great enlightened teacher who came from the land of the Shakyas, I am called Assaji. On hearing his reply Sariputta set out to find this great teacher. Hence, Moggallana and Sariputta were destined to become the devoted and most enlightened followers of the the Historical Buddha.
All reference to these types of andagu stone sculptures that we have come across, date back to the 11th, 12th and 13th Century.